Tag Archives: ColorChecker Passport

How to Get Perfect Color in Portrait & Landscape Photography

How to Get Perfect Color in Portrait & Landscape Photography
How to Get Perfect Color in Portrait & Landscape Photography

Photographer and X-Rite Coloratti Joe Brady talks about color in both landscape and portrait photography and easy it is to get great color with the ColorChecker Passport from X-Rite.

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Getting great color seems like an easy request, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it be great right out of the camera, or at the least easy to correct with a little bit of white balance adjustment?

Unfortunately that isn’t the case, but there is a solution. I’ve been a completely committed advocate of the ColorChecker Passport since the first time I used it many years ago.

DSC00490It’s small and easy to travel with and solves difficult color problems with a few mouse clicks. I bring one with me everywhere I go and that includes both in the studio and out in the field. Not only does it provide a perfect white balance reference for me, but I can also create custom camera profiles for different types of light so that my color snaps right into place.

I created the video below to show how and why to put the ColorChecker Passport to use in both the studio, outdoors when using fill flash and on location for landscape and nature photography. I can’t tell you how many hours of editing time that this simple set of color charts has saved me. Just take a shot of the ColorChecker Target under the same lighting conditions as your shoot and you have everything you need for the perfect color processing of Raw image files.

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To complete the story, the video also shows how to put the ColorChecker Passport to use in software so that you can see the entire process from capture to edit. I don’t mean for this to sound like a commercial, but if I didn’t think this was one of the greatest accessories that should be in every camera bag, I wouldn’t be writing this. Put one to use and you’ll be convinced – I promise!

Joe Brady is a photographer, educator, author, photo workshop leader and studio owner who has been teaching photography and photo editing for over twenty years. Joe is an X-Rite Coloratti, a member of Sony’s Artisans of Imaging program, a two-time author on Lynda.com and has contributed articles for the Kelby Media Lightroom Magazine App. As a producer and presenter, Joe delivers online educational webinars and videos for photo-industry companies including X-Rite, Sekonic, PocketWizard, Induro, Benro, Ilford and Sony with over 3 million views over the last three years.

Joe Brady

Joe Brady

A recipient of the Fuji Masterpiece Award, Joe is also speaker at many local and national venues and events and also teaches photography workshops around the country specializing in scenic and panoramic landscapes and environmental portrait photography.

Check out more of Joe’s tutorial videos here

 

Color Talk with Clay Cook

Color Talk with Clay Cook
Color Talk with Clay Cook

I had the great pleasure to spend time with Clay Cook at the recent International Photography Show in Vegas (WPPI). I was instantly struck with how young he is for such an accomplished photographer, as we sat down together for a Color Talk. Clay Cook has so much happening in his career and it’s not hard to see why he’s in such high demand. From commercial and editorial work, to high fashion shoots and Magazine covers, his style of photography is visually striking and dramatic.

© Clay Cook

© Clay Cook

His earlier years he spent designing album covers for bands and it wasn’t until December of 2010 that he received his first DSLR camera as a gift.  To use Clay’s own words,  “his love for photography blindsided him and began to snowball over everything in its path.”

“I began shooting all in sight, from people and animals to beautiful landscapes; I wanted to capture it all. I’ve been blessed to know many creative people from all walks of life and have learned to mold and shape my vision of photography through their inspiration. And, many late nights on YouTube.”  Though based in Louisville, KY, Clay is on the road much of the time and his work has brought him to every single state in the US.

I asked Clay what role color plays in his style of photography and he had this to say – “Color has always played a crucial role in my work especially in the fashion industry and I have become known for my color grading.  I’m a very manual color grader and will often tweak the colors in an image and then leave it for a few days before coming back to it to tweak it some more.  Color accuracy and consistency is so important especially when printing my work. Since most of the work that I do is editorial and ends up in a magazine, I have to have the proper equipment and processes in my workflow. Using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and i1 color management solution ensures that what I capture in my camera translates well from my camera to my monitor and to print. I always make sure that my monitor and laptop are properly calibrated so that what I’m looking at on the screen is what I can expect the finished print to look like and there are no surprises for me or the client.” 

Clay’s work has been published in USA Today, Modern Salon, American Salon, ProSales Magazine, First For Women Magazine, Kellogg Magazine, Louisville Magazine, The Courier Journal, TOPS Magazine, The Voice-Tribune, NFocus Magazine, MOUR Magazine, Louisville Bride, STORY Magazine and Dark Beauty Magazine and he works with NEXT Model Management, AMAX Talent, BMG Models, Sigal Models & Talent, Wings Model Management, COSMO Model & Talent Agency and Heyman Talent Agency.

© Clay Cook

© Clay Cook

 

© Clay Cook

© Clay Cook

 

Clay is an X-Rite Coloratti Pro and he writes for fStoppers. He is also the Director of Photography at Glass Label. Follow him on Facebook and check out his Blog.

Clay uses X-Rite Color Management solutions for color accuracy in his workflow.

 

 

 

 

 

Clay Cook Photography

© Clay Cook

X-Rite Photo @ NY Film Academy Tools of the Trade

X-Rite Photo @ NY Film Academy Tools of the Trade
X-Rite Photo @ NY Film Academy Tools of the Trade
New York Film Academy

New York Film Academy

X-Rite Photo recently participated in the B&H EDU Tools of the Trade event at the New York Film Academy in Downtown Manhattan. It was a great opportunity to meet all these creative young students who are studying a wide variety of photography and film disciplines. Many of them were familiar with camera profiling and monitor calibration and have learned about the importance of color management and printer profiling in their digital photography classes.

