I want to take photos of a few surfaces (wood floors, bricks, etc.) then print them, matching the colors of the actual object (in whatever the lighting conditions are at the moment) as closely as I am able. (I'm building scale models of things.) I don't have any professional photography equipment, just an old point-and-shoot and I guess my phone. Fwiw, neither of my cameras provide raw image files.
I do have an accurately-enough calibrated monitor and printer. Currently both are set up to render AdobeRGB color data. I tested the printer by printing a variety of pantone color swatches and comparing them to physical paint samples of the same color. The paper I'm printing on is satisfactorily white and opaque, and the printer calibration covers the printer + paper.
But, I'm not sure how to capture the colors accurately with the camera. I'm also not sure how to identify and/or control the color space of the image the camera stores (unnecessary diagram, not worth inlining).
Now, I don't need super high accuracy, just... decently close.
What I am thinking of doing is:
- Print a small card with cyan, magenta, yellow, and black gradient strips, each fading to white.
- Place the gradient card in the shot.
- Set camera white balance to auto, I guess?
- Adjust camera settings to get histogram as wide as possible without clipping blacks or whites.
- Take picture.
- Then, in software, tweak the image until the gradients on the card are correct (according to the software, not the monitor + my eyes), making sure to work and save in the AdobeRGB space.
So my questions are:
- Will that work? It seems like it should, except:
- I feel like my step 6 somehow "cancels out" the ambient lighting conditions (like... since I'm taking a known color, exposing it to arbitrary lighting, then transforming the whole image back to that known color... I can't really explain why I think this it's just a gut feeling... and maybe it's what I want to do anyways since if I print that then view the printout in the same lighting conditions, then that gets reapplied? Although the white balance messes up the lighting anyways... I wish I could state this in a more sensical way :S ).
- Is there an easier way given equipment limitations?
- How is it normally done (if I had access to better cameras, color measuring thingies, etc.)?