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Why and How to Use a Color Chart?


On this video, photographer Jay P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens take a look at working with a color chart – why you should consider doing this and how to make it useful for your workflow.

A color chart can be used as a calibration tool which can really helps speed up the editing process of your pictures. The process is quite simple. A color chart typically includes white or 50% grey which allows you to do a whiter balance like a simple grey card however it also allows you to do better color specific calibration as Morgan shows in the video (he uses the Datacolor SpyderCheckr SCK100).

Basically there are a lot of things that can effect the colors in your image even if you made sure that the lighting is in specific color temperature so you will need to get a color chart in the first shot – just make sure that each time you change the color temperature you take a photo with the chart.

Doing this as part of your post process workflow is one option although Morgan do this on set when shooting tethered shooting. He works with Lihgtroom and plays with the color picker  and the different colors than he goes to the main tool – photo>edit in>SpyderCheckr editing (do this after you crop just the color checker out of your image). You can make a preset for all of your images.

Morgan goes over the different options in the preset and demonstrates how you apply the preset to his images (you can of course apply this to many images at once which can really save you time).

Bonus video: How to use the Xrite ColorChecker Passport Video – for calibrating color in video

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You can find lot more lighting tutorials on our photography lighting section here on LensVid, and you can find all of Jay P. Morgan’s videos here on LensVid on the following link.

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