Tag Archives: X-Rite

Mastering the Creative Workflow

Masterclass

We recently held the Mastering the Creative Workflow masterclass at Pinewood Studios to offer professional and budding photographers and filmmakers the ultimate creative experience. The one day event was hosted by professional photographer and BenQ Ambassador, Adrian Weinbrecht, and professional filmmaker and X-Rite Coloratti, Ollie Kenchington.

The event was sponsored by Calumet and run in partnership with X-Rite, BenQ, Rogue Photographic Design and Rotolight. It gave visitors an insight into how creative professionals make use of colour management solutions and professional lighting tools for their everyday projects.

The workshop was delivered to a mixture of professionals, amateurs, hobbyists; some visitors were looking to advance their already extensive knowledge, whilst others sought to learn the basics of photography and filmmaking.

The day consisted of four sessions:

‘Small Kit Big Results’

Adrian showed that in a photoshoot, it’s not all about the size of your lights that matter, you also need to consider where you position them. Adrian demonstrated that moving a light just a few degrees or inches can make or break an image.

Workshop 1

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‘Everything is Colour’

In this session, Adrian discussed the psychological impact colour has on an image; “you have to have 100% confidence in each colour, because in the commercial world, consistency is everything.” Adrian also mentioned the importance of using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo when shooting in order to create an optimal colour reference and white balance target.

Colour separates your subject from the background. Colour reinforces the message that you set by your light; your light reveals the form of the subject and sets the mood which is then reinforced by colour,” Adrian told the audience.

Workshop 2

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‘Shooting and Lighting your Model’

This session covered how to set your key, backlight and eyesight, how to position your model and the camera techniques to use when shooting. In this insightful session, Ollie also covered framing choices and setting your exposure and custom white balancing.

Workshop 3

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 ‘Grading and Matching Cameras in Resolve’

Ollie discussed primary adjustments, perfecting contrast, drawing in your audience and re-framing in post.

Workshop 4

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As both experts are brand ambassadors; Adrian an X-Rite Coloratti and brand ambassador for BenQ and Rotolight and Ollie an X-Rite Coloratti, both were able to highlight the key products to use for optimal results during the photographic and filmmaking process.

From his professional experience, Ollie drew on the importance of light placement and setting the background, stating “calibration and colour management starts before we hit record.”

During his sessions, Ollie also demonstrated how to use the Rotolight NEO to provide a backlight during shooting. He showed how to use the X-Rite colour management solutions to achieve perfect exposure and reduce the time spent editing in post-production.

Ollie told the crowd “We’re trying to create the illusion of depth, because the whole purpose is to create something that draws our audience in, and makes them feel like they’re participating in this narrative.”

All attendees received a £40 discount of all X-Rite, BenQ, Rotolight or Rogue Photographic Design products purchased on the day.

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Three of our key vendors win Photography News Awards!

Congratulations to BenQ, ExpoImaging and X-Rite for winning Photography News 2016 awards. The awards ceremony took place at The Photography Show last month.

The products and categories are as follows:

BenQ PV270 – Best Monitor

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Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with Jason Lee and Fanny Wang from BenQ

PV270_AwardThe BenQ PV270 is a 27” monitor that meets the demanding needs of photographers that edit both stills and video. Uncompromising colour performance and powerful calibration tools make the PV270 the ideal monitor for professionals that require reliable colour throughout their workflow.

The BenQ PV270 is the epitome of ‘Still meeting motion’, giving professional photographers the best of both worlds. The Adobe RGB coverage encompasses most of the colours producible for photography, whereas the Rec. 709 coverage and the DCI-P3 colour gamut is crucial for video post-production work.

The monitor is priced at just £849.60 incl. VAT.

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Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System – Best Studio /Lighting Accessory

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Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with John Baker from ExpoImaging

XL Pro Lighting System_awardThe Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System contains the largest FlashBender, creating a much larger light source whilst still being portable enough to take anywhere. The FlashBender 2 XL Pro is quick and easy to set up and can be folded flat for storage or transportation. It has its own travel bag and is sized to fit in a 15” laptop compartment or laid flat in a gear bag so it doesn’t take up any valuable space needed for lenses or other essential equipment.

