QPcard's QPcolorkit 1
Custom Color Profile Creation For All Digital Cameras
As more and more photographers
are going partially or even totally digital, we're all starting
to learn the elements that make for a great image. At first we're
all wrapped up in pixel count, lens sharpness, zoom range, and battery
life. After a few dozen ho-hum images it becomes painfully obvious that
a great color photograph is often more about contrast and color balance
than anything else.
Manual White Balance
There are any number of very elaborate and expensive ways to create a calibration file at the beginning of each session, the best conceived one being Kodak's brilliant calibration routine for the DCS Pro Back series of camera backs. Shoot a standard Macbeth ColorChecker, open the file in Kodak's Camera Manager software, create a calibration file and you're all set. There is nothing as simple and elegant as that available for non-Kodak cameras, but I recently learned that QPcard has released a very nice and inexpensive method to create a repeatable color correction profile.
The QPcolorkit 1
I have to say that I love this size, and I love the fact that the $150 kit includes five of them. Since I have a mini version of another color chart (that had no software with it) that set me back $80, it's sort of a bargain. (And QPcard sells replacement packs of five cards.) I have mounted one card to a like-sized piece of black cardboard, and I keep it wrapped in an old lens tissue sleeve. This card is always in my camera bag. I keep another one around the studio, where it sticks easily to tabletop product shots and is easily hand holdable by models.
Some Extra Steps Needed
Once you have the card accurately
outlined, it's simply a matter of clicking on "Create Profile."
You then name your profile and save it to a folder of your choice. Once
you create a profile the image on screen is converted by clicking "Convert
Image." The color conversion, once the profile is applied, is certainly
radical enough to a poorly balanced uncorrected image, but is it really
more accurate than just using "Auto" in Photoshop Levels or
clicking on a neutral gray patch?
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