Photo & Video > Lighting > Conquering Crappy Light > Using A Color Checker

Using a Color Checker

 

Conquering Crappy Light

 

Lesson Info

Using a Color Checker

Now we talked a little bit about exposure earlier. Well, I was dragging the slider over here on the right. This guy right here was dragging artist a gram and we talked about the spikes and exposure there. Now we don't just have this okay down the bottom we have all of our color stuff to work with. You're going to notice on both sides of the color checker that we have this white through black spectrum this is just like the solid white eighteen percent gray and the black that you saw in the three piece gray card. So ignore the colors for a moment here, but what? I'm going to use them to turn on our clipping plane so basically you can come up here and you can click on this is gonna be zero the little triangles that's going to be two hundred twenty five or that's going to be complete black and complete white there's a keyboard shortcut really quick it's jay j turns us often this is col you're clipping warning just like you have the blinking, angry highlights in the back of your camera. So ...

if you go pure white, they yell at you this is going to do that for the low end blue and the high end white if you see a red or a blue, that means you lost data on one under the other and the reason we have a white through a black level here is watch what happens. I'm going to go ahead and adjust my exposure here. All the blue is one hundred percent black square lit up one hundred percent black. I'm gonna raise our exposure looking quickly that burned out that's what we're talking about, you can recover what you think is way under exposed a lot easier. Look at all this range before it actually clips on my d eight hundred. The dynamic range is ridiculous. Look at that there's almost five stops before eclipse, you can come back up here, I go to stops over and I start to clip on the high side. So if you're really shooting a shitty light and crappy conditions, you're gonna want to go ahead and under expose a little bit and rather push it back up, then over exposed because you have three stops less latitude there. So this is what that spectrum is for to kind of help you figure out if you're clipping on one into the other. It's a great reference tool for that and these clipping plans I leave on all the time in case I'm just like four in the morning trying to get a job and get out before the client gets to their computer in the morning. It's like, just not paying attention hoops that clip something like that will come in and keep me honest. And this is what you would have on in a situation where you're trying to see if the bride's dress is over exposure because you would be able to see it because it would show up from bread if you have that right hand top righthand triangle turned on it that would say this dresses over exposed or if the groom's tux, for example, what had no detail was too black, it would show up blue so it's telling you that you need to do something and exposure to adjust it to basic and compress that range so that you can bring in some detail back in the shadows or pull back those highlights. All right, so that's, how we would use that for clipping, I've already shown you how we would use the color check of the great card to get color balance. Now I need to show you how we would go ahead and we would fix it for clothes and things like that. Um, so what I'm gonna do is first let's actually go through the nuts and bolts of making you a color profile, so but by the peacock job in here, I did perfect, okay, so here we go, this is you'll notice a dmg file so here she has the great card, which is great there's a little gray car built into these that's neutral second get a colored balance, just the color temperature you going to see that's on lee? Does tim intent? So that's basically like not how it's interpreted the colors, but just how we're seeing them warm and cool that's what we've been working with other jails and everything this right here is going to give us the color profile, which is how our software actually interprets the data received from our camera for this file and you're going to do this by going in here in light room and we can make there so these are all the custom ones you're gonna notice normally you just get adobe standard camera, you're gonna get the color, the ones that came with your camera. This is from a software pack all these are from jobs and stuff, so I'm going to show you the standalone version that automatically feeds into light room. So that way, it's just universal will do it once, and we'll show you guys how to apply for camera raw bridge, whatever you know deal so there's a free app that comes your color check it's all the color check her passport alright it's telling me that I should not be doing color critical work on a tv so keep that in mind don't be editing color critical catalog photographs on a tv at seven twenty dp I I'm going to find this guy right here and I'm gonna go to show and find her and that's just going to basically give me my dmg files because we're gonna need to reference that yes, so if you ever have been trying to find a file because you want to like grab what you want yeah just right click finally connected as long you stick out of somewhere you didn't totally run away, we'll give you work through because I want you to really enjoy light room I think you'll get a kick out of it. Um so basically what the instructions are saying is give us the dmg we'll find the color checker and we'll make a profile okay, so here's our dmg file it has the color checker right there is front and center in the light that we're working in a dragon on their thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking again, this programme is external to any program, so it comes with it for free. So what else is standard line is what we do in this world? There is a way to do this within light room there's a light room plug in fur collar checker, but you don't need it because you can do this and it will automatically give you your profile is the only time I'm gonna make you guys what you're bouncing beach ball I sat here through lunch and watch the whole thing while it was importing earlier notice how it took that whole file the entire picture found the color checker matched the swatches, went to the cross hatching on the corner and gave us everything we needed and look up here nikon d eight hundred because the camera profiles that we work with now adobe standard is adobes best guess at what the colors would be interpreted for for every d eight hundred that's ever come off the line and we