Photoshop and Color Calibrated Card

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Uhler, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Uhler

    Uhler Guest

    Hi All,

    I saw a magazine article that showed a color calibration card and
    Photoshop plugin combination to help correct colour.

    The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and 18%
    grey. The idea was to include this card in one of your pictures, then
    the plugin could correct for the color for the entire set of pictures
    in that particular series.

    I've done many searches, but I can't find who makes it.

    Is this a good way of achieving good color? is there a better way of
    accomplishing the same thing?

    Thanks for your help!

    Regards,
    Chris.

    --
    Check me out: http://uhler.smugmug.com
     
    Uhler, Aug 16, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Uhler

    bob Guest

    Uhler wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I saw a magazine article that showed a color calibration card and
    > Photoshop plugin combination to help correct colour.
    >
    > The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and 18%
    > grey. The idea was to include this card in one of your pictures, then
    > the plugin could correct for the color for the entire set of pictures
    > in that particular series.
    >
    > I've done many searches, but I can't find who makes it.
    >
    > Is this a good way of achieving good color? is there a better way of
    > accomplishing the same thing?
    >
    > Thanks for your help!


    QP card

    from calumet photo.com, search for QP got:


    QP Card 101
    Pocket-sized and self-adhesive


    Index of Digital Image Capture

    Price
    $19.99
    Estimate Shipping
    Click for
    Stock Info
    QTY
    Catalog ItemNo: IM6810


    >
    > Regards,
    > Chris.
    >
    > --
    > Check me out: http://uhler.smugmug.com
    >
     
    bob, Aug 16, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Uhler

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >Uhler writes ...
    >
    >The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and 18%
    >grey. The idea was to include this card in one of your pictures, then
    >the plugin could correct for the color for the entire set of pictures
    >in that particular series.


    Basically all this is doing is setting the proper white balance. If
    you have a digital camera and are shooting RAW you can correct for this
    in the raw converter, or if you have a converted file (or film scan)
    you can use the eye dropper in Levels or Curves to click on the grey
    patch. Once you have the right setting you can apply that setting to
    other RAW images or you can save off the settings in Levels or Curves
    and apply them to a folder of images with an action and a batch
    process, assuming the color of the light is the same (typically this
    occurs when using studio flash and is harder to keep constant outdoors
    or with mixed light).

    >Is this a good way of achieving good color?


    It gives you the right white balance, which is the first step but not
    quite the same thing, ie, you can still have poor color even if the
    white balance is set right.

    >I've done many searches, but I can't find who makes it.


    If you have a digital camera you can set a custom white balance and use
    it easily. This is often the most accurate way of doing it. For a few
    bucks you can buy a simple Kodak Gray card at most camera stores, which
    has a 90% reflectance white side and an 18% reflectance neutral gray
    side.

    Then there's the Whi-Bal, which claims the gray card isn't precise
    enough and so offers even more control and precision for a few bucks
    more (g). http://www.rawworkflow.com/products/whibal/index.html to
    read up on it ... this may have been what you saw in the magazine
    article except it's not a plug-in. Not sure why they say you would
    need the plug-in since you can do it easily enough with the built-in
    Photoshop tools, so long as you have a neutral reference.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Aug 16, 2005
    #3
  4. Uhler

    piperut Guest

    Bill Hilton wrote:
    > >Uhler writes ...
    > >
    > >The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and 18%
    > >grey. The idea was to include this card in one of your pictures, then
    > >the plugin could correct for the color for the entire set of pictures
    > >in that particular series.

    >
    > Basically all this is doing is setting the proper white balance. If
    > you have a digital camera and are shooting RAW you can correct for this
    > in the raw converter, or if you have a converted file (or film scan)
    > you can use the eye dropper in Levels or Curves to click on the grey
    > patch. Once you have the right setting you can apply that setting to
    > other RAW images or you can save off the settings in Levels or Curves
    > and apply them to a folder of images with an action and a batch
    > process, assuming the color of the light is the same (typically this
    > occurs when using studio flash and is harder to keep constant outdoors
    > or with mixed light).
    >
    > >Is this a good way of achieving good color?

    >
    > It gives you the right white balance, which is the first step but not
    > quite the same thing, ie, you can still have poor color even if the
    > white balance is set right.
    >
    > >I've done many searches, but I can't find who makes it.

    >
    > If you have a digital camera you can set a custom white balance and use
    > it easily. This is often the most accurate way of doing it. For a few
    > bucks you can buy a simple Kodak Gray card at most camera stores, which
    > has a 90% reflectance white side and an 18% reflectance neutral gray
    > side.
    >
    > Then there's the Whi-Bal, which claims the gray card isn't precise
    > enough and so offers even more control and precision for a few bucks
    > more (g). http://www.rawworkflow.com/products/whibal/index.html to
    > read up on it ... this may have been what you saw in the magazine
    > article except it's not a plug-in. Not sure why they say you would
    > need the plug-in since you can do it easily enough with the built-in
    > Photoshop tools, so long as you have a neutral reference.
    >
    > Bill


    There is a bit of a problem with the above information.
    Kodak is no longer making the "Kodak Gray Card" with the white side, or
    at least that was what I was told when I went to buy one at Pictureline
    a month or so ago. They had a different brand that had instructions
    printed on the flip side from the grays side. It was less money then
    what they used to charge for the Kodak Gray Card.

