Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your Passport to Accurate Color

Hey Gang

I don't know about you, but I am a nut about color.

Sometimes I want and need accurate color, as when I was working with the scientists on my butterfly book, Flying Flowers - which I turned into an app called Butterfly Wonders.

At other times I want more vivid color, as when I am working on a travel photography piece that includes several sunset pictures.

Here is a link to an article I wrote on getting Knockout Color.

And here is a link to an article (much more technical than mine) on color management by my friend, the King of Color Management, Eddie Tapp.

For those times when accurate color is a must, I use the colorchecker Passport from x-rite. Here's how it works: You take a picture (RAW of course) of the 24-patch Passport, load the included camera calibration software CD on your computer, open your target image in the program, makes a few clicks of your mouse (or taps of your stylus) - and you are on your way to accurate color. Actually, you were on your way to accurate color before sitting down at your computer. :-)

Enjoy your journey and explorations into the world color. 

Explore the Light,

P.S. As long as I am talking about passports, when I travel internationally, I pack a copy of my passport in my checked bags and in my camera bag (s). That way, if I lose my passport, I have a backup I can take to an embassy. Also, if my bags are checked by airport security, the agents can ID me quickly.


Josh said...
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Troy Breidenbach said...

I personally like the color that looks best fore each picture I make. Sometimes, I want accurate color for skin tones or logos. Other times, with artistic prints for example, I like to play with the color until it suits my creative side :-)

Milles said...

P.S. As long as I am talking about passports, when I travel internationally, I pack a copy of my passport in my checked bags and in my camera bag (s).

When you say copy, do you mean photocopies or do you have other means of having a copy of your passport?

Kitty said...

I like accurate color most of the time but find it difficult to get the same color for each photo in a series. When tweaking the color in a batch change it doesn't always seem to work (at least to my eye). Is there a way to batch change a group of photos that might have different lighting affects? Outdoor photos are the most difficult for me.
I've noticed that you usually wear your glasses when you make pictures. I don't need distance glasses but can't see the back of my hand without my reading glasses.
Could you do a post on eyeglasses someday? it's one of those questions I don't think about until I'm trying to juggle the camera, flash, etc. and my glasses. Thanks!

Rob said...

Great idea about putting a copy of your passport in checked bags. I always carry 2 copies of my passport with me when traveling internationally: One paper copy and one PDF copy that's in my iPhone.

Gremlin666 said...

Hmmmmm.... well I am no expert. I try to be accurate when taking people pictures.... but I like vivid color when shooting buildings or tech stuff.

Same thing on my LCD TV... when I watch animation I set the tv to vivid... when I watch a drama I reset it to a more natural color

Paul Conrad said...

This time of year I find a lot of my outdoor pictures tend to be desaturated a bit, but in the summer I tend to boost the color. It is subject dependant though, when I shot the local Christmas festival I boosted the color anytime Santa was in the picture:)

Carolyn Fox said...

Just because you use this tool to get accurate colors doesn't mean you can't go back and alter the colors just like you normally would. I think we all differ when it comes to what hues & intensities we prefer. Having a tool that will match the colors in the scene, however, might just put us one step ahead in the process of creating the best pictures possible. As always, thanks for the info, Rick.