How can i match colors from the real world to my computer monitor. I have seen tons of post talking about matching colors from picture to picture, calibrating colors on my monitor, etc. But i haven't really seen a post that talks about how to make sure the product i'm photographing is what i'm seeing on my screen.
During the photo shoot, you need to take an exposure of a color calibration card (ColorChecker) and use it to create a camera color profile in your computer. X-Rite is a leading company in this field.
Check out this video for the process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn5VvB32wVI
Preferably, create one profile for each photo shoot, and not only a general "daylight" profile as they demonstrate.
This is the first step. The next step is to use a display calibrator to calibrate your display colors as well.
Third step is to calibrate a printer profile if needed, and X-Rite has tools for that as well.
Re: your other question about what could still cause variations in color. (@Cody Hint: just because one relatively new low rep member has a negative comment on a question is no reason to immediately delete it.)
The biggest issue is most likely the fluorescent lighting. There are two major considerations with most types of fluorescent lights in the context of color accuracy:
- Limited spectrum. They don't put out the full spectrum of light that is contained in sunlight or other fuller spectrum sources. All lights have a CRI or color rendering index. The higher the CRI number, the fuller spectrum the light is from a given type of bulb. A typical commercial grade fluorescent bulb has a CRI of about 50. Most other types of fluorescents range from about 65 to 75. Some tri-phosphor cool white fluorescent bulbs can reach as high as 89 CRI. A quality incandescent or halogen bulb can have a CRI of 100.
- Flicker. Fluorescent lights flicker with the frequency of the alternating current that powers them. In the U.S. this is usually 60Hz. Not only does the brightness fluctuate with the phase of the alternating current, but the color changes as well. At the peak of the cycle the color is brighter and bluer, and in the trough it is darker and a muddy brown. If your shutter time is shorter than one complete cycle of the lights' oscillation you'll get different color in each shot depending on exactly which portion of the oscillation the lights were in while the shutter was open. If shutter speeds shorter than approximately the camera's flash sync speed are used the color will even fluctuate from the top to the bottom of the image as the light changes during the time the slit between the first and second curtains travel across the sensor.
You can combat the flicker by insuring a shutter speed of about 1/100 second or slower (1/60 is even better). This of course, necessitates the use of a tripod or other stable camera mount to eliminate blur caused by camera movement. But you're still left with the relatively low CRI of most fluorescent lights unless you use high CRI fluorescent lights specifically made for photographic use.