Cheng agrees that photographic paper is the best medium for output, but for a very different reason. "Most photographers don't know or don't want to deal with color management," he says. "In order to do their own final prints in-house, they must. When we process, scan and color-correct their film, they can create their orders without color correction, and the final prints they receive from us will be perfect." Even so, he would like to see the next version of StudioMaster PRO include more in the way of color management.
Even photographers that are capturing digitally are using PC Colour to make proof prints and color-correct their files. Cheng provides this color-correction service so that the final outputs will be of the best quality. "Since jobs submitted to us using StudioMaster PRO go directly to printing without our doing anything to them, they must be correct from the photographer," he says. "Having us correct the original files ensures this. Photographers pay for color correction at the beginning to get the price break we give for StudioMaster PRO orders when we print them."
Cheng sees the probability of an efficient, high-quality, all-digital workflow, from image capture to output, in the future, and StudioMaster PRO as a major milestone on that route: "Labs and photographers who become proficient with the software now, shooting film, creating orders and printing orders, will be the ones best positioned for an all-digital workflow. That will definitely be the workflow of the future. A few years ago the water wasn't clear. Photographers thought they could print final prints for clients in the studio. Now the water is clearer. Photographers understand that color photographic paper is the best quality and most economical way to make prints last the longest. They need their photo lab still. Digital is the future. Digital production with StudioMaster PRO is the way for both labs and photographers to go digital now, and to be ready for the total digital future."
Imager SnapshotPeter Cheng inspects a completed wedding book designed using templates from PC Colour and put together in StudioMaster PRO.
PC Colour Lab
Type of lab:
Full-service portrait, event (wedding, etc.) and commercial lab. 80% portrait/wedding; 20% commercial processing and large prints on a Durst Lambda.
Professional photographers and corporate clients from all over the country.
What can you do for your clients that no other lab in
your area can?
PC Colour was the first lab, 15 years ago, to provide low-cost machine prints with sloppy borders. Now they offer custom printing with over 500 templates for StudioMaster PRO software.
Special niches they fill:
PC Colour has a Refrema processor to process C-41, E-6 and black and white. Large- display prints for trade shows are made on a Durst Lambda.
- Digital minilab: Fujifilm Frontier Digital Lab System; two Noritsu optical printers
- Processors: Three Refrema film processors; one 50-inch RA4 paper processor; one Durst Lambda
- Wide-format printer: Epson 9600
- Scanners: ScanView 11000, Scitex SmartScan, Fujifilm Frontier scanner
- Digital workflow software: Photoshop; StudioMaster PRO
- Color management software: GretagMacbeth
- Computer system: Windows