The XL Pro is designed to fit most standard sized flash models from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Nissin, and is priced at just £89.95 incl. VAT.

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X-Rite ColorMunki Display – Best Colour Management Device

X-Rite Liz Quinlisk n Matt Chilton Xrite

Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with Liz Quinlisk and Matt Chilton from X-Rite

ColorMunkiDisplay_Award2The X-Rite ColorMunki Display is an ideal solution for those looking for quick and easy monitor calibration for one or multiple monitors, or a projector. It gives you the option to utilise more advanced features if required, such as optimising profiles based on your ambient lighting conditions, as well as adjusting to glossy screen types using a Flare Correct feature.

The X-Rite ColorMunki Display offers advanced display calibration, that quickly and easily allows you to deliver consistently accurate on-screen colour.

The ColorMunki Display is priced at just £148.50 incl. VAT.

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September Inspired by Colour photo competition winner announced

Thank you to everyone that took part in the ‪’Inspired by Colour’ photo competition last month. We are pleased to reveal that our September winner is Tuan Nguyen with his ‘Experimenting with Shadows’ image ‘Hammer time’.

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Tuan’s winning image ‘Hammer time’.

Tuan is now the proud owner of a Rogue FlashBender 2 Portable Lighting Kit worth £164.95.

Tuan commented:

The image was taken with a Fujifilm X-T1 & Fujinon 10-24mm lens. It was taken of 2 workmen at my house who were getting ready to breakthrough the wall of my living room into the garage. I liked the way the light was falling on them and the shadows created, so I took a quick snap. I imported the image into Adobe Lightroom and then processed it in Photoshop using Google Silver Effex Pro2 to get the right black and white feel.

I am a self taught amateur photographer who specialises in street and long exposure photography mainly in black and white as this medium appeals to me. I use an X-Rite i1Display Pro for all my displays to ensure that what I see on my screens is replicated onto prints. I am a featured artist with Formatt-Hitech who are a leading filter manufacturer, and I use their products exclusively for all my long expposure landscapes and architectural work. You can find a blog about me on their website here. My fine art work can be found on my page www.lightreflex.co.uk

Enter our October photo competition for the chance to win a pink, limited edition X-Rite ColorMunki Display.

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X-Rite support BCRF with the launch of limited edition pink products

EN_XPE_Pink Campaign bannerTo mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, X-Rite are supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) in fundraising efforts for finding a cure. X-Rite have created a pink, limited edition ColorMunki Display and ColorChecker Passport Photo and will donate 20% of all sales to BCRF.

“Nearly everyone has been touched by breast cancer, and we are proud to leverage the ColorMunki and ColorChecker brands in our creative communities to help find a cure. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a tremendous organisation dedicated to the support of doctors and researchers worldwide,” says X-Rite Vice President of Product Marketing, Chris Winczewski.

“In becoming the symbol for breast cancer, the colour pink spurred conversation and ultimately action,” says Sadia Zapp, Communications Director at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “It sparked a movement and today we are closer than ever before to eradicating the devastating disease. By uniting with BCRF, the highest rated breast cancer organisation in the country, our partners are committed to bringing the end of breast cancer.”

With each purchase of a pink limited edition ColorMunki Display and/or ColorChecker Passport Photo, X-Rite will donate 20% of product sales to BCRF. The products are available to purchase from the Color Confidence website.

These products are great as a collector’s item, replacement product, or simply if you would like to support a worthy cause.

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Colour Management Interview with Simon Prais, Technical Director at Color Confidence

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Simon Prais, Technical Director at Color Confidence

How many years have you worked in the photo industry? 30 years

What is your current location? Birmingham

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? A creative professional

Do you prefer dogs or cats? Neither, but if I had to choose – cats

Can you briefly sum up what Color Confidence offers? Color Confidence is Europe’s leading colour management specialist into the digital imaging markets. We offer the widest range of products and services from the world’s leading manufacturers including X-Rite, DxO, NEC, BenQEIZO and ExpoImaging, amongst many others, together with our own brand range of calibration and colour management essentials for photographers, designers and anyone with an interest in colour.

