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Old 03-12-2018, 03:18 PM
Bibi Snelderwaard Bibi Snelderwaard is offline
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Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

Hi, I hope this is the right place to post this question?

I'm not a photographer but a painter and want to take high quality photographs of my artwork. The most important thing is that the digital image has the exact same colors as my artwork so I can make prints or upload to sites like fineartamerica and can be sure that the colors are correct.

I bought a nikon D3400 DSLR camera, Adobe lightroom 6 and x-rite color checker passport.
I know how to convert the RAW format to DNG, import into lightroom, make a color checker profile and basically have been following the steps in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEog0OeSBww
It's a video specifically about photographing artwork with the software I have.
Before I continue, I hope there is someone who is very familiar with this workflow and can help me out because I think I may have missed a step or two or maybe there is a difference in software (the software in the video is I believe lightroom version 3, mine is 6)
For instance, when I follow all the steps as demonstrated, and use the exposure slide, as demonstrated, my image becomes too light. I don't know what I'm doing wrong and hope there is someone in this group that can help shed some light on this issue.
Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:28 PM
Quint Quint is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

Bibi,
I started taking digital images of my mom's artwork for the purpose of making high quality prints a few years ago. I use a Nikon D7000 and have my computer screen calibrated with a Spyder 4 pro. I take RAW images and work them with Photoshop Elements 12. I have an Epson 3880 and produce prints that I am very satisfied with. I adjust to what I think is right and sometimes print a 4 x 6 hard proof then adjust if necessary.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:09 AM
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droll13 droll13 is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

When you say your image becomes too light, which do you mean?

1) too light on your monitor, or
2) too light on a test print

Monitors vary, and different ambient light can change how an image appears on the same monitor.

And this can make it difficult to get an accurate print; if your monitor doesn't consistently display correctly and you're making your adjustments based on what you see on the monitor, it's not surprising if a print isn't accurate.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:27 PM
Bibi Snelderwaard Bibi Snelderwaard is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

I'll try to post a screen shot tomorrow of the problem I'm running into. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:30 PM
htx651 htx651 is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

Does anyone have a recommendation for lights that could be used for taking photos of completed watercolor artwork? I'd like to use LED's but am not sure what to get. I have taken pictures of acrylic and oil paintings using CFL lights but there were glare problems and it was difficult to get satisfactory pictures. There are a number of relatively inexpensive LED set ups and I'm wondering if any here has had good results with LED's.

Thanks,
John
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:43 AM
Quint Quint is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

Hi, John. I've taken many photos of watercolor and art in other mediums but have done so using natural light outdoors on overcast days with no wind. There are numerous Youtube videos showing how to use lights when done indoors. I have done a few using LED lights inthe 5000K range. Positioning and/or diffusing the light should give you what you need.
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Old 04-21-2018, 01:23 PM
htx651 htx651 is offline
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Red face Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

Thanks! It looked like winter was going to last forever but we've had a couple of nice days so going outdoors is something to try before I spend any more money
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:59 PM
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Beat Color Beat Color is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

Hope you know how to do it now
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:22 PM
Daniel Smith Daniel Smith is offline
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

You do everything right and get it set up perfectly.
Then the person you send it to views it on an uncalibrated monitor and wonders why you colors are way off.

If you want precision, classic copy setups with cross polarized/color temperature controlled lighting is still the best solution - used with calibrated lenses and bodies/film. Color separation guides and B&W step wedges in the frame give reference for printers and calibration.
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Old 12-17-2018, 12:39 PM
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Adamphotoman Adamphotoman is online now
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Re: Photographing my artwork and obtaining true color

I know this is late,
However.
If you are using a color checker passport then that is great.
The red flag for me is adjusting the exposure slider in light room, unless you are doing it to determine proper exposure, and then readjusting the camera.

Back up a bit. Manual settings is mandatory for repeatable results. Do not use auto anything.

First set the camera up to include only the painting. Lock down the tripod.
Then either remove the painting or simply place the passport CC on top of the art work.
Shoot that image.
Bring it into Light room or photoshop.
Adjust the slider to get 241 241 241 [RGB units] on the white patch and see how many stops it is out. Adjust the camera by that much and repeat as many times as it takes until the image does not need adjusting in PS / LR to get the 241 241 241.
To get the best results the both images must be made with identical settings.
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