X-Rite Tag

Because not all K's are created equal. OK?You all know about the Kelvin scale of colour temperature measurement - named after Lord Kelvin - that measures the relative redness, orangeness, yellowness, blueness, and  eventual whiteness of light and strings it out on a numerical scale. The scale starts at 1, which is the colour and intensity of a mechanic's fingernails and goes to 10,000 which is he whiteness of sunlight as you come off a three-day bender and someone throws the window blinds open. I suspect Kelvin also had a scale for the screams as well.Well, a lot of cameras skirt around this question by having automatic white balance programs in their software that measures the light, quantifies it on the Kelvin scale, and then gives you whatever the heck it wants to. If you include a dominant colour in your composition, it sometimes agrees with you and renders it accurately and sometimes argues the case by tipping the white balance over the other way to compensate for what it thinks is your error. If you are easily persuaded, you...

I have no idea how to colour manage my computer. Aside from wiping the screen with a rag dipped in coal oil and making sure the ants are shaken out of the keyboard, I just depend on the colorimeter module that I plug into a USB port to do it for me.Well, here's one from the X-Rite people that will do the same for you. it is a simple thing to use - load the software into your monitor, follow the prompts , set it to work on the screen in a  darkened room, and reap the rewards of simple calibration.At the very least it will pt your screen to the same colour every time it is operated - I recommend once every two months - and it is like sobering up on a fine morning....

I have just added the Silkypix 6 program to my system and decided to take the opportunity to test out the correlation between the Elinchrom studio flash, Fujifilm speed light, and the Fujifilm cameras. It is not that I mistrust or misunderstand what they do - but I am aware that flash tubes and soft box diffusers change with time, and that sometimes the white balance results can be off enough to make later processing a nuisance.Of course, like all RAW process programs, the Silkypix will allow a considerable degree of white balance change in the file - but the fewer changes needed, the faster the operation. Plus, if I wish to take advantage of the gorgeous jpeg images out of he Fujifilm X cameras, it is as well to be spot-on.Okay, Legless Lou is there to ensure that I am looking a a standard two-light portrait setup: Elinchrom 500 EL on the right with a standard reflector and a similar head feeding a giant Redwing softbox on the left. ( Note: we have one of these giant softboxes left...

Those of you old enough to have someone else's teeth in your mouth will recognise the heading image. McBeth Colour Checker. X-Rite Colour Checker. Piece of cardboard with standardised colour panels on the front. Everybody's got one and everybody can talk the same colour over the phone because they are all the same.Prop one up in the leading frame of your studio, wedding, or film shoot and then look at what you've got when you see it on the main computer screen at home. Curse, shout, or smile, as the occasion takes you, but in the end do whatever you need to do to get the output to equal the Colour Checker.The panels have been variously described as Caucasian or African skin, Foliage Green, Sky Blue, etc. About the only really definite statement you can make is that there is a cyan, yellow, and magenta and a pretty good blue, green, and red there. Plus a white to black progression. The nipple pink block in the middle is the colour that Canadians get when they mix all the remnant tins...

Ten o'clock at night. Remember that time. It is important for photographers - it was in the analog days and is even more so now that we use digital.10:00 PM is the dividing point between success and failure - between reputation and disgrace. In some cases it is the determining factor in life or death. Let me explain.If you are a wedding photographer or someone who covers social events like corporate balls, 10:00 PM is the point of time when you must either leave in a calm and professional manner, or stay and eventually help shovel the corpses into the truck. The booze will have been turned on at 6:00 and four hours is more than enough time to fuel the company. If you leave at 10:00 you avoid having to protect your gear from flying drunks and/or rescue your assistant from amorous embraces. You can drive home safely without going to sleep and ending upside-down in a ditch.And of course you remember the primary rule of event photographers - do not download your cards or try to do any...

In today's digital world simply taking a great image sometimes isn't enough.  Your workflow from capture to print is only as strong as it's weakest link.  Uncalibrated screens, incorrect colour temperature settings at capture,  print profiles and optics can easily turn a brilliant image into an image that...