know that consisted not consistent, so this is going to give you a color profiles for your specific camera in that specific lights you can't get more accurate, we're gonna hit create color profile if you want to call this creative live orange shirt, I can't spell that that anymore coffee there he don't and it's going to save it into the camera profiles folder, so saving profile please wait let this go through you only really have to do this once per lighting condition for camera. This is also great too, because think about if you shooting event or your shooting multiple cameras you were talking about, you do that for weddings, I do that on jobs, I'll have a zoom and I'll have a wide and I'll just switch back and forth my system all kind of no I'm gonna jump in and get a tight shot throw it at me when I go home those colors have to match on both cameras even if they're different kinds of cameras like that one job was a five d mark three and then a nikon d eight hundred so doing this well give me the proper profile for everything what is this? Replace my adobe rgb color space than efforts done not the color space but the color profile so explain that one second so right here the color profile has been created successfully applications are using me to be restarted something over here by by light room. So great question when you're shooting the color space is kind of what you're going to see a ce faras what available colors are there what we're doing is kind of telling you how to interpret those available colors so if you shoot in adobe rgb like we recommended on day one, it'll give you access to all of the possible colors in that range and then this will go ahead and interpret those colors for you accurately so one is what can be seen and one is how their scene was more like a printer profile that would compare it to exactly so we're gonna put this guy back up develop module will give us a shot there were on adobe standard here I'm going to scroll down where's our creative live see it lauren shirt watch the orange shirt by the way based on just in case you miss is based on where he automatically saved if you restart light room it with this external program it shows up there but there is a free plug in where you would never need to close and open and late room he's just joined supplies to everybody so this is this is the way to do it in light room you can do it within light room like she said you could do it outside of light room like this and then they also have a free program where is it? The dmg profile manager I know oh I did see it before them it was in your book does not find it okay so there's a standalone one that lets you manage all these profiles if you're wondering where it lives and I wanted to leave some old ones is a free software let you do that now I want you to watch her orange shirt it's orange right right everyone agrees is orange it's not really an orange shirt notice that their skin tones don't change what was just saying is it was representing that color incorrectly so we saw it as an orange shirt neons oranges and reds are so hard for our eyes to discern orange red, orange, red, orange, red, orange, red so if I deliver this file to this client and be like, hey nice orange shirt they're going to like what orange shirt you know, so that's a problem so what makes you guys can see the difference between white balance because if we shift the white balance every colored she was the color temperature but this is a color profile saying that particular color red in this particular lighting situation of this particular camera was being incorrectly represented let's change it so let's zoom in on the color checker and seymour specifically I chose this one because this happens occasionally where we're seeing something entirely different than what the client gave me to photograph and what is really there so let's go down here to our camera calibration orange shirt what adobe is telling us is correct everything didn't shift suffused with just a few swatches dead namely blues and reds and purple see him there and reds and blues tend to be a little bit more sensitive so an example that I've used this for where it's made a huge difference is when you're shooting in the shade okay the drab overcast day when you change your white balance to say shoot in shade it warms everything up because in shade usually what's happening is you're getting a lot of blue from the sky because that's what's lighting your subject and open shade and so when it shifts it's un blue ing things more or less okay is warming them up so if somebody's wearing a blue shirt it's un blowing the shirt as well so in a really bright colored blue shirt you will see um when you apply a profile like this that it will completely change the color and this is another example so any colors also like a lot of colors that are near supersaturated meaning if you put your eye dropper over and it's close to a saturated color maxed out those are the ones that are sensitive as well yeah so this is a big difference I looked over and I was like one of our host has orange shirt on and I was like no, but is it red? Is it? I really can't tell anymore I'm beginning to think I'm a color blind photographer so ah good buddy went out of atlanta is a color blind photographer and he's phenomenal but this is a checker it's and ask you to ask your neighbor and professional photographers how many of you actually colorblind you be surprised so color critical work is all in the software and by the numbers when it comes down to it and then from there that we can creatively do whatever we want so I'm like I don't care what color shirt her is I want her to look orange I'm just gonna go here and be like all right, how was your faith thing there you go, nice tan, but great. And and of course, now that we just did this, you can synchronize and apply it to all the other images in that job, but that profile that we just created is always there so you can always reference it. The problem is you don't you don't wantto amuse something like you don't want a generic shade because things changed a lot of different variables, but like I said, if you photograph would like this for example, the same studio lights over and over again, you could create a profile of your studio lights to more accurately represent color. Um, I have that problem um a lot um, in my studio well, not anymore, but I used to when I had a studio in upstate new york, it was using less expensive lighting and they're not as color accurate and so the colors were everywhere and I was I mean, I didn't have to guess I could see that color she's wearing does not match what's in the back of my