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Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Skien, Norway

    Scanned oil painting; how can I tell what color/tint is "correct"/"best"...?

    It was difficult to deceide where to post this...

    I have come across some scanned oil paintings, and would like to print out one or to for private use.
    The resolutions are quite big, up to 32 MP. I belive they are scanned by proffessionals, but they are all very dark and "dull".

    I have no chance to tell if the colors are correctly represented. Old oil paintings probably look like this after 100-200 years of storage/display.

    I tried the easyest way to bring back the original colors by simply using "Auto levels" i PhotoShop, and I liked this "manipulated" version a lot more. I don't know anything about art, and I'm a very simple person in this matter, so I like colors that "pop out", even if it is a 230 year old painting like this. I would belive the orignal colors was more like the right version?

    I'm going to print it on canvas on my HP Z2100, and buy a nice, gold frame.

    The painting is "Fruit, Flowers and Dead Birds" by Wybrand Hendriks, about 1780, owned by The National Gallery, London.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Czech Republic

    hi, the original colours are much more likely as those on the lef-side sample (i think the preview on the gallery web site is quite accurate). and using auto levels on such types of images is wrong because you (neither does photoshop) never know what the aim was and a part of that aim usually is some kind of stylization. i get to see a lot of artistic photographs and they are rather dark and it is intentioanl - if i used auto levels or made some manual "corections" to the pictures i really wouldn't want to see author's reaction... but if you have it for private use and you like the version with more vivid colours and do not care about matching the original as closely as possible, just print what you like most...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Either way, I like your edited version much better. It would be nice to know if the painting had been cleaned or not.. if not, I think your version would be much closer to how it was when freshly painted.

    Are full size image files available at the National Gallery website? I looked around and could find any.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Skien, Norway

    How to see full sze images at the National Gallery website

    I couldn't find a way to download full size images either. Can't remember how/where I found the painting above.

    If you are a little patient, you can go to the artist page, choose an artist, zoom in max (use the elevator), view fullscreen, maximize window, click F11, click "print screen", paste this part into you image editor (i.e. PS...) and repeat several times...(16-20 parts if you use 1200x1920 screen resolution like me)) and then put the all parts into the same file... and carefully position. Reducing opacity on the part you are placing helps a lot.

    Flatten the image, and use autolevels..or spend and hour or two to try to get a better result...
    Save as JPG, 10-20% compression...and send it to me (arnstein AT bjone.no)

    This method, on the image above, will result in a apprx. 24 megapixel image, which can be printed on a aprx. 100x60 cm canvas, if you use 150 DPI (More than good enough, at least for me that use a HP Z2100, 44").

    If anyone else has a better way, please let me know.
    Last edited by ArnsteinB; 03-02-2011 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Typos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Jersey City, NJ (USA)

    The corrected version is a bit better. I would not use the auto levels however.
    I did color correction for a number of years for painting scans and wedding material etc.
    Auto levels never seems to do a great job..

    I could assist you in editing these if you like. If you can find a way to send me the files that is.
    Keep in mind, the other posts are right in the fact that we will never know how the artist's original piece looked.
    But I can surly make them beautiful none-the-less.

    I have an extensive print and graphics background, and if its not many pieces, dont worry about any charge.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    One of the simplest ways will be by identifying true black, and true white in the curves function. You'll see a major difference. Just make sure your telling PS the correct identifiers. If you choose something that's not truly white in real life or not truly black will mess the shot up.

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  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Taunton UK

    We're photographers and would always do a test shot of the painting that includes the Macbeth colour checker.

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