    I took a can of flat white paint and painted the instruction side
    white.

    roland
     
    piperut, Aug 16, 2005
    #4
  5. Uhler

    Charles Guest

    On 16 Aug 2005 12:11:47 -0700, "piperut" <>
    wrote:

    (snip)
    >
    >There is a bit of a problem with the above information.
    >Kodak is no longer making the "Kodak Gray Card" with the white side, or
    >at least that was what I was told when I went to buy one at Pictureline
    >a month or so ago. They had a different brand that had instructions
    >printed on the flip side from the grays side. It was less money then
    >what they used to charge for the Kodak Gray Card.
    >
    >I took a can of flat white paint and painted the instruction side
    >white.
    >
    >roland



    I got one through amazon a while back, they may still have some lefi
    laying around.
     
    Charles, Aug 16, 2005
    #5
  6. Uhler

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > roland writes ...
    >
    >Kodak is no longer making the "Kodak Gray Card" with the white side


    Typically you use the gray side to meter and as a neutral reference in
    the shot, so leaving off the white side isn't a big deal ...
     
    Bill Hilton, Aug 16, 2005
    #6
  7. Uhler

    piperut Guest

    For digital the white side is becoming a big deal. You sometimes need
    to shoot something white to zero the white balance.
    This was actually during a photo class, and the instuctor was making a
    big deal out of having a white card for white balance.
    So I painted the instruction side of the thing white.

    The card did have the gray side, so that was not a problem. I guess
    Kodak stopped selling the Gray cards as part of their cost cutting
    moves.

    With AGFA also going out of business, Pictureline said they had to go
    to some other company to get Gray Cards, and the ones they could find
    were only Gray Cards with instructions on the other side. If I really
    wanted a white side, I could take something like flat white paint and
    paint it white.

    Amazon may still have some of the old Kodak onese left as they are not
    a high volume photo dealer.

    I didn't have the luxury of looking around for one, I needed it that
    day...

    roland
     
    piperut, Aug 16, 2005
    #7
  8. Uhler

    Frank ess Guest

    piperut wrote:
    > Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>> Uhler writes ...
    >>>
    >>> The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and
    >>> 18%
    >>> grey.


    <snip>

    >
    > There is a bit of a problem with the above information.
    > Kodak is no longer making the "Kodak Gray Card" with the white side,
    > or at least that was what I was told when I went to buy one at
    > Pictureline a month or so ago. They had a different brand that had
    > instructions printed on the flip side from the grays side. It was
    > less money then what they used to charge for the Kodak Gray Card.
    >
    > I took a can of flat white paint and painted the instruction side
    > white.
    >


    Within the past couple months I bought (in a nice plastic envelope)
    "KODAK Gray Cards...
    Includes One 4 x 5-inch Gray Card
    Two 8 x 10-inch Gray Cards
    Complete Instructions for use"
    by KODAK Books
    $14.95 USA
    ISBN 0-87985-754-4
    Silver Pixel Press
    The Tiffen Company, LLC
    90 Oser Avenue
    Hauppauge, NY 11788
    Fax: 631 273 2557
    www.tiffen.com

    Seems to me it was from Adorama.

    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Aug 16, 2005
    #8
  9. Uhler

    Frank ess Guest

    Frank ess wrote:
    > piperut wrote:
    >> Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>>> Uhler writes ...
    >>>>
    >>>> The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and
    >>>> 18%
    >>>> grey.

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    >>
    >> There is a bit of a problem with the above information.
    >> Kodak is no longer making the "Kodak Gray Card" with the white
    >> side,
    >> or at least that was what I was told when I went to buy one at
    >> Pictureline a month or so ago. They had a different brand that had
    >> instructions printed on the flip side from the grays side. It was
    >> less money then what they used to charge for the Kodak Gray Card.
    >>
    >> I took a can of flat white paint and painted the instruction side
    >> white.
    >>

    >
    > Within the past couple months I bought (in a nice plastic envelope)
    > "KODAK Gray Cards...
    > Includes One 4 x 5-inch Gray Card
    > Two 8 x 10-inch Gray Cards
    > Complete Instructions for use"
    > by KODAK Books
    > $14.95 USA
    > ISBN 0-87985-754-4
    > Silver Pixel Press
    > The Tiffen Company, LLC
    > 90 Oser Avenue
    > Hauppauge, NY 11788
    > Fax: 631 273 2557
    > www.tiffen.com
    >
    > Seems to me it was from Adorama.


    PS: the white sides are white.
     
