Learn how to use the ColorChecker Passport Photo for Perfect Color. In this video, I walk through the why and how to use the ColorChecker Passport in camera as well as in Lightroom and Final Cut Pro. I have had the ColorChecker Passport in my camera bag for years. I have the original Passport model, but they have since released a 2nd version as well as a Video version. I have not tried those yet. As someone with slight colorblindness, I rely heavily on the ColorChecker as well as my monitor calibration tool, also from X-Rite.
Transcription was done by Rev.com’s automated transcription service which means it’s an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar
This is one of my favorite things in my bag, and it’s been in my camera bag for years. Iterations of this. This is the color checker passport. Hey, this is Scott Wyden Kivowitz, a storyteller with a camera and talking about all the things photographers like you and I are thinking about in this video. I want to talk about getting accurate color when you’re doing editing for stills and video. Before we dive in, I want to say a quick thank you to Mack worldwide warranty for partnering with me on this video. I get a Mack worldwide warranty on all of my equipment and especially their diamond warranty, which covers accidental damage. If you need a warranty on your equipment, check out Mack worldwide warranty, and by the way x right. Did Not sponsor me on this video, but x, right. If you want to send me the color checker passport two or end or the video version, I’d be happy to talk about those as well.
This is the color checker passport from x, right? This is the first version of it. Basically it is a color checker just like you might’ve been used to back in the day of the giant Color Checker, which x-ray still makes, but this is the passport version because it is a software-based version and it’s also a compact and can protect itself from sun damage because you can close it but also protect yourself from crushing and also it also stands up on its own. If I want to open it up, there’s actually multi-sided, I could actually go like this and stand it up perfectly like so. It’s got legs. So first things first on one side of the color checker passport is the gray card. This is a just a to do what your white balancing camera. That’s what that’s for. And on the other side is actually the color charts, which also has white balance tones for when you’re doing your edit to new want warmer or cooler white balance.
No. I’ve done a bunch of videos on color correction in, but today I want to show you how I use this for stills and videos, and then I’m going to go to the computer and show you the color checker passport software and how you do it from Lightroom and you can actually do your white balance and get accurate color profiles based on the light that you have at this moment and then also do your white balance for your photos in Lightroom but also in final cut pro. Now, right now I’m recording on auto white balance is video is on auto white balance and virus is switch this to the light that’s right there. My main light, that’d be 5,500 Kelvin. I will switch to that right now. Now the white balance is at the 5,500 Kelvin. This should be more accurate, but still I’m going to use this to ensure that my colors are spot on.
What I would do if I was doing a still and what I could do for video as well is just hold this right in front of my face. I’m going to go off the side. Do you hear me talking right in front of my face and so that the light is hitting it perfectly the way that I would hit my face and the exposure is good and I can then take this and she was a white balance color picker to get accurate color in the software. So if I’m doing a bunch of stills, I have my subject hold this once and then the rest of the photos are going to be good. Based on this, let’s go to the computer so you can see what I mean. If you like this video, click that subscribe button below. Now I publish new videos every Monday and Thursday whenever possible.
You don’t want to miss it and karate kid the notification bill. Okay, so I am here in Lightroom. You can see the timeline from the introduction to this video and all I’m going to do first is I’m going to create a quick break in the film and I’m going to just make sure that this one clip, this one piece of the timeline is selected and I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to choose this, a little magic button here and choose balance color. Now you’re going to see the color is going to be eh, it’ll be all right. You’ll see here if I select it and turn it on and off the eyes, the color has changed but I’m going to do is I’m going to switch it from the method to automatic to white balance and I’m going to zoom in on the clip itself and good to go down to the whitest white you can see in final cut pro is that to set the white balance, click or drag over an area that should be pure white.
So the bottom left of the color checker passport, this chart right here should be white. So I’m going to choose that. And then I’m going to de-select that and zoom back out. And now if you see, if I uncheck balance color, this is the original, this is now color balanced. That is all I need to do to ensure that I have accurate color bounds because I know that that white should be white and it should not be overexposure, not be underexposed, should be properly exposed. It is important to make sure that the exposure is good in camera before you even go to final cut pro. But now I could take this and I could create a preset of the white balance and I could copy that over to the rest of the film. So if I go ahead and I do save effect preset and I’m just going to choose just the effects of the color and I’m going to choose a color checker, passport demo, and I’m going to hit save.
