Why Color-Correcting Your Digital Camera Makes Sense

Putting effort into something upfront often leads to better results at the end – like color-correcting your digital camera before you start shooting. While you can certainly make adjustments to your images by eye in post-production, taking a minute to capture an image of a SpyderCheckr first saves considerable time and effort in getting accurate color in your images during post production.

 

 

Every camera is different, and “sees” color differently, so relying on camera previews or JPEGs before post-production isn’t an accurate way to assess color. Digital cameras are essentially input devices whose sensors measure light and color, even at light levels so low where our eyes have difficulty discerning or detecting color. This digital information must also be able to fit into the color gamut (the working color spaces and range of colors available in output devices) found in a monitor, printer or other output device you are using. To ensure color accuracy and consistency, proper color management requires a base color standard from which variances can be aligned to. A photographic tool like SpyderCheckr or SpyderCheckr24 makes this easy.

 

B&W

 

Both tools facilitate harmonizing color between different cameras. They also offer neutral grayscale ramps that can be used for white balancing both in camera or post production. With use, color is more accurate and consistent within normal post-production workflows. SpyderCheckr’s calibration software analyzes the results of the reference photo with the chart and creates a correction which you can then apply in your workflow within Adobe Camera Raw®, Adobe Lightroom Classic® and Hasselblad Phocus® for automatic color correction.

 

 

SpyderCheckr offers 48 spectrally engineered color patches that include the standard 24 sRGB color space (available in SpyderCheckr24) plus additional color targets for more skin tones, medium saturated color and near-white tints and black tones, for a more dynamic color reference. Since color temperature and exposure can vary from shot to shot and scene to scene, you can use the large gray patch as an in-camera white balance tool. Creating custom corrections enables you to use them across multiple images, specific to your setting conditions, very rapidly. This is where the time you spent upfront reaps you benefits at the end!

 

Even though macro photography of flowers in your own garden is perhaps not the most demanding kind of photography, the results already show how quickly colors in the image can deviate from the original when using only one camera. The colour tone of the daisy photographed here was interpreted by modern full format system camera far too intensely and squeakily. The colors drifted too much into pink with a too high saturation. It takes a lot of effort and experience to adjust this color tone in the digital post-processing. Especially with greens and intensive shades of colour, the automatic systems of even the newest high-priced cameras reach their limits.

 

With the help of the Spyder Checkr 24, however, you can get straight to your goal without any detours. Simply take a reference shot, crop the photo in Lightroom and then carry out the white balance. Then load the cropped image into the Spyder Checkr software to create the PreSet and load it into Lightroom. With only a few clicks you can apply the settings afterwards to the image series. The colour of the daisy was immediately hit and, what many people do not know, by the metrological correction of the colours, the details are also a little better accentuated, a thing that can be an advantage for example if one photographs a bride in a white wedding dress. Afterwards, depending on one’s taste, one can, if necessary, change the colour of the picture, but the starting point should always be a picture with the correct colour.

 
 


The subject shot in the automatic mode of the camera


The image captured in RAW and corrected with the Spyder Checkr 24

 
 


Reference shot with the Spyder Checkr 24