We propose an innovative method based on photography and image processing of interdisciplinary relevance, permitting the uncomplicated and inexpensive evaluation of material properties. This method—CaliPhoto—consists of using a dedicated colour plate with a specific design, placed in the field of view of a photograph of the material to be characterized. A specific image processing workflow is then applied to obtain colour vectors independent of illumination conditions. The method works using commercial colour cameras (e.g., smartphone cameras), and the colour plate can be printed on any colour printer. Herein, we describe the principle of the method and demonstrate that it can be used to describe and compare samples, identify materials or make relatively precise concentration measurements. The CaliPhoto method is highly complementary to any scientific research and may find applications across a range of domains, from planetary science to oceanography. The method may also be widely used in industry.
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