Why You Need to Calibrate
What is colour management?
Within the photo and video fields, it is often difficult to get prints that match what you see on screen and even images that match what you originally captured on camera. The primary goal of colour management is, therefore, to achieve a good match across colour devices, e.g. colours should be accurate and appear the same on a monitor and the final print.
Why do I need to use colour management devices?
Simply put to make sure that the colours are right in your photographic or video shots and have colour consistency in your workflow. Calibrite colour management solutions are designed to help you take control of your colour workflow and improve colour accuracy throughout.
CAPTURE – EDIT – PRINT
Colour management starts with your first shot
From the very first shutter release, you can make sure you capture colours accurately, and the Calibrite ColorChecker chart range offers the right tool for every situation. Whether shooting indoors or outside, once you’ve got your shot and your desired light set up, place the ColorChecker chart in the frame for the first take. Then, when editing your series of shots, use the free ColorChecker Camera Calibration Software to create a colour profile of that first shot with the ColorChecker chart. This allows correct colour settings to be synchronised to all images in the series (provided the images are taken under exactly the same conditions and lighting). The software uses the colour patches of the ColorChecker chart to calculate a neutral and accurate colour profile that you can use in your editing software.
Depending on the size of the scene or subject, there is a colour chart for every photographic situation. Calibrite offers 11 different ColorChecker charts in various sizes to assist from macro to aerial photography.
What is the benefit of using a ColorChecker?
In the above image, you can see the comparison when using a ColorChecker chart. On the left side there is no colour correction, while on the right, colours have been corrected using a ColorChecker chart. This saves a lot of time during editing, allowing you to focus on enjoying your work.
Grey Balance Card
A grey balance card is specifically designed to help obtain consistent image exposure and/or colour in video production, film and photography. The neutral grey colour card’s uniform surface is spectrally neutral (reflecting equal amounts of red, blue and green) offering an accurate neutral balance at the start of each new photo session. Calibrite offers different-sized grey cards with different percentages of grey as well as a 3-step grey card, especially, for videographers. Calibrite also offer a specific white balance card.
The monitor is the heart of the colour workflow
If a monitor is not properly calibrated, you cannot trust what you see, as colours won’t match what you saw during your shoot, and prints will never quite match your monitor either. Did you know that your working space lighting conditions, bright colours in your peripheral view (e.g. wall colour, the colour of the desk) and the monitor viewing angle also influence how you perceive colours on-screen? So, it’s important to know that your monitor is set up correctly.
What does a calibration device do?
To achieve consistent screen colour, colourimeters such as the Calibrite ColorChecker calibration devices produce a colour profile that is saved to the monitor’s display settings. This ensures that your shots are displayed correctly, giving you the confidence to edit them accurately and avoid surprises when it comes to printing. Calibrite monitor calibration solutions are equipped with technically advanced filters and optical systems, fast measuring speeds and high colour accuracy. This gives you the certainty that what you see is what you get!
TIP: All monitors require regular calibration to measure ambient light, screen brightness and contrast to create an accurate colour profile. Monitor parameters shift over time due to being switched on and off, warming up and cooling down and laptops lose their original colours just by being carried around. That is why it’s important to recalibrate every 4-6 weeks.
From digital files to paper
Photographers can create custom colour profiles for their printers too, saving valuable time and avoiding wasted material due to too many unnecessary test prints. The Calibrite ColorChecker Studio is a spectrophotometer, which creates custom print colour profiles that are saved in the printer driver. It uses intelligent iterative profiling technology that ensures your output is always colour accurate, delivering precise smoothness, highlights, and shadow details. Simply remember to select the correct profile saved in the printer driver before printing. Custom print profiles should be created for different paper types (i.e glossy or matte) and for more accuracy for different paper weights.
A calibrated colour workflow avoids inconsistencies in colour reproduction between camera, scanner, monitor and printer output.
This article was originally published on Calibrite.com. See the article HERE.
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