Zenfolio Interview with Datacolor’s David Tobie
Nov 2012 29

Datacolor Global Product Technology Manager C. David Tobie was interviewed by the Zenfolio Blog team recently, on the topic of color management, as it affects their customers. This has mostly to do with the concepts of display calibration, ambient light control, and creating and using printer profiles. Here’s an excerpt:

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David Saffir: Tips For Portrait Photography Part 3: Color Management
Dec 2012 18

It may seem that the testing, adjustments, and color correction described in this article are challenging and time consuming. Certainly, a bit of practice is needed to master these skills. You’ll find that once these techniques are in place, you’ll produce images that have far better depth and detail, and more accurate color – and in the end, you’ll spend far less time in post-production. That means more time behind the camera, making great images!

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David Cardinal: Taming Color in Your Slideshows
Apr 2013 02

As photographers, more and more of our images never make it to paper. They are seen online, often in a slideshow. Of course, slideshows have gotten a lot more complex than dropping some of our “as shot” slides in a carousel. With that complexity comes a host of new problems – first and foremost among them the accurate reproduction of color in a variety of challenging situations. Most projectors and HDTVs don’t do a great job of truly representing the color in our images to begin with, so they need all the help they can get from us.

As with most of color management, there isn’t any simple way to ensure that your images are seen the way they are supposed to look on every possible device, but with the right tools and some careful planning, you can greatly increase your likelihood of success.

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C. David Tobie: The SpyderCheckr and Video Camera Calibration
Apr 2013 04

SpyderCHECKR produces color correction presets for Lightroom, ACR, and Phocus. These presets are typically applied to still images processed in these applications. Now that Lightroom 4 can catalog, clip, and even make basic adjustments to your video, the question of using SpyderCHECKR Lightroom Presets to correct color for your video cameras arises. This possibility is particularly interesting when it comes to adjusting video capture from different types of cameras, such as GoPro cameras and DSLRs, or different types of DSLRs, to match their color as closely as possible.

The answer is: yes, it is possible to apply an existing SpyderCHECKR preset, from a still image shot with your camera, to video shot with the same camera. However, since that preset was most likely shot in RAW, and certainly as a still image, its best to start from scratch, and shoot the SpyderCHECKR target in a video clip, to capture the actual video workflow for color correction.

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David Saffir: Using the SpyderCube with Histograms
Aug 2013 06

Remember the “old-style”, ordinary middle-gray card, the one so often used to help set exposure? As time went on, and digital photography came into its own, that same gray card was sometimes used to set in-camera white balance, or in post-production to neutralize color-cast effects produced by in-scene illuminants.

The problem is that many gray cards look gray, but the reflected light from the card may be affected by materials used its construction. These materials are considered to be “spectrally-biased”, in other words, they may reflect a color-cast from the illuminant in use.

If one uses a different material, one that is “spectrally-neutral”, it will return a result (reflected light) that is accurate regardless of lighting used. The material will have a neutral appearance, with little or no color-cast. The SpyderCUBE, which is discussed below, is constructed of these materials. That is what makes it so useful in setting in-camera white balance, and in neutralizing overall color in post-production.

Here’s a demonstration using an ordinary gray card purchased at my local camera shop….

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Top Reasons Why You Should Consider Calibrating Your Display
Aug 2013 13

Photographers, videographers and designers can work confidently on a properly color calibrated screen and can assert greater control over the color fidelity of their digital process. Images can be reliably assessed and adjusted on a properly calibrated display, enabling true-to-life reproduction of image files.

Displays are normally set at the factory for a brightly lit office environment, more for word processing than image editing. This “fresh from the box” condition can be very frustrating. First, you have very little chance of seeing the correct color. Second, the brightness and contrast settings kill shadow and highlight detail, and often flatten out mid-tone transitions.

Calibrating your display will bring the performance of the device in line with requirements for photography, giving you rich but not over-saturated color, accurate neutral grays, good mid-tones, and realistic shadows and highlights.

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C. David Tobie: Atomos Spyder Support, and What It Means for You
Sep 2013 24

Last week a company named Atomos announced a bundle that includes an Atomos Video Field Recorder/Display with a Datacolor Spyder, plus custom software and a special cable. Its a clever solution that allows these small, camera-mounted video displays to be color calibrated, so that they can be trusted for more than just seeing where the camera is pointing.

To appreciate the value of this, its important to understand how calibration differs between computer-driven displays and video displays (be they small field displays, or big, expensive video reference displays). With a computer, there is a standard end-to-end solution available. The screen can be read from a Spyder connected to the same computer that the display is connected do, and the resulting calibration can be downloaded to the video card that drives the display.

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C. David Tobie: The Simplest Trick in Display Calibration
Oct 2013 01

Display calibration can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. But either way, there is one consideration that is key to getting a good display-to-print match; and many users are still not getting it right. So it’s worth reconsidering your display calibration settings, if your prints still don’t match your screen.

Displays have changed over the years. Standard calibration and use of a color managed imaging application can take care of the issues created by the new wider gamut of many displays. And higher bit-depth may provide increased smoothness, but it should not cause any new color matching issues. The feature of newer displays that consistently causes the most problems is their increased brightness.

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Video: Taming The Red By Jo Avila
Dec 2013 26

Watch as Datacolor Friend With Vision Jo Avilla walks you through an action figure photoshoot and post production color correction using the SpyderCHCKR.

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