Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Shooting art with a D800

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Shooting art with a D800

    I often get roped into taking shot's of artwork for an artist friend. she works in all sorts of media. Sometimes, I use natural light, sometimes studio gear and grey cards for white balance. What I find is that the colour is never completely right. This bothers me more than the artist.

    I understand that there are many steps where the colour can deviate from the real thing. I haven't found any decent guides. I use the D800, C1 and then PS.

    Any suggestions, please?
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Color accuracy in art repro is a science unto itself. It is an arena where MFDB's will do better than DSLR's. To get consistent color, you'll want to shoot a passport under the EXACT same lighting AND LENS you will use for shooting the art. Now you can use C1 to build a dedicated profile for that combo of lighting and lens -- use color editor to get the passport colors as close to exact as possible, then save it out as an ICC profile for that camera with that lighting. (This is a non-trivial exercise and may take you several hours to accomplish.) Note that if you just change the power output of the strobe units, your color can change visibly in the final product! In fact, strobe color can drift over time and so you may need to rebuild a profile at regular intervals.
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Thanks Jack, where's my Hasselblad when I need it? That's what I needed to know .
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    37
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Jack is right, and there is no quick fix. However I shoot art full-time and actually moved away from MFDB to the D800 series because it has enough resolution for 90% of the work I do.

    That said, I don't recommend the passport for art repo, there is just not enough colors there for any sort of accurate ICC profile (in terms of art). If you have a little money to invest buy yourself a ColorChecker SG chart (~$300), and then PictoColors InCamera software (PictoColor inCamera Digital Camera ICC Profile Software, also about $300). The software is old, runs 32bit in CS4-CS6 but does a really good job. Its the standard software recommended for Betterlight users (who long held the art repro market). You can find other software solutions, some free, for the ColorChecker SG chart, but so far it gives the best results for the price. In case you are wondering, X-Rite also has a input profiler option in its iProfiler suite, but it is not optimal, there are weird color transitions sometimes and until they fix it I can't recommend it for input ICCs.

    If you are serious about pursuing this with strobe you need something with control that manages flash to flash color balance and flash intensity, which surprisingly can vary quite a bit between shots depending on what power level your strobe is at. PCB Einstein strobes are perfect for this, and are very cost effective. Otherwise you are looking at high-end Broncolor. Getting flash to flash consistency is very important for ICC chart creation, without it there isn't much point. Alternately you can build soft-banks of high color rendering florescent bulbs, like the Philips T950 series bulbs.

    Doing the above will get you about 90-95% there for most work, but always there will be some adjustments in photoshop based on what you are shooting, etc.

    Another useful thing to throw in is light fall-off correction - if you are not already doing it. Often when I see none repro shooters doing artwork they don't realize how much this is affecting the final image. It is really hard to get perfect illumination for all sizes of artwork, so if using continuous light sources you can shoot a large whiteboard, just make sure it is bigger then the frame. Otherwise you can correct for lens fall-off separately with a LCC type opaque plexi card already mentioned here on the forums. You would then have to correct for lighting fall-off separately in photoshop, etc.

    I build ICCs for each photo session and lens change. The ICC creation part is actually pretty straightforward but does add to the processing time - ie: have to output chart files certain way, make ICCs, then apply said ICC to artwork files in Raw software, output at standard settings and then make final tweaks in photoshop.

    Hope this helps.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Thanks for all of that. It hadn't occurred to me that my Bowens or Visatec lights might be part of the solution. I've already discovered light falloff, to my chagrin. Lots there to keep me going for a while.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    37
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    You can also test your strobes to find their sweet spot in terms of color stability and flash-to-flash output, sometimes running them full-power is enough to keep them stable. Take a test shot of a white/grey card and use your color readout tool in C1 to see how much it varies between the shots.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Will do, thanks.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    475
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    You need to calibrate your system to your output medium.

    A shot displayed on an LCD monitor hanging on the wall requires very different processing from a shot displayed in a magazine article.

    I suggest making NO adjustments to the acquired image in-camera.
    Preferably, take a RAW shot and do all your processing post-exposure.
    This gives you the greatest possible latitude in adjusting the shot for the medium.

    - Leigh

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Thanks Leigh. That's what I've been doing but I still end up wrestling with getting exact colour. Artists can be fussy blighters.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Antonio Chagin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    476
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    One thing you could try after white balancing in C1 is to change your ICC to IQ250 portrait. This helps me a lot. I shoot furniture and colors have to be pretty close.
    Just try it.
    I've used Color Checker before and haven't been happy with the results.
    ACH

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2

    Re: Shooting art with a D800

    Thanks Antonio, I'll certainly try it.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •