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Varied Color results
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Apr 13, 2019 18:09:29   #
BigDJim
 
After photographing a color painting, the client looked over my shoulder as I "tweaked" colors and arrived at a finished product on my color-calibrated MacBook Pro. During the editing phase, the artwork was illuminated by an identical light source as used to photograph the painting and was positioned next to my computer. Upon completion, the client approved and was delighted with the finished product. To insure there would be no transmission problems, I presented her with a flash drive containing the photos of her painting.

Then she got home, downloaded the flash drive on her laptop to show to her husband or to send to the panel of judges in hopes of gaining entry in an art show and she wrote me to say that when our work was downloaded the color was off, the overall composition looked faded and in essence, suddenly, everything was unacceptable.

I honestly don't know how to control something like this when photos are edited on a MacPro, the client accepts the finished product and later reviews their artwork on what might be an aging or second-tier brand computer. If anyone has a suggestion, I would delight in hearing it, but as I see it, this is a no-win situation. Other artists are wanting me to do work with them photographing their artwork, as well, but I don't think I can satisfy any of them as far as getting the exacting colors they expect, especially in light of all of them probably reviewing my work on their home computers. Most of these people have never heard the words "color calibrated", leave alone having performed this procedure on their personal computers.

I would love hearing from anyone having experienced this same problem who might have a solution. In fact, I'd love hearing from anyone who has an idea, a system or procedure that might work. Thanks.

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Apr 13, 2019 18:15:26   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
You cannot control what other people's monitors look like or how they are set up.....
What looks good on one will probably look different on another.
(See all the TVs in a store and how different they look.)
I have dual monitors, they are different.
(For me, I just need to see what the print looks like and see which monitor comes closest and edit on that monitor. No, I'm not going the calibration route.)

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Apr 13, 2019 18:23:43   #
BlueMorel (a regular here)
 
To paraphrase Ben Franklin: You can please most of your clients some of the time, some of your clients all of the time, but you can't please all of your clients all of the time. You might want to put a disclaimer in your contract that specifies viewing on color-calibrated computers, or whatever else requirements a client's computer might need to get a correct view. Failing that, you could always give them a small print to compare, but unless they understand that different computer monitors can show different views, clients like this one will never find a photographer to suit.

Is this a local competition or an established one? A lot of the artists in our local little art association don't know the first thing about computers and wouldn't know color calibration from a color crayon. Frustrating when you want them to work in a digital world instead of the physical art they are used to.

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Apr 13, 2019 18:55:11   #
mas24 (a regular here)
 
Even in-camera processing has problems deciphering exact colors. My Sony 20 megapixels pocket camera, which shoots JPEG only, turns color purple to blue. And I saw on a previous post, where a uhh member said his 20 megapixels, Sony DSLT, couldn't decipher orange/red. I gave away two prints free, to the lady who complained about it. A purple dress turned blue. All in-camera processors and monitors, are not created equal. So, colors will not always come out as true. Unfortunately.

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Apr 13, 2019 18:59:35   #
BebuLamar (a regular here)
 
I think it's a difficult situation but something you should not give up and write it off as simply can't please the customer. Your success depends on delivering what the customers need and want.

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Apr 13, 2019 19:24:23   #
BlueMorel (a regular here)
 
How about you have her send the file back to you by email to you to prove your point? If it shows up fine on your computer again, then it's her computer. Or have her upload it to another friend's computer to see how it shows on a completely different computer (even if she has to upload it to a Walmart computer).

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Apr 13, 2019 19:35:39   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
BlueMorel wrote:
How about you have her send the file back to you by email to you to prove your point? If it shows up fine on your computer again, then it's her computer. Or have her upload it to another friend's computer to see how it shows on a completely different computer (even if she has to upload it to a Walmart computer).


I like the second so they might better understand the differences between monitors.

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Apr 13, 2019 22:11:58   #
rook2c4 (a regular here)
 
Ask her to directly compare other images files with the ones she received from you. If only the images from you look faded and the colors not right on her monitor, but other photographers' images look okay, then perhaps it is the calibration of your monitor that is the problem, not hers. Or she simply prefers more vividness and punchy contrast than what you are giving her.

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Apr 14, 2019 01:43:03   #
Wallen
 
First of all, even the same brand and set-up of computers, monitors, printers can show different colors depending or their setting and ambient light. So we can expect the same between different brands. Let them be clear on this knowledge.

As for the files;

Save a copy in PDF with print marks and "Color bars".
When viewing or printing, adjust the monitor or the printer to render the colorbars in their proper color.
It should take away the guess work of showing the image as it should to the limit of the the monitor or printers gamut.

