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Medical Imaging: Best Practices for Digital Color Photography in Medicine

Mission statement:

Collect industry best practices in the field of digital photography and write a guidance document which can be used by the medical industry to minimize the color errors created during the digital color camera image capture process.


This guidance document will apply for a range of digital cameras (from cellphone cameras to scientific grade cameras) and lighting conditions. Recommendations will also be made for camera setup and color correction in post processing.


  • Introduction and background
  • Factors that can contribute to color errors
  • Recommended light conditions
  • Recommended camera setup
  • Use of reference color charts
  • Color correction in post-processing
  • Recommendations on color management
Note: Content should expand on or introduce new information to what is already available (e.g. ATA Practice Guidelines for Teledermatology 2007)

Document distribution:

  • ICC publication
  • Journal article
  • Collaboration with other organizations (e.g. American Telemedicine Association)


  • Yves Vander Haeghen, University of Ghent Hospital
  • Stein Olav Skrovseth, Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine
  • Elizabeth Krupinski, Arizona State University
  • Aldo Badano, FDA
  • Phil Green, ICC

Project coordinator: John Penczek NIST/Univ. of Colorado

Medical Imaging Working Group main page.


See the Medical Imaging Working Group main page for details of upcoming meetings.

Calibration examples

The image on the left is as shot. The image on the right has been calibrated to a D65 display white point as described in the guidelines.

Pigmented lesion. Over-exposed image, masking a lot of specular reflection. Calibration recovers this partly.

All images courtesy of University Hospital Ghent.