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Strange results shooting drawings! HELP!
Hi everyone!.

I've recently taken on the task of photographing artwork. All was going well until an artist asked me to photograph some drawings in graphite on paper..

To make a long story short, the photographs end up looking nothing like the drawings. Basically, despite my careful attempts to control lighting (no flash), manage white balance and calibrate my computer monitor, all the images come out with stubborn red cast that's incredibly hard to remove..

At first I thought there might have been something wrong with my camera, a Canon 30D, so I tried taking the same photos under the same conditions using my Panasonic point-and-shoot - same d*mned results!.

I just don't get it - the images look perfect color-wise in the camera LCD, but look they've been passed through red film when I get them on my computer screen..

Here's an example of the kind of results I've been getting:http://www.pbase.com/pietrogs/image/96791731.

This excellent drawing was done on a light gray Stonehenge paper - in natural ambient daylight the paper has sort of a light-cream, yellow-y look to it, but certainly NOWHERE near as reddish (or magenta-ish) as it ends up looking on my computer..

Does anyone know why this might be happening? Am I doing something wrong? Should I just give up shooting drawings? Talk about a short photo career!.

Any advice and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated - I need all the help I can get with this!.

Thanks in advance to one and all!.

- Pietro..

Comments (10)

Pietro.

Even though you say you have calibrated your monitor some people have experienced problems with certain brands of calibration software. This may be a case not sure. Otherwie do you shoot RAW this may give you more control over the colours ? .

Good luck sorry couldn't help further.

Take CareAus..

Comment #1

It doesn't look red at all on my computer monitor.has a slight grayish-yellowish-brownish look..

It has an under-exposed look to it..

Give it a +1/2 to +1 stop over exposure and see what it looks like..

Or, shoot the shot in black and white and try a red, yellow, green or orange filter to see if adding contrast might make these look better..

I like to use studio strobes when shooting artwork.takes all the guess work out of white balance..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

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Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #2

Hi again!.

Thanks for the replies - very much appreciated!.

I just posted the correct-looking image in my gallery, http://www.pbase.com/pietrogs/image/96837878..

What's truly strange is that the color cast seems to happen only when I'm shooting the drawings. I forgot to mention that I shoot a Gretag color chart first for color correction purposes, and the chart itself photographs perfectly. I've also shoot a blank piece of white paper after the drawing, and the paper shoots perfectly too!.

I spoke to another artist who told me she has the same problem as I do when she photographs her drawings, so I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing this weirdness..

What do you think?.

Looking forward to your replies, and thanks again in advance!.

- Pietro..

Comment #3

I think the two things you MUST do when shooting this kind of subject are :.

(a) Shoot RAW to allow the maximum possible latitude in correcting white balance. Maybe you do this already, but if you don't I'd cannot overstate how much more latitude this gives you when correcting white balance..

(b) Take a small white or grey card with you when you shoot. Place in in the frame when you shoot. You can crop it out after you have used it as a reference to help with white balance. You could also use a greg-mac-thingy card. Cut it up and join as a single long strip that you can place on the bottom or side of the image and again use as a reference when post processing. The important point is that you need a reference in the shot..

You could also use custom white balance feature and shoot JPEGs, but I hate shooting JPEGs when white balance is an issue as you completely loose all the control you could have. If it ( JPEGs ) don't work you cannot undo the damage..

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #4

For sure the image of drawing was quite warm:Your image:.

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The same with -10 on red-cyan balance and +10 on blue-yellow balance (shadows, midtones and highlights) and +0.85 EV exposure compensation..

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So the white balance is off because either of the light or the camera. Use RAW for this type of shots.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #5

In Photoshop. You can take the color cast out by clicking on a neutral area with the gray point eyedropper in Curves. If the background of the drawings is white, click on the white with the white point eyedropper and it will do the same thing. You can click continuously in different places and watch as the cast takes on different tones. Pick the place that gives you the most natural color. If the originals are totally neutral with no color, you can also experiment by desaturating the image..

Larry Bermanhttp://BermanGraphics.com..

Comment #6

Hi again everyone!.

Thanks once again for all your helpful suggestions to the photo problem I'm experiencing..