How important is colour management to photography enthusiasts? Do they really need to engage in the subject, for instance, if they never print but only post pictures on social media websites?

If you spend any time visually adjusting the colour or contrast of a digital image, regardless of its final use, that decision needs to be made on a colour calibrated monitor. Although it’s unlikely that even 1% of viewers on a social media site would have a calibrated monitor, there are at least two factors to consider:

  • If your monitor was too warm, and you adjusted your images based on the assumption that what you see on the screen is correct, anyone with an un-calibrated ‘cool’ monitor viewing the images will see a massive difference to your intended colour balance. Whereas if your monitor is calibrated, you are limiting the range of colour difference across the range of un-calibrated monitors.
  • Your original image may have been perfect, but if you view it on an un-calibrated monitor, you could end up wasting your time whilst also destroying your image.

How difficult is colour management? Do you need good IT skills, for example? It was complicated fifteen years ago, but nowadays it is straightforward and automated.

Where would you recommend someone start if they want to colour manage their workflow? Is it, for example, necessary to start with the camera and work all the way through to the output device?

The most practical point to start from is monitor calibration. A calibrated monitor enables you to determine deficiencies in your camera, printer or viewing conditions.

There seem to be a great many colour management devices on the market. With a limited budget, what is the first item to buy, why, and do you have any specific product recommendations?

To back up my previous answer, it would have to be a monitor calibrator. A properly calibrated monitor is essential for colour critical work such as photography. A profiled screen gives you a trusted source for viewing your images so that you can be confidence in the results. If budget allows, I would recommend the X-Rite i1Display Pro (RRP £216 incl. VAT), which offers the highest standard of on-screen colour accuracy for displays and projectors. Alternatively, I would recommend the X-Rite ColorMunki Display (RRP £150 incl. VAT), which has slightly less features but is still sufficient for achieving consistent colour accuracy. If you can justify a new monitor, high-end monitors are frequently offered with the benefit of a discount off a calibrator, if purchased at the same time.

The monitor is clearly important, but many people stick with what came with their PC bundle? Is that okay or should they consider an upgrade?

They should definitely consider an upgrade. There is a considerable difference between a £100 monitor bundled with a PC and a £500-£900 professional monitor, and it’s not just the price point. Any editing or decisions on how accurate a photo is, depends on what you see on the monitor screen. That is why it is important to pick the right quality of monitor to suit your needs.

Is there such a thing as an ideal monitor? What should we look for when looking to buy one and what sort of budget will we need?

The NEC SpectraView, EIZO CG and BenQ PG colour critical range of monitors include all the key qualities of an ideal monitor. These are available in a number of sizes and resolutions to suit an individual’s requirements.

A quality monitor will have an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel type. IPS panels offer a much larger colour gamut than TN panels, which are frequently used in laptops. A further benefit of IPS panels over both TN and VA panels, used on standard grade monitors, is the colour consistency and viewing angle. Viewing such panels from even a slight angle causes a shift in the display, whereas IPS panel technology provides consistency from increased viewing angles. Professional monitors will also be validated for uniformity across the display.

Such monitors generally include hardware calibration software. This communicates directly with the monitor for optimised colour accuracy.

Budget constraints are often a factor, and although quality to achieve good colour accuracy over size is a good generalisation, there are some instances when some of the quality features need to be trimmed back, when a larger panel size is crucial. If you can’t justify both quality and the required size, is to worth consider retaining your old monitor for general use and using a second monitor for colour critical work.

With many people buying 4K televisions, is it feasible to use one of these as their editing monitor?

Although the latest 4K televisions offer a much higher resolution than standard HD TV’s, and look a tempting option as a computer screen, they are not suitable as an image-editing monitor. The 4K TV’s are designed to give high contrast, punchy images for primarily displaying TV, films and video, so will display images with increased contrast and saturation even when profiled. We recommend using an accurate colour manageable monitor, and with 4K monitors recently introduced, they should be considered for editing in 4K whereas 4K televisions should be avoided.

The final link in the chain is output. The photographic printer market is dominated by Canon and Epson, what advice do you have for people looking for a high quality photo printer?