We demonstrated for the students how easy it is to calibrate their computer monitors and laptops using the X-Rite ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro so they can view and edit their images in accurate colors. We also showed them how to profile their mobile devices using the ColorTRUE APP. This was something new to many of them and it really grabbed their attention. In our on-the-go, photography-filled world, mobile devices have become one of the most important ways for displaying and sharing our images, but their color accuracy is not perfect. ColorTRUE is the super simple way for professional, amateur and student color perfectionists alike to get unrivaled color accuracy on their mobile devices.

New York Film Academy - NYC

New York Film Academy – NYC

Typically, tablets and phones will display images in the smallest color space like sRGB. This means an image that’s been processed in a much larger color space, like ProPhoto RGB or Adobe 98 doesn’t display all the colors accurately and images can looked washed out and less vibrant. For photography students who often show their image portfolios on their laptop or mobile devices, it’s really important to be able to profile their tablet and phone screens so the images look as good and as accurate as they do on their calibrated monitors and laptops.

Daniel Raposo - Winner of the i1Display Pro

Daniel Raposo – Winner of the i1Display Pro

 

 

There were plenty of smiles from the winners of our i1Display Pro and a ColorChecker Passport giveaways at the end of the day.

Winner of an i1Display Pro was NYFA Photography student Daniel Raposo.

Winner of a ColorChecker - Faculty member John Foster

Winner of a ColorChecker – Faculty member John Foster

 

 

 

 

 

NYFA Cinematography faculty member, John Foster was the winner of a ColorChecker Classic.

 

 

 

Tools of the Trade at NYFA

Tools of the Trade at NYFA

Why Color Manage?

Why Color Manage?
Why Color Manage?

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Given that you’re already on the X-Rite website, and that you may have come to this page through one of our social media channels around the world this question may already be answered. That said, many of the customers we speak to feel like they should be using color management tools, but they haven’t got it 100% clear as to what the main benefit they derive is.

‘So what?’ you say. ‘If I’m doing it, why does it matter whether I know what the key benefits are, so long as I have an accurate screen?’ In truth though, if we don’t fully buy into something, then it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll fully commit to doing it well and consistently – meaning we won’t actually get the best results.

So, now that we’ve justified the reason for the blog… phew, we can get on with answering the question.

We could probably summarise the answer to this question, with a quote from one of X-Rite’s Coloratti Masters, Adrian Weinbrecht:

“Would a concert pianist perform on a piano that wasn’t tuned?

Would a F1 racer race in a car that wasn’t tuned?

Would a serious photographer view a monitor that wasn’t calibrated?

Without Calibration how do you confidently know what you’re looking at? Calibration is tuning for your monitor. If you don’t calibrate you might as well shoot blindfolded. Good Calibration shows you exactly what you’ve got. It’s even critical with Black and White, as calibration isn’t just about color – it’s about all the tones from the lightest white to the darkest black.“

We genuinely couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

In talking with our customers, there are four key benefits which consistently come across.

Confidence

This is a big one, and it starts from when we take our first shot. A basic white balance in the camera gives us confidence that we have an accurate image to work from. Better still, capturing the ColorChecker Passport before shooting gives us even more control across a full range of color.

Once on screen, the ability to edit and adjust images, knowing that you are accurately seeing the slight adjustments you make, means you can feel free to edit (or not) as you feel.

Finally, when you hit the print button, knowing that the printed image will look like what you’re seeing on screen and the image you first shot is a great feeling.

More time to shoot

For most photographers, both professional and amateur, what they truly love is actually taking photographs; the creative process of composing and capturing a great shot. The editing process is also enjoyable, but only when it’s seamless and you’re getting the results you really want.

A quick, easy-to-use and color accurate workflow streamlines that editing process, enabling many photographers to get back to what they love doing: taking photographs!

Saving money!

Producing great photos, whether that’s the time to shoot and edit, or the costs involved in ink and paper to print your images, can be an expensive exercise.

If you earn money from your photography, then editing time wasted because you’re not looking at the right colors on screen is time lost. Clients won’t pay for that time, and you can’t be doing another job if you’re sitting in front of a computer.

If you send an image to print, whether at home or through a lab, and it doesn’t come back the way you want it, each print can be pretty expensive. Good color management prevents wasted time and repeated printing, saving ink and paper.

Consistency

When you’re putting your name to a photo, whether on screen or in print, the standards you set for that work come across. For many photographers, a color managed workflow is about ensuring that whether it’s a piece of work produced at the beginning of the month or the end, the quality of the final result is the same. The regular calibration of your workflow ensures that the ‘drift’ which our devices suffer from doesn’t impact our results.

Summary

By controlling the color in our workflow, we remove the variables. We allow ourselves to focus on the craft of our photography, and we give ourselves confidence. Why color manage? Because color management is like tuning for our workflow, and no one wants to be singing out of tune.

If you want to learn about how color management can help you get more from your photography, keep an eye out for our free webinars, delve into our extensive video archive, come and see us at an event or just get in