My workflow with DigitalSilverImaging.com which is nothing new – I’m sure they have this on their site – but I’ll add a few details they might not get into.
THIS IS FOR LUSTRE PRINTS THROUGH ROES
The same workflow is used for black and white as well as color prints.
Make sure image files are at least 240 DPI. 300 DPI is better.
They should ALL HAVE THE ADOBE COLOR 1998 PROFILE ATTACHED and all be in ADOBE RGB (yes, especially the black and white images).
Epson printers use all eight or nine cartridges to make a very rich b&w image. Do not send up greyscale images.
Sharpening is one of the tricky things with all uploads. The trick is that you want to always upload the exact size for the print, and have them sharpened for that size.
I have a different size file for each sized print. When I am printing an 8 x 12 inch print, I upload an 8 x 12 300 DPI file that has been sharpened as the last step. In other words, you don’t want to sharpen a giant file and then have it down sampled by the printer driver. You may cause artifacts and frankly – it just makes sense to give the exact file you want printed.
Here’s how I do the workflow. I have a large 16 bit file in Adobe Color 98 as a tiff or a Photoshop file. When someone orders a print, if I don’t have it in the correct size as a jpg, I change the size of the original TIFF FILE (without saving it), change it to 8 BIT without saving it, and then sharpen the file if necessary, and then save it as a HIGH LEVEL JPG AT THE NEW SIZE.
That’s how I’d go from say a 16 x 24 TIFF to an 8 x 12 JPG.
I save them at level 12 JPGS and make sure they have the Adobe Color 98 profile attached. You can get by with saving them at level 10 if you have a slow upload – but I simply don’t take any chances.
As a general rule, for b&w, if you have NIK Silver Efex – it’s best to run the original TIF through that first.
For color, you’d use your normal workflow on the original color TIF.
I’ve used a lot of ROES UPLOAD systems, and the only thing I’ve noticed that’s different is whether the file should be in sRGB or Adobe RGB. Adobe RGB is a wider gamut – but basically you want to use whatever profile they recommend.
DSI (is currently using Ilford Smooth Pearl) for their Lustre choice. If you happen to be have an Epson that uses K3 inks at home – you can do a proof before you send up a new image. And ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL is that you use a monitor that’s been calibrated.
I think that’s about it. The prints I get back are exactly the same as prints that I do on my Epson 7800.
I have the prints from DSI sent to me so that I can sign them, approve them, and add Certificates of Authenticity for each print. It’s a good system. When you have things worked out – you can often re-use the DSI packaging. And they do a fantastic job packaging. Best I’ve run into yet.