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Apr 14, 2019 07:50:25   #
khorinek (a regular here)
 
I always worried about my image quality and would spend hours tweeking color, sharpness, etc. on my photos. Then one day a colleague saw me editing photos for tomorrows web edition for the paper and asked what I was doing. When I told him the color didnt look right he quickly informed me that not all monitors are created equal. One person may look at your photos with a MAC while another person may view them on a window PC or tablet or iphone or Android phone. At some point you have to trust that your images are good and go with it.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:06:36   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
khorinek wrote:
I always worried about my image quality and would spend hours tweeking color, sharpness, etc. on my photos. Then one day a colleague saw me editing photos for tomorrows web edition for the paper and asked what I was doing. When I told him the color didnt look right he quickly informed me that not all monitors are created equal. One person may look at your photos with a MAC while another person may view them on a window PC or tablet or iphone or Android phone. At some point you have to trust that your images are good and go with it.
I always worried about my image quality and would ... (show quote)

So true.
I put some images on my phone to have to show people.
MAN THOSE PUPPIES POP on the phone compared to my monitor!

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Apr 14, 2019 08:38:51   #
rdubreuil
 
BigDJim wrote:
After photographing a color painting, the client looked over my shoulder as I "tweaked" colors and arrived at a finished product on my color-calibrated MacBook Pro. During the editing phase, the artwork was illuminated by an identical light source as used to photograph the painting and was positioned next to my computer. Upon completion, the client approved and was delighted with the finished product. To insure there would be no transmission problems, I presented her with a flash drive containing the photos of her painting.

Then she got home, downloaded the flash drive on her laptop to show to her husband or to send to the panel of judges in hopes of gaining entry in an art show and she wrote me to say that when our work was downloaded the color was off, the overall composition looked faded and in essence, suddenly, everything was unacceptable.

I honestly don't know how to control something like this when photos are edited on a MacPro, the client accepts the finished product and later reviews their artwork on what might be an aging or second-tier brand computer. If anyone has a suggestion, I would delight in hearing it, but as I see it, this is a no-win situation. Other artists are wanting me to do work with them photographing their artwork, as well, but I don't think I can satisfy any of them as far as getting the exacting colors they expect, especially in light of all of them probably reviewing my work on their home computers. Most of these people have never heard the words "color calibrated", leave alone having performed this procedure on their personal computers.

I would love hearing from anyone having experienced this same problem who might have a solution. In fact, I'd love hearing from anyone who has an idea, a system or procedure that might work. Thanks.
After photographing a color painting, the client l... (show quote)


Hi BigDJim,

You could try to explain to your client the variation rests with her monitor, that you are running a calibrated system and as suggested have her check her images on other systems if available. What did you use for your calibration, let the client know if he/she wants to research it further for more detailed information about how it works.

For future projects such as this or any other reproduction work, or any work for that matter where you need to know for sure your colors are accurate, I would suggest you get your self an x-rite color checker passport with acompanying software so you can create profiles for the images to show that the colors are correct for both viewing on screen as well as print output and that they are repeatable. It's a fairly small investment that will pay for its self when trying to asure clients that things are accurate.


Good luck with this one and future projects, all the best and keep shooting....

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Apr 14, 2019 09:00:13   #
suntouched (a regular here)
 
I computerized a painting done by a friend. I photographed it outside in natural light (not sunlight) on an easel. We then tweaked the color tone, exposure, and color balance on a Mac laptop. It took some time to get it "exactly" right. Then I printed it from my computer and it looked really good. I gave her prints and then a thumb drive and uploaded her image to Fine Art America and it still looked really good. Now either I had beginners luck, or all the pieces fell together or ... When you look at artwork on Fine Art America there are a ton of paintings there digitalized. That leads me to believe that they aren't all perfect, they don't all look the same on every computer but somehow it works in the end.

Maybe the key is it has to look good on one reference computer- not possible to look good on all computers for the reasons stated by previous posts- and it has to look good in print from same computer. And it should be downloaded from the reference computer to media source. IF it looks good on the final media source then it's a go.

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Apr 14, 2019 09:09:37   #
Longshadow (a regular here)
 
...
...
Red is grey is yellow white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion.

-GE/MB
Late Lament

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Apr 14, 2019 09:32:30   #
boberic (a regular here)
 
Here is a thought, Why not show her how to use one of the free PP programs, such as Faststone. Then she willk be able to tweak the pics so as to adjust the colors herself. And as I am sure know color perception is diferrent for every person. Making a print for her so she can see the "correct" colors is a good idea.

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