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| p.1 #4 · questions regarding using the gretag color checker chart for image calibration |
It's a lot harder if you don't have access to the art afterward. You have to go by memory. The only way you could do it by the numbers, so to speak, would be to paint a profiling target with the same paints/pigments that were used in the painting, measure that on a spectrophotometer to get a data file, photograph that, then generate a new camera profile based on the pigments/lighting that you were actually using. Even then, it might not be perfect, but it would be close. But, it's also a hell of a lot of work for the return.
When I have pieces that I can't refer directly back to, I just have to go by feel, and see what the clients think. And then there was a project I did last year for the Wende Museum here in L.A. where I photographed 28 Russian paintings and made vinyl prints for an outdoor Artwalk L.A. presentation. When I "matched" the paintings as close as possible, they looked pretty dingy, so we all agreed to spice them up a bit, pretending that the new versions would be closer to that the art would have looked like after cleaning. Because the display was outdoors at night lit by street lighting, it didn't seem to hurt too much taking a little license.
A lot of what you're doing is influenced by the expectations of your client, I would assume.