Not whelmed, but overwhelmed
Now I understand why they were reluctant to go digital. Not only are the artists not up to speed on the requirements, many professional photographers don't have a clue how to shoot and finish digital submissions. About half of my artists for my new book (which, by the way, has finally been titled: Confident Color: An Artist's Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity) have submitted digital files. I provided an information sheet for each one and about half followed the directions. This is driving me nuts. I spent six hours yesterday sizing, fixing perspective, matching colors and working up a demo for an artist who used a professional photographer to shoot his work. I asked everyone who did a demo to use a gray card which North Light provided so we would have a good color control. So far, most of them "forgot to use the gray card." Today I worked with another demo artist who had her final work shot by a color lab. The color is so far off I couldn't believe my eyes. Yes, it has the color scale, but why should we have to use it? There's no excuse for such poor results.
I'm still trying to figure out why this is happening. The only thing I can figure out is that people are being way too casual about the benefits of digital photography. Sure, you can fix it in Photoshop. But if you use the correct settings, set up with a tripod and good lighting--and a gray card--you shouldn't have to Photoshop it to death. It may seem easy on your end if you're the artist or photographer, but please, pity the poor production artists who have to make everything look good in the book. Pity me, using the work of 45 artists and having to get everything in shape to send to the production editors.
Let's face it--slides and transparencies are on their way out. So-called "wet labs" are closing or transforming into digital labs. So if you're illustrating books or entering shows that allow or require digital entries, do yourself a favor (and everyone else) and either find a good (VERY GOOD) digital lab to shoot your images or buy a good (VERY GOOD) digital SLR and LEARN HOW TO USE IT PROPERLY. Oh, pardon me, am I shouting?