“My colours are off, how can I fix it”?
Since I am asked this question quite often, I thought I share my little sweet secret: Xrite ColorChecker Passport.
There are many factors that influence the colour temperature in a picture, and with it the colour cast your subject will have. The sunlight changes at different times of the day, and with it it’s colour temperature. Different light types produce different colours, and the worst is a mix of different lights, a candle next to a fluorescent tube, warm next to cold.
Wouldn’t it be great to find a “neutral colour”? The built-in camera auto white-balance is looking exactly for that, 18% grey to be exact. However, where in sky, trees, or skin-tones can you find a reliable “neutral” colour? The answer is: you can’t really. So you need a little help. The CCPassport can help you find such a neutral grey, allowing you to “fix the colours” after the shoot in programs like Adobe Photoshop.
So what is it?
The CCPassport is a little case and unfolds a palette of fixed (and measured) colour swatches and grey panels. The important part here is the word “measured”. Regardless of the colours in a scene, I (and the software) know, what exact colour values each of these colour patches “should” have. Knowing what the colours should be and seeing what the camera has captured allows for precise and reliable correction. This of course allows also to correct for any colour-shifts your camera chip produces. Some cameras are a bit weak in the blues, others a bit too punchy in the reds. Now we can fix it, and the software that comes with the product allows for exactly that.
When use it?
I use the CCPassport in every shot I can. First, I get the overall exposure right, then take one picture with the CCP in the shot, and for the rest of the shoot I forget about technical issues, so I can offer my full attention to the subject in front of me.
Confused? Keep reading here: Colour is not equal colour!
To find out more about the CCPassport, visit www.xritephoto.com