camera, and I've had people ask me that actually on workshop there's a dida tour this summer? Yeah, this spring and the girl had a purple dress and when people are looking at their files later on this it was purple and it looks blue it would be one of those situations it's the combination between their cameras and the flashes that we were using and the color of the dress okay so we have I'm going to show one more way to go ahead and now that we've got color profile squared away we know our shirts on the right collars we've got everything imported we have white balance things we've got a few minutes here so I want to show you one last tip before we take some questions and that is a really quick and easy way to work with mixed lighting conditions lindsay and photo shop is going to show us ways to multi process things basically process the same flower with different color temperatures and put it together so looks normal I want to show you like quick and dirty ways to do this in light room so I have this split image here I didn't know better I didn't think about it I got some shots I love where she didn't turn one way or the other maybe I said hey let me get a photo by the window and I was walking over and I saw great shots I turned and took the shot I love the image but my color balance is wrong you can basically go up here and any of the stuff that you can adjust in the basic slider down here can be adjusted up here in ingredient or a brush application so these are just like your editor tools that'll be globally so you're going to see how I can globally at my saturation on everything these air going to be more local so I am going to go ahead and make this warmer right here and watch what happens I'm gonna drag a grady in over from the side and I'm dragging warm light with it so I can warm this up and I can balance out the whole scene where here I have mixed light here I have one room full of warm light and if I think it's a little bright I could bring it down I can get my highlights back a little bit there and now I have this versus this and it took us about two seconds so this can be also be applied as a brush so if I want to take my brush here and warm it up pants on that side you want okay cool again she's testing me a nurse that can he do it? All right let's check it out so basically I holding down all remember that little secret secret shortcut that I showed you hold down walt allows you to just double tap and resets if you messed all this up and then lindsay's like oh man curveball and I don't want to have to go ahead and do all those you could just hold down ald and double click that resets everything and if he double click on any of the words that research just that one huh? So here's exposure everything all messed up well donald I used to use it drive me crazy if you just get one of those yeah because I'd be trying to send it back to zero and I couldn't get it and I go going over it and like no one needs to be zero then I go and five also million ways to skin it you could just click it hit zero and go so again photoshopped light room thank you adobe engineers awesome. Okay, so let's go ahead and reset everything here so the image is reset time to go back over here make new cool it down a little bit I like that better cass it's daylight beautiful all right and then look what happens then we can take the whole thing and shift the whole thing up and down so what we did is we basically just put a gel on half of our image and how we can go to our global adjustments and do it all independently we'll start with guest six three five eight six they ask do you prefer to apply creative presets such as a ceo et cetera during the import or important correct white balance first and then apply the present? Can you you gotta get me personally if I'm doing a creative preset if it's a job for me um like I'm shooting an editorial and it's meant to be created for myself um it doesn't really matter um I usually will do it right away if I know where I'm going to go if I already know it's going to be high contrast black and white because when I am going to my editing process ice like different photos if it's in high contrast black and white, then if it's in color sometimes for a client job I'll also import it with those presets if I'm trying to get them in the same vision so like, if I'm shooting tethered, I want them to understand like, okay, yeah, I know you like this file, but it's not it's not gonna look like that this is what's going to look like and sometimes not visual people, so they have to see it. Um so in those instances, I would, but when I'm just doing something like creative tweaking later on, like part of my creativity is once I see in front of me and I start messing with it that I wouldn't do it on import its if I already know where I'm going for me personally, yeah, I don't use a whole ton of creative process and stuff, so I'm very much kind of get it dialed in you noticed I have a user preset for standard adjustments so those are basically my white balance contrast adjustments and things all come in and get a very neutral image and then, like she said it's more like reactionary inspiration to be like, oh, man, I should go this direction with it so yeah, I'm bringing him in clean first cool, awesome, more of a general light room question, but I think a lot of people out there had this question pro photographer is back in black what is the best way to use light room on two computers? How do you best update files? Yeah, okay, so you're not really updating the files remember, we're just referenced in them and they can live off line so I can pull up another catalog here really quickly and I can show you that I have a drove bo back at home that's not connected so I can still do some work to it and light room five you can actually make smart previews where you can edit images that aren't even attached your computer so see how my drove all five d down there doesn't exist that's basically is going to question marks by everything it's like, oh my goodness where all these photos and letters in foreign five I could be working on those photos when I go home and synchronized plug my laptop in it will go ahead update that or if I want to export it'll find the raw apply everything that I did on the road and the next port also you can try putting your catalog instead of having it live on this computer put it on a hard drive that can be plugged in between or I like to use the service like dropbox air now copy and that catalog can live there so it's being cloud sink to all my computers and I when I log into any computer I just logged into my dropbox there's my catalogue and then if I have the