    Frank ess, Aug 16, 2005
    #9
  10. Uhler

    Frank ess Guest

    Frank ess wrote:
    > Frank ess wrote:
    >> piperut wrote:
    >>> Bill Hilton wrote:
    >>>>> Uhler writes ...
    >>>>>
    >>>>> The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and
    >>>>> 18%
    >>>>> grey.

    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>>
    >>> There is a bit of a problem with the above information.
    >>> Kodak is no longer making the "Kodak Gray Card" with the white
    >>> side,
    >>> or at least that was what I was told when I went to buy one at
    >>> Pictureline a month or so ago. They had a different brand that
    >>> had
    >>> instructions printed on the flip side from the grays side. It was
    >>> less money then what they used to charge for the Kodak Gray Card.
    >>>
    >>> I took a can of flat white paint and painted the instruction side
    >>> white.
    >>>

    >>
    >> Within the past couple months I bought (in a nice plastic envelope)
    >> "KODAK Gray Cards...
    >> Includes One 4 x 5-inch Gray Card
    >> Two 8 x 10-inch Gray Cards
    >> Complete Instructions for use"
    >> by KODAK Books
    >> $14.95 USA
    >> ISBN 0-87985-754-4
    >> Silver Pixel Press
    >> The Tiffen Company, LLC
    >> 90 Oser Avenue
    >> Hauppauge, NY 11788
    >> Fax: 631 273 2557
    >> www.tiffen.com
    >>
    >> Seems to me it was from Adorama.

    >
    > PS: the white sides are white.


    PPS: It's at the bottom of page two, here:
    http://www.tiffen.com/spp3list.pdf
    and up top, here:
    http://www.adorama.com/KKGC.html
     
    Frank ess, Aug 16, 2005
    #10
  11. Uhler

    Colin D Guest

    Uhler wrote:
    >
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I saw a magazine article that showed a color calibration card and
    > Photoshop plugin combination to help correct colour.
    >
    > The color calibration card was three colours, black, white, and 18%
    > grey. The idea was to include this card in one of your pictures, then
    > the plugin could correct for the color for the entire set of pictures
    > in that particular series.
    >
    > I've done many searches, but I can't find who makes it.
    >
    > Is this a good way of achieving good color? is there a better way of
    > accomplishing the same thing?
    >

    I don't know of any PS plug-ins for color correction, PS has several
    ways of doing that built-in to the program itself.

    I think the idea of the black/gray/white card is for use with the Levels
    and/or Curves tool, both of which have three eye-dropper symbols,
    labelled 'set black point', 'set gray point' and 'set white point'.

    Most users seem to use only the gray point dropper, by choosing a spot
    in the image which should be neutral gray, like an included gray card
    and clicking with the gray dropper in that area. This has the effect of
    converting that color to neutral gray, and color-correcting the entire
    image accordingly, quick and easy - mostly. Note this dropper only
    alters color balance, not luminance levels.

    The black and white droppers act a bit differently. The idea with those
    is to click the white dropper on an area in the image that should be
    peak white, and the black dropper on an area that is to be total black.
    Each of these droppers then adjusts the image brightness to produce peak
    white or total black in the chosen areas, and modifying all the
    luminance levels in between. This effect is like dragging the pointers
    under the histogram to set black and white points without altering the
    image color balance.

    The idea behind the three-shade card then is to set not only the gray
    balance, but to set black and white points as well, especially in a
    low-contrast image that has no total black or peak white in the image.
    Using the card to set these points should ensure that the tonal range of
    the image is correct.

    Colin D.
     
    Colin D, Aug 16, 2005
    #11
  12. Uhler

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >roland writes ...
    >
    >For digital the white side is becoming a big deal. You sometimes
    >need to shoot something white to zero the white balance


    If you mean "to set the custom white balance" then try this experiment
    .... set the in-camera custom white balance with the white side and take
    a couple of shots, then set the custom white balance again using the
    gray side of the card and take a couple of shots. You'll see that it
    doesn't make a difference whether you use the white or gray sides to
    define custom white balance, so long as both are neutral. It's
    actually easier to make a neutral gray side than a neutral white side.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Aug 16, 2005
    #12
  13. Uhler

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > roland writes ...
    >
    >Pictureline said they had to go to some other company to get
    >Gray Cards, and the ones they could find were only Gray Cards
    >with instructions on the other side ...
    >Amazon may still have some of the old Kodak onese left as they
    >are not a high volume photo dealer.


    I don't know who "Pictureline" is but B&H Photovideo is definitely a
    "high volume photo dealer" and they are still stocking Kodak gray cards
    with the 90% reflectance white side, three cards for $15 ...
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=213276&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Aug 16, 2005
    #13
  14. Uhler

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Colin D. writes ...
    >
    >The idea behind the three-shade card then is to set not only the gray
    >balance, but to set black and white points as well, especially in a
    >low-contrast image that has no total black or peak white in the image.


    That's a good point Colin, a better answer than I gave about just
    setting the white balance with the gray card :) For anyone doing it
    this way (setting all three points) I'd suggest working in 16
    bit/channel mode since you may end up with some radical tonal shifts.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Aug 16, 2005
    #14
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