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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David Cardinal: Setting White Balance in Adobe Photoshop Elements using the SpyderCUBE
Oct 2013 22

As more and more photographers turn to Adobe Photoshop Elements for their image editing needs, it’s great to know that pro-quality tools like Datacolor’s SpyderCUBE can be used with it, as well as with its big brother Photoshop. Especially with the updates in Elements version 12, Elements is all that many photographers need to produce top quality work. The SpyderCUBE helps them make the most of their photo shoots by allowing accurate adjustment of white balance, as well as exposure and black level settings.

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David Cardinal: New Uses for the SpyderCUBE
Jan 2014 28

I’m continuing to find new uses for Datacolor’s innovative SpyderCUBE. Last month I wrote about how handy it was on my photo tour to Cambodia & Burma. This month I stashed it in a side pocket of my camera bag (I love how small it is) and brought it along to cover the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. I found plenty of uses for it, especially given the variety of lighting situations and the need to accurately portray the colors on many retail products to my readers.

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Hernan Rodriguez: Color Harmony – Perfecting Color and Contrast in Your Images
Feb 2014 17

Most often we might proceed with all the details of our shoot including lighting, location, models and props, but we often will just wing our color balance. I’ve been caught many times on location with a mix of different types of lights from overhead incandescent lights mixed with flash. I heavily rely on a simple color and exposure calibration system offered by Datacolor. This system will save you endless hours in post-production, by simply white balancing to the white and black target SpyderCUBE and the color SpyderCHECKR taken in a shot at the onset of your portrait session. The SpyderCUBE helps you to set the white balance, exposure and black level when editing pictures. The SpyderCHECKR will provide color correction for camera. It can be used to set the correct color temperature for your session.

For my commercial and celebrity sessions, I might be working with 2-3k images per session. Imagine the length of time required to process these images. With the Datacolor process, I can get them all done from the one target shot.


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For more information about Hernan’s Master Class at WPPI – The Influence of Color Harmony – Click Here

Lee Varis: Options In SpyderCube Workflow – Music Studio Shoot Part 1 of 2
Jun 2014 17

My favorite white balance tool is by far the SpyderCUBE from DataColor. This little tool is always in my camera bag, and I find it invaluable on set, not only as a simple white balance reference, but as a lighting ratio reference, as well as a black point reference. DataColor has envisioned this tool as a complete post processing control reference and has a set of instructions for its use on the SpyderBLOG. I will explain how I use the SpyderCUBE in my own workflow in the following article.

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Lee Varis: Options In SpyderCube Workflow – Music Studio Shoot Part 2 of 2
Jul 2014 02

Most of the time I was also shooting video and, after doing a custom white balance in-camera, I pretty much had to stick with one setting for everything and try to get a decent overall exposure within the frame. For the video, I used a slightly blue white balance card to cheat the white balance a little warmer – this is a common trick for video to prevent the footage from looking too cold. This also had a slight benefit for the high iso – my camera, a Cannon 5D mk II, has a tendency to go blue in the shadows at the highest ISO.

The SypderCube proved to be very helpful in rough calibrating the color shift in the shadows…

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