And now all I have to do is I can go ahead and add it to the beginning of this clip and added to the end. So I bring up my effects panel and I go down to my, uh, custom effects. Here’s the color checker demo and let me go to the beginning where I had auto white balance. You can see this was the auto white balance and if I drop this in now it is actually the proper white balance of what it should have been the entire time. And all I do is copy it from one to the other. And you can see if I want to, I could actually just from this clip here, you can see the white is right here. I could actually go ahead and select this clip, choose the white balance and there we go. Did it again.
You can see it’s even better because it wasn’t just copied. And there you go. Now let’s head over to Lightroom so you can see it in Lightroom as well. Okay, so here we are inside of Lightroom and this is a closeup of the color checker passport on the floor of the set. Here it is further back. Here’s another one of this and but it really is important that you get a close image, especially when you’re doing the still and during the video to a little bit easier because it’s not as precise doing the video that it is with doing an enlightened in room. There’s actually the software to do this. Now I don’t have the x right? Video Color Checker, so I don’t know if they built a final cut pro or Adobe premiere, a plugin. I use final cut pro x, right.
If x right wants to send me the color checker passport video version, I can, you know, do a review on that and see what happens. But um, I am actually using the original color checker, not even the version to the new one. So this is the photo inside of Lightroom. Now I’ve actually done this. So if I was to show you the original, if I were to go to the develop module and it showed you the original, you’ll see that uh, this is what it originally looked like. This is what it looks like after color correcting. Basically what you do is you go take this photo and you go file and go to export and then you grab the color Checker, passport, calibration, you name it, you export it. And then what is it going to do is it’s going to tell you to, uh, restart Lightroom when it’s all done.
No, I’m not going to run through this. I already did it, so I don’t need to do it. But you then go to the, um, the profiles and choose the profile that you just made. So for example, you can see the profile right here for this kicked in that session that I made called Estella. Now every time I make one, I, you know, I leave it in there. And then when the client’s done all want to deleting the color profile goes, I just don’t need it to always be there. And my profile’s taking up space, making me, you know, browsing and stuff like that. I wanted to be quick. But what’s cool is I can then take that and sync this color profile over to all the photos. But before I do that, what I do is actually choose right here are the different white balance tones.
Now as you saw on final cut pro, you choose white. You saw we chose the white box down here, but for Lightroom you actually choose one of these boxes. These are cooler to warmer tones for white balance so I can actually make it cooler or warmer based on what I want it to look like. I’m going to undo those cause I actually have it set. Where I can then do is I can then sync it or copy this, the color treatment over to all the photos and as an example, here is the subject. She got a little bit close to the camera. That’s what happens during kicks my sessions. This is straight out of camera. This is a no corrections to it and then here it is with the new white balance. All I did was sync that color like color profile across to all of the photos in that session and you can see how beautiful that looks compared to the original.
Now there are many color checker varieties out there. The one that I have, I have the color checker classic, which I have not used in so long because, uh, when the color checker passport came out, I just found that it was just absolutely perfect, especially with the software side of things. Then you have the color checker passport photo, that’s what I actually have. And um, there is now a second version of that. And then there is the color checker passport video, which as you can see is a homeless $50. It’s $50 more. Uh, now the color checker passport to the second version of color checker passport photo has an improved white balance tool, sort of where, um, this like copyright material is, and, uh, the data when you first started using us, you know what the colors have changed and stuff like that. That has been replaced with another white balance tool. And then there’s the color checker passport video. Again, I have not used this one, but if x, y wants to send it to me, I’d be happy to give it a try. So there you go. That’s the color checker passport. I use this in my workflow. Uh, pretty much on a daily basis for my photography. That’s it. That’s, that’s in a nutshell. That’s the color checker passport.