Saturday, February 26, 2005

Latest photo toy: Gretag-Macbeth Color Checker Mini

The more and more serious I get about photography, the more I want accurate colors in my final images. Under any lighting conditions - and certainly under bad ones - it can be surprisingly difficult to adjust a photo for accurate color rendition.

That's where the Gretag-Macbeth Color Checker Mini comes in. It's a tiny-sized version of Gretag-Macbeth's industry-standard color checker chart that is used in practically every professional studio.

You photograph the color checker under the given lighting conditions and use that shot as a baseline. You can then adjust the color rendition/white balance against the color checker and apply those adjustments to your final images.

In this case I used it to accurately represent my white socks hanging all over my room (see previous post). Click on the pic to see a larger version.

The mini chart is a little too flimsy for comfort (that's a $60 piece of cardboard!) so I've used small binder clips to mount it to an Altoids lid. Works remarkably well.

ps - see all those white shirts hanging up in the background? That's from my second load of laundry that didn't get dry - I started it before I realized the socks weren't drying in the dryer. Grr...


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