Stick to the main photo market manufacturers, Epson and Canon and check that the model is categorised as a photo printer (avoid ‘all in one’ devices as they generally don’t have the colour quality required for photo printing).

When researching a printer, download the manual and look at the key features, especially the print driver colour management options, as this will indicate if the printer will be easily colour managed, and if you want to use third party paper, such as Tecco PHOTO and colour profiles, or create your own.

Printers range from having just 4 colour cartridges (CMYK), to 12 colours. A minimum of 7 or 8 colours that include Light Cyan, Light Magenta and Light Black/Grey provides higher quality prints without visually apparent dots in the light tones. Whereas the addition of Orange and Green increases the colour range with increased colour saturation.

Many people complain of the final print not looking anything like the image they saw on-screen. What advice do you have to get colour correct prints?

I would recommend they purchase an X-Rite ColorMunki Photo (RRP £487.27 incl. VAT) – an all in one entry-level calibration process that delivers fast, accurate matching from capture to display and print. However, even with that, such complaints still arise because the thing people overlook is the viewing light. If the illumination of your monitor isn’t matched to the illumination of your print, one will look lighter or darker than the other. If one can’t justify a viewing booth for standardised viewing conditions, a GrafiLite (£61.27 incl. VAT) will give you a daylight balanced consistent temperature and brightness level to be matched against your monitor.

Most people will have their computer and printer in a domestic environment. Have you any tips to help them get the best possible set-up?

Yes, ideally they should use a monitor hood and a viewing light or GrafiLite. Most professional monitors come with an option of a hood, if not, the PChOOD Pro (RRP £71.44 incl. VAT) is an adaptable hood, which will fit anything from a 15” to a 26” monitor size.

If you had to give just one piece of colour management advice, what would that be?

Ensure that you regularly calibrate your monitor. Your monitor will be gradually changing with time so without monthly calibration, it’s a constant moving target.

Color Confidence announces an exclusive prize draw worth over £1,600 at The Photography Show 2016

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We are pleased to announce that we will be running an exclusive prize draw at The Photography Show 2016. Visitors can complete the entry form on Stand C81 for the chance to win over £1,600 worth of photographic equipment.

The package includes:

During the four-day show, the stand will feature live model photo-shoots, product launches, presentations and technical demonstrations. There will also be a Color Confidence Shop where visitors can purchase products from industry leading brands at special show prices.

The guest line up for the show includes:

  • Sanjay Jogia, who is named one of the 6 best wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photography Magazine
  • Mark Wood, Professional Photographer, BenQ Expert and X-Rite Coloratti
  • Mark Lawrence, Professional Photographer and DxO Expert
  • John Clements, Professional Photographer and Trainer.

We will be exhibiting on Stand C81 at the Photography Show in Birmingham, from 19th to 22nd March 2016, to showcase some of the industry’s leading photographic manufacturers, including BenQ, DxO, ExpoImaging, NEC, Tecco PHOTO and X-Rite.

People interested in attending The Photography Show can use Color Confidence discount code COLTPS16 to save 20% off the price of an adult ticket.

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Visit us on stand C81 at The Photography Show 2016

750px_502px_advertWe will be on Stand C81 at The Photography Show with some of the industry’s leading manufacturers including BenQ, DxO, ExpoImaging, NEC, Tecco PHOTO and X-Rite.

Visit us for live model photo-shoots, product demonstrations, presentations, and of course a big exclusive prize draw that just can’t be missed!

Why visit us?

We have a great guest line up that includes:

  • Sanjay Jogia, who is named one of the 6 best wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photography Magazine
  • Mark Wood, Professional Photographer, BenQ Expert and X-Rite Coloratti
  • Mark Lawrence, Professional Photographer and DxO Expert
  • John Clements, Professional Photographer and Trainer

Key vendors include:

BenQ

 

 

 

BenQ

BenQ will be showcasing their colour critical line of monitors specifically designed for photographers and designers that value amazing colour. BenQ will also be launching the PV3200PT – a brand new monitor for video at the show. BenQ evangelist and professional photographer Mark Wood will be on stand C81 throughout the show to demonstrate the BenQ range of monitors and offer help and advice on how to get the most out of your display

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DxO

DxO recently launched the DxO ONE – the world’s smallest 1” sensor camera, which will be demonstrated at the show. The DxO range also includes the award-winning DxO OpticsPro software, FilmPack and ViewPoint. The DxO team will be at the show to demonstrate the complete range of innovative products for photography professionals.