files great if not I could do some edits and little update when I plug in again that's what I do I have um hard drive which it also has a backup don't worry but I have a hard drive that has my catalogs on it because what it's looking for so that you don't get the question marks and you guys have had that when things get unlinked is it's looking for where things are relative to the just drive and so I can move it to any computer and it won't matter because everything relative to start this drive is external to it so it'll see what as long as that other drivers plugged in it we'll see it so the relative being relative to this computer it will always be on this drive and those will always be on other drives if that makes sense because otherwise if I'm moving it around on my computer or someplace else, that movement is what gets it confused. It will always be here so that it's basically roots. If anybody has ever designed a website as that same thing, if you put in the wrong room and then it doesn't connect and you get the question marks, you can see the page is the same thing. Did you just nerd out e? All right, all right. Uh, tom fotos wondering how can we set color profiles for two different cameras used in a shoot? I just made this mistake and the colors were not consistent. Yeah, so I'm just like we did there. Oh, yeah, great. Okay, so one of the things you can do, first of all, you could shoot you can shoot the color the color checker with both of the cameras, right? Save them as different profile so they have a different name. And in late room, if you go to the metadata section, you can actually search by camera and that's what I'm bringing up here. So what I could do is, like anything shot with the d a hundred cause what would a lot of wedding photographers will do if there's multiple shooters is they'll synchronize the cameras so that when they are ingested together they line up time wise but then how would you decide which cameras which to apply which profile so you can actually go ahead and separate it back out by using this metadata apply the profile to that and then just view it normally again and together take that a step further I have to date hundreds that we were shooting with so I can go d eight hundred here and then serial number you'll see one of them didn't really get a lot of use this week and the other one was the workhorse but if I have a multi shooter event you know and we both have the same camera you khun dubai camera and then by serial number because remember these color profiles are for a specific hammer not a make of camera exactly so awesome actually, nicole asks if you create a color color profile where does it go for using bridge adobe roth photo shop so much find it well okay, so I wouldn't he could find it specifically I'm going to generically answer this is it's not that it doesn't matter to you, but it doesn't quite because it's it's being referenced in the same place by all of them so is that well because I have the same question so so does it live in the ex mp file but then when you exported as a j peg or a devoted job tiff does it follow itself into there because I know like you know I will typically work in camera raw then I'm going to export in the photoshopped a little more heavy lifting and then like, if I'm having it printed I get a specific printer that has a specific profile that they want me to use I convert the profile to that before I converted to j paige and send it off to france okay, I would have a little caveat with this because it actually depends on how it depends on how you have everything set up all right? Because I could actually I could actually have them separate or have them together. Um so okay, so you can give your answer but it's basically for example, in light room I could have things and ex mp file or I can have a package together dan ji so you could actually separate the two? Uh, yeah, generally you're doing your editing here and your exported in some kind of format for delivery or for prints. So when it leaves light room it's baking into whatever making whatever settings you have. So if I fix the color profile in there by assigning rather than adobe standard the red dress or orange dress profile than export as a tiff to go to my re toucher he's going to get the file looks red it bakes it in when it becomes anything other than a raw file regardless of how if it was packages a dandy or a xanax and defile it bakes it in at that point until then it's just reference and they give you clarified that because that's not what I thought the question I thought literally met where's the profile saved oh and to answer that one you can use the profile senator software and it'll tell you where everything is what it's all for and basically there's universal adobe folders you know applications report folders and it lives in there that's what I was thinking they're asking but I don't think that's what mess you got both thank you have a nickel you've got it all and ashley nicole who asked the question also said p s I do want light room after watching you but I still do not get it what should I d'oh I can answer that for you actually got a creative lighting dot com forward slash courses and search for later and we've had we have so many courses on how to use light room I've personally watched them multiple times and they're really, really really helpful toe kind of learn this uh from a holistic sandpoint absolutely ok next question is from robert and asking how can you can you delete or remove a color profile career it created with the color checker yes that's what the software for is right here it's free companion software you can literally go into your computer's like like, uh, application support folders and stuff. I don't recommend rooting around in there, though, because if you delete the wrong file, you kind of ruin your application or khun crash your operating system. But this is color shocker. Profile manager. That I'm in now is free software that comes when you get the color checker. Listen, you download link, and this is where you would go through and select the ones you don't need it. Andi, I'm messy here, like there's, old clients and stuff that I should probably clean up. So you have to do that before I came on the air.

Class Description

Photographers constantly search to capture that decisive moment. Unfortunately that moment seldom happens under ideal photographic conditions. In this class you'll learn how to quickly overcome all of the most common crappy lighting scenarios. With the aid of these simple techniques and minimal equipment, you'll be empowered to walk into any setting and emerge with beautiful imagery.