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How To Get Picture True To Colour Of Ink.


Redpanda
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Hello! :D

I mixed two inks and it ended up a nice shade and I would like to share it. My problem is that when I try to take a picture of it the colour gets distorted and looks completely wrong.

How do you produce pictures where the colour is true to the actual colour of the ink?

 

Thank you for any advice!

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You first get yourself a camera with a true 16-bit color sensor. Then you process in a ProPhoto RGB color space on a high-end fully calibrated monitor. Then you post it on the internet and go around and color calibrate every screen that views it.

 

That's a start anyway!

 

My point is that it's not going to be possible to get true color reproduction on an image you're viewing on a screen. Only your eyes are going to see the true color you're seeing. Everything else is going to be an approximation.

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  1. Use a flatbed scanner with a CALIBRATED color profile
  2. Use a monitor with a CALIBRATED color profile (while you can create profiles for common monitors, they run sRGB gamut, which is not very wide -- monitors for photo editing run Adobe RGB gamut, much wider -- but also cost much more; where an sRGB 24" monitor may run only $200, expect an Adobe RGB 24" monitor to exceed $600 (my Dell U2413 was $599 back in 2013).
  3. While you are calibrating all that :lticaptd:, might as well create printer profiles (properly done, you will have a profile for each paper you use, and maybe at each resolution you use)

If you are relying upon cameras...

 

  1. Use a table top photo tent https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1394054-REG/studio_essentials_pst24_24_pop_up_shooting_tent.html/?smp=Y&ap=y&lsft=BI%3A514&gclid=CL62jaOb3eICFUS-wAodvFIFYw
  2. Use photo flood light fixtures OR off-camera electronic flash (don't mix, they have different color temperatures -- do NOT use fluorescent unless it is specified as wide spectrum for photography) -- aim the light fixtures/flashes through the side fabric of the tent; the goal is to make the tent an even source of lighting, no hotspots.
  3. Place a photographic grey card into the tent angled toward the camera. Fill the camera frame with the grey-card and take a shot -- then use the camera feature to set manual white-balance using the existing grey-card photo (also take note of the camera auto-exposure settings and use the exposure the camera chose to then set a manual exposure).
  4. Replace the grey-card with your ink sample, oriented at the same angle. Set the exposure.
  5. Shoot.

This is easier to do with photo-floods unless your flashes have a manual exposure setting -- as you don't want them to change flash duration between shots. OTOH: photo-floods are not all that bright -- a 600W Quartz Halogen photo flood results in exposures around 1/20 second at f4.0 :yikes:-- so a tripod and timed release would also be recommended.

 

Alternatively, you can use photo-editing software to post-process the images by "sampling" the paper (use WHITE paper, not something with a tint) with a "white-balance" cursor (in Photoshop Levels control, that is the middle grey eyedropper; the white and black eyedroppers are used to adjust the end point span making black full black and white full white). Better to get the image close in the camera first.

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1. Photograph your paper in good daylight. This will help with blues.

2. Ensure plenty of white is showing. This will help the camera to get an accurate white balance. Use auto white-balance.

3. Switch off night-shift or any other settings which alter the colour of your screen

4. Be sure the image fills the screen with plenty of white paper showing. Just like the camera, your eye needs a reference for white.

5. Most computer screens reproduce the colour of overcast daylight. So compare the screen image with the paper original under these conditions.

 

Proper colour calibration as other have explained is quite a rigmarole. The above is not foolproof, but it's easy and works well most of the time.

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Wow Thank you for your replies! It is a little more extensive than I thought it would be it seems I have some playing around and testing to do :D

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Hmmm, interesting -- seems the driver disk for my monitor included calibration software... (I'd never looked at the disk as Windows 7/10 automatically detected the monitor and pulled down the driver).

 

Unfortunately, said software is unusable without a $300 X-Rite sensor. If I did more photo-printing I might be able to justify it (bad enough I just discovered the current Epson printer equivalent to my R2000 costs $600 -- and the R2000, whose inks are no longer stocked locally by the camera shop, is showing some signs of age: like sludge build-up where it "wipes its feet", and a couple weeks back I got an error message from it about a mechanical fault -- found a clean washer laying on the track (I'm presuming the cleanness meant it fell in from something I had sitting on top, and is not something that came apart inside it).

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Having calibrated your monitor, and colour corrected the file, I suggest including an11 step gray-scale in the posted image for reference.

The majority of people viewing your work won't have calibrated monitors.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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