reliability in digital image production
Control tools for handling digital images
By comparing the lab's prints to the color appearance on a particular monitor or self-made inkjet print the photographer can distinguish whether the production chain works properly, or whether he has to adjust his files before sending them to the lab.
A good example for this approach is the so-called DQ-Tool, provided by the German 'Photoindustrieverband'. (Pretty popular in Germany and some other European countries).
By principle, such kind of tools are recommended especially when initializing a color management workflow between photographer and laboratory.
If the photographer delivers image data, providiing an additional proof print he can describe how the colors should look like on the final large format print. If this target print contains a control step wedge, the lab can evaluate whether this proof has been printed using proper color settings, an whether this print can be regarded as 'proven'. By the way: this kind of quality control is very common in the printing press (and pre-press) industry.
The Photogamut working group is currently developing test images as well as digital control files like step wedges in order to optimize color management workflows especially in the photographic field.
Our dedicated goal is - by that way - to define a common procedure which allows to check and assure the quality of RGB image data and prints. The basic test images and control step wedges will be available free of charge for all photographers and printing services.
This procedure is planned to be proposed for national and international standards.