How do you color balance two photos to 'match'

I've got two different color balance problems.

the first is where I have two photos that I want to match the lighting in each.

The second is where I have a 'control' and I want another photo or print to 'match' it.

Currently I'm having the second problem. A customer brought in an original painting for us to scan and make holiday cards from. But they also brought in a photo print from a local chain and they have asked me to match the color representation from that print.

It is duller, the blues are purple and it is over all darker. Personally, I think the photo is a horrible representation of the painting. BUT IT IS WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS. GRRRR.

I've scanned in both the photo and the original drawing. If I print the photo it matches the color of the scan. (but is the wrong crop size and can't be used for the card.)  How do I draw color out of that and get my original to 'match' other than just using my eyes? (which is about impossible for me today) I normally use 'sample/target balance' in corel PhotoPaint, but you can't do that between two layers OR between two files. This would be a great change to make in x7 or an update.

  • Hi Mike,
    For what it's worth, this is what I do.
    1. I accept that it's not going to be perfect -- unless you want to spend a
    few hundred hours on it.
    2. I prefer to use Curves in the Lab color mode. I also prefer the
    Straight style but most likely the RGB color mode in Curves style will work
    as well. I also like to have both images on the same layer.
    3. For each Curve (L, a, b), click on the source image. A marker appears
    on the Curve. Now click on the same spot on the target image. Again a
    marker appears on the curve. Now drag the target marker to the same height
    as the source marker. Use Delete to remove the source marker.
    4. Believe it or not, that's usually enough to satisfy the members of my
    Senior Citizen club.
    5. However, you can keep repeating this procedure for other spots on the
    For what I do, two or three such tries give an almost perfect match
    to the eye.
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