Colour Management Procedure for 2D works

Attached are instructions for colour managing the photography of 2 dimensional objects such as books, paintings and maps.

Colour Management Workflow for Photography of Works of Art V3.1

The instructions are written for those on a limited budget and although they assume you have a camera that will provide a RAW output, that you have an X-rite SG chart and Adobe Photoshop they can be adapted for other equipment.

Firstly, if you do not have an SG chart, and I know many people won’t, you can run the process using the cheaper X-rite 24 patch chart.Picture 002

If you do use a 24 patch chart you will need to use different pixel values for the six grey patches when setting the tone values in section 3. These should now be:

243, 201, 161, 121, 85, 52

If you do not have a camera that outputs RAW files, out put as large a jpeg file as possible and go straight to section 4. Try and get as correct as exposure as possible.

And finally, if you don’t have a copy of Adobe Photoshop you can carry out section 3 using the cheaper Photoshop Elements.

Please take note that these instructions use generic colour values and may not be the values of your chart, If you want more accurate information to work with you’ll need to measure your chart with a spectrophotometer and upload your data to Also the colour values used here are for Adobe RGB (1998). If you are using a different colour space such as sRGB IEC61966-2.1 or any other you will need different values.

If this means nothing to you don’t worry you can investigate  later, you should still get pretty reasonable results.

I hope this is helpful and any constructive feedback or comments are more than welcome.

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