Module 02 – Digital Workflow



This is a selection of the results generated during “Module 02 – Digital Workflow”.

Module Content: Digital Workflow (Colour management, Photoshop, etc.)
Module Teacher: Richard Hutjens

Assignment 01 – Magazine


Create your own magazine. Think about the target audience, and make sure the design and typography match subject and audience. Use existing magazines as reference points.

Of the magazine you should create the cover (both front and back), as well as three pages. A few lines per article is enough; it is the form and layout that counts. Photographs should be used to support everything.


For the magazine I currently have the follwing basic ideas for the magazine and its content:

Discussing above plan with Richard Hutjens (the teacher), I concluded that while my idea was Ok and would be enough to successfully finish the assignment, I should do something more challenging; the photo magazine would too close to my heart. I therefore have come up with the following revised plan:

Looking through some of the existing magazines, there is a lot I do not like about them. For starters, regarding layout, most magazines appear rather busy and chaotic, using a hotchpotch of fonts. None of the magazines radiate Class and Style the way I would like it. This I definitely want to do differently so I'm going to opt for a much more clean and simple layout, sticking to that style for most, if not all, pages. I will also minimise the number of fonts used to avoid a chaotic look.

Luckily there were also things I did like, those things I will most likely use in my magazine as well. One thing I like about Taste!, for instance, is the use of colour: the colour of the headings matches the colours of the accompanying (main) photo(s), resulting in a non-disturbing, stylish layout. An idea from Appetito I liked was the layout they chose for some of their articles: one column of photos on the outer edge of the page, combined with two columns of text. Again a very “restful” layout.

For the photos I plan to take images in a few of the more upper market quality food and drink shops (e.g., our favourite wine and delicatessen shop, our favourite fish shop, and the specialised cooking shop annex cooking school). If that does not yield enough usable images, I can always try to take some images at the “Noordermarkt” (a food market, providing many of the top restaurants with their foodstuffs), and/or inside a top restaurant. Another idea is to photograph a dish at home for use as a recipe illustration for instance.

Articles I currently envision are on the three shops as mentioned, but this is can change based on the inspiration taking my images gives me…

To help me design the pages, I will first develop a “canvas” file containg samples of the different page layouts. Photoshop guides will help positioning the different content entities correctly on the page. To make sure I can still print the pages correctly, I have made the page canvas 20x28 cm instead of a full a4. For printing I will import all (flattened) images into a separate document, positioning the pages so that I leave some extra room for binding as well.

All Photos will go through the following basic work flow (in the Results section below, I will add the specifics for creating a particular page). Tools used are also indicated:

  1. RAW file preparation (all these optional steps performed with Nikon Capture NX 2)
    • ProPhoto RGB colour profile
    • White balance adjustments
    • Exposure adjustments
    • Shadow/Highlight recovery
    • Basic retouching (e.g., removing dust spots and other minor things)
    • Colour tweaks (Luminance, Chroma, and Hue).
    • Capture sharpening (camera model determines settings)
    • Straightening, Cropping
  2. Save processed full resolution RAW file to 16 bit TIFF. (Nikon Capture NX 2)
  3. Resize to exact size required. (Adobe Photoshop and/or Nikon Capture NX 2)
  4. Output sharpening of image for 300dpi inkjet print. (Nikon Capture NX 2)
    Note: I chose to perform output sharpening here instead of at the very end (i.e., just before printing) as I do not wish to risk sharpening other things (like text) as well. At this step, the photo is basically ready anyway so this should not pose any problems.
  5. Insert image into magazine page. (Adobe Photoshop)
  6. Finish page. (Adobe Photoshop)


Mood Board

Going through different magazines I tried to find images of things that would describe the type of magazine I envisioned.

Excellentia - Mood Board
Mood Board

Cover Page

The cover page is buit up from a single image that already had lots of open space to allow for lettering. Specifics:

Feedback on my first version of the cover page:

Cover Page
Cover Page

Page 24 – Photo Page on the left of the Sjatoo article

Feedback: No comments for improvements received.

Page 24 - Left page of Sjatoo article
Page 24

Page 25 – First page of the Sjatoo article, text with photos

Feedback: No comments for improvements received.