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ExpoImaging

ExpoImaging will be showcasing the latest addition to their award winning FlashBender 2 range at the show. The Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit is a versatile and portable new light modifier for photography professionals. Live demonstrations of the ExpoImaging range will be taking place daily throughout the show.

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NEC

 

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NEC will be showcasing their full range of colour critical monitors at the show. Entry and advance level options are available. The state-of-the-art SpectravVew and MultiSync ranges offer you the ultimate colour accurate displays from 23” – 32”.

NEC will also be showcasing the latest 4K UHD (3840×2160) ultra high definition and wide colour gamut displays. Experts will be able to offer you help and advice on choosing the right monitor to suit your individual needs as well as your budget!

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Tecco PHOTO

Tecco PHOTO produces high quality inkjet papers for exquisite digital photo printing. Tecco PHOTO offers you a wide range of paper types, weights and finishes to suit all photography styles, offering superb colour fidelity and fast drying times.

Tecco has recently launched six new papers that will allow you to experiment with new finishes and effects. Come and view the new range at the show!

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X-Rite

Professional photographer Mark Wood will be demonstrating the latest X-Rite products at the show. Sanjay Jogia, who is named as one of the 6 best wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photography Magazine, will be doing live photo-shoots throughout the show.

This will also be the first time the new ColorChecker Video and ColorChecker Passport Video have been showcased in the UK. Visit stand C81 for more information!

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Save 20% on your Photography Show ticket!

Book your ticket to The Photography Show with discount code COLTPS16 to save 20% off your adult ticket. The ticket will then only cost you £10.95!

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Color Confidence announces UK tour to showcase the latest innovative products for photography professionals

3We will be attending a number of roadshows and open days across the country to showcase the latest innovative products for photography professionals and enthusiasts.

Over the next few months, we will be exhibiting products from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Key products to be showcased on the day will include a selection of the following:

  • BenQ’s first colour critical monitor
  • DxO’s newly updated image editing software
  • NEC’s latest 4k colour critical monitors with new built-in Spectraview II calibration software
  • Rogue’s new and improved FlashBender 2 portable lighting tools
  • X-Rite‘s colour management solutions

The team will be on hand to give you colour management help and advice. There will be professional product demonstrations and best practice tips, as well as special offers on purchases made on the day.

“The more we talk to new and existing customers, the clearer it becomes that increasing people’s knowledge of how to effectively colour manage a photographic workflow really helps to improve people’s photographic experiences”, says Geoffrey Clements, Managing Director at Color Confidence.

Geoffrey continues: “Good colour management across all your devices saves time, money and ultimately produces better images. We’re looking forward to continuing to educate and support photographers throughout these events.”

We will be exhibiting at shows as part of the Bigger Picture Roadshow, Calumet spring open days, London Camera Exchange Pro Show, Photovision Roadshow, WEX Workflow event and Park Cameras Imaging festival.

The shows will take place on the following dates:

29 April – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Chelmsford
30 April – Calumet Spring Open Day – Manchester
30 April – London Camera Exchange Pro Show – Southampton
15/16 May – Calumet Spring Open Day – London
19 May – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Sheffield
20 May – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Blackburn
10 June – Photovision Roadshow – Windsor
10 June – Bigger Picture Roadshow – Weatherby
13 June – WEX Workflow event – Norwich
20 June – Park Cameras Imaging festival – Burgess Hill
27 June – Park Cameras Imaging festival – London
30 June – Photovision Roadshow – Bristol

For more information about our wide range of products, visit: www.colorconfidence.com

Red Sails with DxO – Guest blog written by Chris Jameson

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As part of my support for local charities, I print and sell images. So I was pleased to win the confidence of a local business to produce a print for their new client room.

Earlier in the year I had captured a few images of a very misty estuary and sailboat, the lighting conditions were unusual because the mist was producing a red cast similar to sunset but whiter highlights on the water.

The client chose this image for the calm serenity that it portrayed.

The sample print had been A4 size and the client wanted an A3, my main concern was getting both the colour temperature accurate to the conditions and keeping what little detail there was in the image, especially at A3 size.

Fortunately help was at hand in the form of DxO Optics Pro v10. I had recently seen a demonstration of the software at the Wilkinson’s Digital Splash exhibition. I was convinced that the software was going to have an impact on my digital workflow.

Optics Pro software looks at the camera body and lens combination you have used to capture an image (works best in RAW) using the EXIF data. It then makes a series of complicated mathematical calculations to adjust the image for any optical & physical corrections required to bring image closer to your intended capture (it won’t correct human errors such as poor focus etc).

The software is straightforward to use with a very intuitive interface, after interrogating your EXIF file the software goes online to get the camera and lens profile combination used from a large database of files (painstakingly created by testing the majority of lens & camera combinations – check if yours are supported).

After a very short time, I had a result which I was quite pleased with, the options of output are quite wide with file formats such as JPEG, TIFF, DNG supported. There is even a plug-in to write directly into Lightroom.

If you want to start customising how your image file is processed, then there is a section to achieve this which has all the attributes that can be tweaked in logical groups: Essential Tools, Light, Colour, Detail and Geometry. Again all of these areas are quite intuitive but if you do require assistance, the help files are excellent – there are online links, tutorials and much more.

There are options to copy the correction settings you have achieved and also to make your own presets.

I like the option to append output files with DxO – as this helps me understand how I have processed an image.

Preparing the image for printing was the next task which was assisted by the use of the X-Rite ColorMunki hardware and software solution.

For any important project like this, I take the precaution of re-calibrating my monitor/screen and then performing a paper/colour profile (ensuring that ink tanks are all sufficient, as any replacement will change the colour output).

It’s very important for me to get the best print without any problems or errors to keep the printing cost as low as possible, this ensures that I can maximise the donation to the chosen charity for which the project is helping.

Most of my images are landscape, wildlife or RNLI action – so I don’t usually have the opportunity to use a X-Rite ColourChecker Passport at the start of any photography but it will be something that I will definitely look at if I start doing people or groups because of the help it can offer in achieving the desired finished print.

My goal is to grow my photography ability and support for charities, spending more time capturing images with a smoother digital workflow to output helps give me the confidence to push my ability and camera to the limit.

Below are the two images

Red Sails

Left is the RAW file after standard conversion in Adobe Lightroom
Right is the image after import and standard DxO preset application.

There is an improvement in details, especially in the shadows and the colour profile is much warmer – as it was when originally captured.

I now understand the message that DxO quote on the introduction splash screen “Push the limits of your Camera” as it is difficult to actually start finding the limits, if you can’t accurately see what you are capturing.

Written by Chris Jameson @photo_cj

Chris has worked for a number of charities such as Trinity and RNLI. He donates his time and images to local and regional fundraising groups and often sells images, with the proceeds going to supporting charities.

The common question…

Yesterday we spent a very enjoyable day down at LCE Southampton

It’s always good getting out and about and talking to people face to face. It’s something we enjoy, and without wanting to boast, it’s something we’re very good at. We had a great time talking to you all, and we hope you enjoyed our seminar session in the evening.

As ever though, there was one query that stood out above all others:

“My images look great on screen, but don’t look anything like it when printing out” – or in other words; how can I get my printouts to match my screen?

The answer is calibration – a calibration of both a monitor and printer to be precise.

The device capable of performing both is called the ColorMunki Photo from X-Rite.

ColorMunki Photo

Whereas other calibrators will just take care of your screen or projector, the ColorMunki Photo will do your screen as well as any printer(s) you have connected to your laptop, Mac or PC.

Essentially it does the same thing to both devices; namely getting them to display or printout a series of colours for it to measure, compare to what the colour should be and create a profile to compensate for the difference.

Once these profiles are saved and applied to your machine you can start printing with peace of mind what you see on screen is what you’ll see coming out of the printer.

Calibrate your screen once a month and profile your printer for any paper/ink combinations and you’re good to go.

Easy.

You can learn more about ColorMunki Photo here.