Input profiling with a ColorChecker

What you need

  • a SLR camera set to RAWshootingmode
  • ColorChecker or ColorChecker Passport
  • ColorChecker Passport Camera Calibration Software (included when you buy the ColorChecker Passport)
  • Photoshop, Lightroomor Aperture

How to proceed

Step 1 Photograph your chart

Photograph the ColorChecker under identical circumstances as those underwhich youwill digitize your originals. You can photograph fromnormal distance, butmake sure the target covers at least 20% of your image.Thiswill be your reference image. Rename it accordingly (example KU Leuven): 20130402_UB_D800_60mm,with the date, location,camera and lens as a combined filename. Thisway you can keep track of all reference images.


Step 2 Convert to DNG

In order to work with the ColorChecker Passport Camera Calibration Software, you have to convert the RAWimage to the DNG format. When opening your reference file in Photoshop,
Adobe Camera Raw automatically opens.

 Photoshop Screenshot
Save your image (lower left corner). Select your Destination and Format (Digital Negative). Photoshop Screenshot, save your image

Step 3 Close Photoshop

Close Photoshop: this is an important step as Photoshop can only implement the newly created profile when starting up fromscratch.

Step 4 Open the ColorChecker Passport Camera Calibration Software

Open the ColorChecker Passport Camera Calibration Software and read the instructions.

 ColorChecker Screenshot

Drag and drop your reference file (DNG format) into themain window.The software will automatically detect the edges and individual patches.Click on the tab Create Profile (below right).

Give your profile the same filename as your reference image.The profile will be saved in the appropriate location so Photoshop can access it.

 Second ColorChecker Screenshot

Step 5 Relaunch Photoshop and save a preset

Relaunch Photoshop and open once again the reference image file. Adobe Camera Raw will open automatically. Select the Camera Calibration Tab (camera icon on the right) and select the camera profile you just created in the Camera Profile window.

 Photoshop Screenshot, with camera profile

Apply a customwhite balance on the second lightest grey tone.

 Photoshop Screenshot, withe balance window

Now everything is set to create a preset including camera profile and white balance. Click on themenu icon at the right hand side of the tool tab, select Save Settings, select the individual settings in the newly opened window (e.g.White Balance and Camera Callibration).

 Photoshop Screenshot, save window

Step 6 Apply the preset

When opening several images in Camera Raw, you can apply your preset onmultiple images. Select the preset tab on the right side of the tool tab and click on your newly created preset.

As long as you don’t change anything in your digitization setup (lights, camera, lens combination) you can apply the preset to all the images taken that day or week for a perfect color and white balance.You can also save other adjustments like contrast, highlight and shadow tones, tone curve, etc. in custompresets and develop a range of presets depending on the type ofmaterial you digitize.

 Photoshop Screenshot, preset window