Page 25 - Sjatoo article (first page)
Page 25

Page 26 – Second and final page of the Sjatoo article, text with photos

Feedback on my first version of this page:

Page 26 - Sjatoo article (final page)
Page 26

Page 52 – Photo Page on the left of the Cooking “Tools” article

Feedback: No comments for improvements received.

Page 52 - Left page of Cooking Tools article
Page 52

Page 53 – First page of the Cooking “Tools” article, text with photos

Feedback: No comments for improvements received.

Page 53 - Cooking Tools article (first page)
Page 53

Page 64 – Full article How-To — Raw Oysters (this is one of the articles in the magazine's Oyster special)

Feedback on my first version of this page:

Page 64 - How-To Raw Oysters article
Page 64

Page 80 – Recipe Index Page

Feedback on my first version of this page:

Page 80 - Recipes Index
Page 80

Page 81 – Tasty Noodle Soup Recipe

Feedback: No comments for improvements received.

Page 81 - Tasty Noodle Soup recipe
Page 81

Back Page

The back page is buit up from a single image and the Kopke logo. Specifics for the image:

The Kopke logo, I got from the internet. However, as it originally was grey on a white background, I had to edit the logo before I could use it in this “ad”:

Feedback: No comments for improvements received.

Back Page
Back Page

School Day 01 – Digital Workflow Basics

This was a quick run through the basics of digital workflow, colour and colour management as well as the basics of Bridge and Camera Raw.

Apart from creating a setup for the “Magazine” module assignment, no day assignments.

School Day 02 – Digital Workflow Basics II

Another day of digital workflow basics. This time all possible image adjustments from the Photoshop Image|Adjustments menu where discussed as well as the basics of layers and layer masks.

School Day 03 – Recap

Class review of the mood boards as developed for the “Magazine” assignment. The rest of the day was spent on a recap of Photoshop layers and layer mask as well as an introduction to text layers.

School Day 04 – Selections

Demonstration of the various methods of making selections in Photoshop. While I knew all of the different methods in theory, I had not really used them before. And only by actually using do you really understand the pros and cons of each of these tools. Practising with the pen tool to draw “paths” was really insightful!

School Day 05 – Colour Management

A whole day of Colour Management theory as well as a bit of practise. Nothing really new to me, I just may want to switch from calibrating my monitor at 6500K to the (ISO) standard of 5000K. Before this makes sense, however, I should also change the lighting conditions in my work room; now 5000 (or even 5500K) is now way to yellow compared to my prints.

School Day 06 – Review

Review of each other's progress on the Magazine assignment.

School Day 07 – Specials

Some special photographic techniques possible with the power of computing: HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panoramic, and 3D photography.

Especially taking 3D photos is quite funny and much less difficult than it seems! Here's a simple recipe:

  1. Take two images about 6cm apart (the distance between your eyes).
  2. Add them both as layers in a single document.
  3. If necessary, move the layers so that the area you want to have most “focus”, overlaps (no need to be precise).
  4. Remove all but the red RGB channel information from the “left” image layer.
  5. Remove the red RGB channel information from the “right” image layer.
  6. Set the blending mode of the top layer to “screen”.
Illustration of 3D photography
Illustration of a 3D photo.
Produced from 2 shots, taken about 6cm apart.
Best viewd with Red-Cyan 3D-glasses.
Illustration of HDR photography
Example of an HDR photo produced with PhotoShop CS3.
Produced from 5 photos (-2EV to +2EV in 1EV steps)
Panorama of 12 shots
Panorama made of 12 individual shots.
The shots were taken in portratit orientation to increase the vertical resolution (not noticeable with this web-sized version of course).

School Day 08 – Eyes On Media

Tour of the professional printing lab of Eyes on Media (formerly known as Capi-Lux). Very fitting for a module about digital workflow.

During the 2 hour tour we were shown the various print processes ranging from inkjet to chemical printing and the different materials and finishing methods that are available.

If you want a (large format) high quality print, Eyes on Media is your place! Just don't go there to get 10x15cm prints of your holiday snaps. Oh, they will print them fine, just more expensive than necessary…

School Day 09 – Adobe InDesign

A mini introduction to Adobe's InDesign, the desktop publishing application.

School Day 10 – Assessment

My Own Learnings this Module


The following material was used as the basis of the Assessment: