Art, oil painting, Painting, Still Life

Camera Color Problem

It was a gorgeous weekend and I enjoyed a walk through Old Town Portland with my sketchbook. You can see a couple of my sketches at my other blog – HERE.

This painting has been on my easel for weeks and I’m frankly bored with it. I’m posting it because of a problem I’ve noticed with my camera that I wonder if anyone can help me with. My camera will not photograph turquoise. It comes out blue. The top photo was taken in RAW mode and then the green was pumped up as far as it would go. It reads pretty close to what the actual background is but it greyed out that bottom. The bottom photo is more representative of what the bottom half of the painting really looks like. I wonder if anyone who wanders by here has had, and hopefully solved, a similar problem. My camera, btw, is a Canon Powershot G9. It takes great photos except for this problem.



These are also different states of the painting, btw.

2 thoughts on “Camera Color Problem”

  1. Hi Bill,

    I ran across your blog during a Google image search for Plein Air paintings. Nice work! In order to fix your camera problem, you need to manually set the white balance when you take the picture rather than using the camera’s on-board automatic settings. I have a Canon SD630 and have had this problem before. Now I ALWAYS use the manual white balance setting when photographing my paintings in a studio setting.

    The easiest way to get the white balance calibrated is to get a white sheet of paper and set it in front of your painting, so that the light hitting the white sheet of paper is close to the quality of light hitting the actual painting. It looks like your camera has an auto white balance mode, plus seven pre-sets, and two custom white balance modes. You probably have to put the camera in manual mode in order to select a white balance setting different from auto. Then, navigate to one of the custom white balance modes and it should tell you on the screen how to set the white balance–probably by hitting the shutter button while you’re in “set” mode. Just aim the camera at the white sheet of paper that’s in front of your canvas, making sure that mostly white is in the frame, and then set the white balance. When you take the sheet of paper away and take a picture of your painting, it should look closer to the real thing.

    Hope this helps.



  2. Rachel, Thanks for the advice. I believe I did try to set the white balance but it’s worth another try.


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