A few of you mentioned shooting in RAW, and I just wanted to mention that I do shoot in RAW all the time. Sorry for not having mentioned that in my original post..

I've tried most everything mentioned in the replies, and I guess I'm still perplexed as to why the camera is being fooled so completely by the drawings. I mean, it's essentially a greyscale image on light grey paper, so why the final image have such a strong warm red cast?.

Here again is what I do when I shoot the drawing:.

1. I make sure I'm shooting in a well-lit room using only ambient (but shaded) daylight..

2. I set up the drawing and take exposure readings to ensure a proper and even exposure across the drawing..

3. I manually set the camera's white balance using this plastic grey card I bought especially for digicams and set my camera to RAW..

4. I take a test shot on white paper and set exposure to make sure I'm not getting any color casts. I then shoot my Gretag color chart and keep the image for adjusting color..

5. I set up the drawing again and shoot three exposures of image - 1 stop underexposed, exposed and 1 stop overexposed..

6. I check the images in my computer (monitor calibrated using a Spyder2Pro) using Photoshop CS3 and *voila!* all three images have the color cast..

Weird, eh?!?..

Comment #7

Pietro Siciliano wrote:.

Hi again everyone!.

Thanks once again for all your helpful suggestions to the photoproblem I'm experiencing..

A few of you mentioned shooting in RAW, and I just wanted to mentionthat I do shoot in RAW all the time. Sorry for not having mentionedthat in my original post..

I've tried most everything mentioned in the replies, and I guess I'mstill perplexed as to why the camera is being fooled so completely bythe drawings. I mean, it's essentially a greyscale image on lightgrey paper, so why the final image have such a strong warm red cast?.

Here again is what I do when I shoot the drawing:.

1. I make sure I'm shooting in a well-lit room using only ambient(but shaded) daylight.2. I set up the drawing and take exposure readings to ensure a properand even exposure across the drawing.3. I manually set the camera's white balance using this plastic greycard I bought especially for digicams and set my camera to RAW.4. I take a test shot on white paper and set exposure to make sureI'm not getting any color casts. I then shoot my Gretag color chartand keep the image for adjusting color.5.

I check the images in my computer (monitor calibrated using aSpyder2Pro) using Photoshop CS3 and *voila!* all three images havethe color cast..

Weird, eh?!?.

Maybe the white balance is set too warm. In shade the Custom WB tend to be a little warm from my experience..

From RAW what temperature and tint your Custom WB has? It should not have more than 6000 K and a little magenta tint.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #8

Pietro Siciliano wrote:.

A few of you mentioned shooting in RAW, and I just wanted to mentionthat I do shoot in RAW all the time. Sorry for not having mentionedthat in my original post..

3. I manually set the camera's white balance using this plastic greycard I bought especially for digicams and set my camera to RAW.4. I take a test shot on white paper and set exposure to make sureI'm not getting any color casts. I then shoot my Gretag color chartand keep the image for adjusting color..

You shot in RAW. It makes no difference what you set white balance to. It's recorded with the image as a setting, but only the camera's own software will use it correctly. Every other RAW converter ( including Adobe ) will just try an approximate guess..

The 4th step should be useful - you should be able to get the tint and temperature required to correct white balance when you balance them and apply to the drawing photo..

However, are you sure the color * really * is not properly balanced ? It may be that the image on-screen looks wrong, but the image on-screen is scaled and may NOT be an accurate reproduction of the processed image. If you zoom in 100% does the color still look wrong ? .

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #9

I already answered, but let me say it again. You can easily take the cast out by using the eyedroppers in Curves, or desaturate..

I photograph (or scan) artwork for artists to apply to art shows and state arts grants. A color cast is no big deal. And it doesn't matter if you shoot RAW or JPEG. I once scanned a set of ten slides from a pencil artist. Each photograph was taken at different times on different film under different lighting conditions, and each had a different color cast, which I was able to neutralize and have the entire set match..

Pietro Siciliano wrote:.

Thanks once again for all your helpful suggestions to the photoproblem I'm experiencing..

Larry Bermanhttp://BermanGraphics.com..

Comment #10

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