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Old 04-13-2012, 01:10 PM
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Lucylove Lucylove is offline
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A strange project, ie. Organizing my soft pastels

I was wondering if this would work. I was going to line up on my pastels in their boxes, take a photo of them with my dslr, then take that photo and upload it into Elements.

I was thinking I could then use a color picker, and find out exactly where my color mapped out, and I could use this information to organize them by colors and values. I just bought a lot of used soft pastels. Can anyone think of any reason against this working?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:01 AM
archivalarts archivalarts is offline
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Re: A strange project, ie. Organizing my soft pastels

I would think organizing by eye would be more efficient and much less time consuming than using your camera. Your digital camera will most likely modify the colors far from what they are in reality, even if you use a custom white balance. Digital cameras usually overdrive reds, modify greens and dumb down blues from my experience, especially pastels. Because of this, you may find that your idea will work to some extent but there will be some colors that will be out of place due to the limitations of your camera. Your eyes should be far better at seeing values and hues than your camera.
Your idea may be something a color blind person may try but even if I were color blind, I would just have a fellow artist help me organize the colors and buy them lunch!

If organizing by eye you may want to try using each pastel on the paper you normally use since the colors may look different than just looking at the sticks. I would think maybe even using a neutral gray paper may also help your eyes see the hues and values better. Not sure, but with my background in reproducing color, using whites and grays as benchmarks always seems to give the best results. Hope that helps!

Last edited by archivalarts : 04-15-2012 at 10:04 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:56 AM
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Basalt Basalt is offline
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Re: A strange project, ie. Organizing my soft pastels

With the color picker you'll have a range for each pastel when in the program, you will be able to zoom in far enough to see pixel by pixel. You might have to average it out.

Its a good way to establish a palette in Essentials.

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Old 04-20-2012, 10:15 PM
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yellow_oxide yellow_oxide is offline
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Re: A strange project, ie. Organizing my soft pastels

The single biggest reason I can think of for it to not work is simply that you'll never get the "true" color of something (hue, saturation, and especially value) by either taking a photo or scanning it, since the "color" of anything changes from moment to moment as the lighting conditions around it change. For example if you turn on another light in the room or open another window suddenly everything has a lighter value. If you're in a room lit by a normal lamp everything will be more yellow. Our eyes/brain just adjusts to compensate for how yellow regular lamps are so a lot of times people don't notice or realize it. At different values various hues will appear more or less saturated.

The reason that it might work would be if everything was affected the same and you just organize things relative to each other in the photo. Basically it might not matter if everything was darker or lighter than its true value so long as everything was darker/lighter by the same amount.

You might want to try looking here to see if the pastels you use are already given digital values for their color. I can't guarantee complete accuracy with all their numbers, since I was recently looking up numbers for daniel smith watercolors there and they showed carbazole violet as being a dark green, but it's an option.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:46 PM
darnallb darnallb is offline
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Re: A strange project, ie. Organizing my soft pastels

I agree that using the DSLR for trying to map the colors is probably going to be a pretty involved, and perhaps very frustrating, project. However, I have used my DSLR for a similar purpose with my pastels and that is to map the values. Granted this is not 100% foolproof as different camera profiles may be weighted more toward one color or another, but I've used it fairly successfully in organizing my pastel boxes by color and value. Simply do a custom white balance, take your photograph, convert it to greyscale in Photoshop/PhotoPaint or other imaging program, then compare the image to your box. The first time I did this I was pretty surprised at some of my initial placements which tonally were way off the mark. My work has become easier now that I can look for a value of a color first and then concern myself with the actual color.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:51 AM
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Lucylove Lucylove is offline
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Re: A strange project, ie. Organizing my soft pastels

Thanks darnallb. I had used my little digital on black and white and literally just hovered over my box in black and white mode. I could see through the screen on the back of the camera and just reach down and move stuff around in real time. I didn't even have to take a picture! Since the image was live on the camera, I could keep arranging until the values matched then just move side to to side to line up with their color (which I'm better at by eye)...

You are right.. I was WAAAY off in a lot of them. I had hovered over the box about to take a picture but couldn't think of any reason to not just organize them from the image live!
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