Learn Why and How To Use a Color Chart for Batch Editing Your Images! Our eyes will compensate and it is difficult to see with just your eyes if you are making correct color adjustments. The Spyder Checkr is a great tool to help you make your color corrections. See how it works!
Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens we’re going to take a look at how to shoot and batch edit a portrait using our Spyder Checkr. So let’s get started and see exactly what we can do here.
So I use a Spyder Checkr when I’m out on location like this. Because what I’m doing is I’m using my strobe, which is clean light (5600 degrees) and I want to balance that with the strange colors we have going all over the place. We have great lights back here. We’re going to have blues and we’re going to have purples. But I want some clean light on her face. It makes it very easy for me to take it into post, take a sample off from this and make sure the light is clean on her face. But I get great colors all around her. So I’m going to use an FJ200. I’ve got a grid on the FJ200 which has a little grid holder. And in that grid I’ve got a diffusion disc. The reason I’m using those is because I want to soften the light a little bit. But what I’m going to do really to give myself some interesting light on her face is I have cut a little slit in a piece of foam core. And now that slit is going to just let me have a little bit of a little sliver of light on her face. But most of the scene is going to be lit by all of the ambient light in the scene. All these lights will be on when we’re shooting and we’re going to get just great blues and purples and things going around. But I’ll get just a little shaft of light on her face. I’ll get my Spyder Checkr in there in that shaft of nice light so that I can have that when I go back to the computer to be able to get my color balance on her face correct. And then let the color just bloom.
Alright, so I’ve starred all my images. I’m going to go to this first little group here. This is a really heavy mixed color situation. So I’m going to click on this. I’m going to just do part of this batch here.
All right, once I’ve gone through and starred all the images that I want to open up and work on, then I’m just going to simply go through. I’ll go through and find I have four different groups. I’ll find the Spyder Checkr at the beginning of each group. I’m going to do this one in the little tunnel here. I click on the one for the tunnel. I’m going to slide over here and I’m going to mark it till about right there. I’m going to open all these at once, 27 images. It’s going to say, “What? You want 27 images?” Yes, I do. So I’m going to now just take and I’m going to look at the color here using an image that is overexposed. I’m not going to worry about that. But it has strobe light on her face. So the light on her face should be pretty clean. If I click on the different squares here I’m getting about 5100 degrees. It goes up to 5150 and right in there somewhere it’s taking a lot of the magenta out of it. Which is really the important thing. If you look at it as it was shot back and forth there’s 38 points of magenta in this because there’s a lot of magenta in this scene.
So I’m going to just take this now and I’ve gotten my color off from my Spyder Checkr. I’ll just command A or select all and I’m going to sync the settings. And once I’ve done that it’s going to sync the settings all the way through. Now I’m not going to try to fix this one because it’s overexposed. And I’m going to just come in here and I’m going to pick an image that I would like to work on. So I’m going to say I’m going to work on this. And I’m looking at this going, “You know what, the color is beautiful.” It’s nice when I look at this. It is very clean color. So the Spyder Checkr did its job. But now maybe creatively I want it to be a little more the way it was. Maybe I want to warm this up just a little more than it was. and I’m going to maybe add just a little bit of that pink back in so that I get kind of this pinkish cast. But it’s not overwhelming. So there’s my color. I’ve just put a little bit of that magenta back in and I still have a nice clean look at her face. I’ve warmed up the face just a little bit.
I can now do a thing that’s called a snapshot. This snapshot is just going to apply to this image and nothing else. And what it does is it gives me a, this is what you like right now, but I can still continue to work on it. I can say, you know what, there’s all kinds of other great things I could really do to this image. Be really fun and just be really cool and then go wow we got the 80s! That’s how they’re wow, you know, I really get crazy and then you’re going, “You know what, I’m not sure what I was thinking. That’s just absolutely stupid.” So I just go back here and I simply apply the snapshot that I did earlier. And it takes me back to where I was. I like this application. If you look at it compared to this it’s just a little bit of that warmth. Now I’m going to just simply do a command A, or you can do select all. And I’m going to sync everything. I’m liking this color. So I’m going to quickly, because I don’t want to lose it, I’m going to create a preset. And I’m going to call this preset “pink lady”.
Okay, the difference between a preset and a snapshot is a preset is in your database. Now it can be applied to any images, anytime. It’s a preset that is yours to be able to use whenever you want. A snapshot just applies to that one image and goes away once you process. So once you close this page the snapshots are gone. So they’re just made, the snapshots are kind of to help you along the road to go back to something you like before. But a preset becomes something you can apply to whatever you’re working on. Okay, so there’s my preset.
I will now do one last thing. I usually do this when I go through this process. I will just simply take and go, “Okay, there’s my image.” I’m going to look at each image here really quickly to see, you know what, I think I’ll bring the exposure down just a hair on that one. And I just do a final kind of go through. And I just bring them up and kind of play with where each of them are at. I don’t take too long with this experience. I’ll hit exposure. I’ll bring up the shadows and play with the shadows a little bit. That’s interesting to me. Bring out the lights on her face. Open up the shadows just a little bit so we see under eyes just a little bit. Maybe I’ll give us a little bit of blacks to make it more interesting. Maybe even bring it, yeah, I think that’s nice. So I just go through and just do that really quickly with each image as I go through. And once I’ve done that to give myself what I want, maybe I’ll go the other way. I’ll kill the shadows and make it a little more moody.
I can always jump in here really quick if I want to add effects and I can give myself a vignette. And just kind of give me a little bit of vignette around them which I think looks really nice. Actually that vignette I might apply to all of them. But remember if I apply it off from this image I’m going to change this exposure to all of them. So I go back to the image that I started with that I liked. This is my beginning image. And if I say okay, I really want a vignette on this one that I’m going to add to everything I can go just like that, like put a little bit of vignette on there. Now if I sync this again I’m going to lose everything I did on all the others. I’m going to start over on the others. So I won’t do that right now. But you might want to think about vignettes when you’re doing these. I like vignettes. I think it’s a good thing to do. Just a little bit just to bring it down a bit. I mean we can go reverse vignette and say, you know what I want this to feel a little more open on the side you know. I hate that. Just a little bit of vignette. I’m going to create a new preset there because I think that looks nice. Pink lady 2.
Alright so once I’ve got them all dialed in I’ll just simply go in here and command A and I’ll just go through and I’m going to save images. Save the images. I don’t want to go in to open these up in photoshop. It takes forever. I’ll select a folder to put these in.
That’s kind of my process. I’m using that Spyder Checkr to get all the color clean. But then I’m going to play with the color and have a little bit of creative fun with it and kind of set the color where I want it to be. And then I’m going to apply that to all the images that I do. A quick look through of all the images and just do a little bit of adjustment on exposure and shadows to give myself a consistent look across the way. I can take any of the images as far as I want. It just depends on how much time I want to spend on them. But usually that’s my process. Just make a nice preset. Apply that preset to everything. Make quick adjustments across the board. Export them all as jpegs. And then I can move on to the next group.
I know everyone has preset packages and that kind of a concept is really good. But you need to create your own presets that you like the look of or that apply to a certain situation that you’re in. And you’ll start creating your own preset package of the things of the looks that you like. And that’s why presets are so important. You can organize them according to, you know, whatever folders you want to put them in. But it’s just a great way to work to have presets that you like. And you can go to, if you’re on stage and have a normal kind of stage setup where you’re shooting on a backdrop and you have strobe lights that you set up and the color is very controllable, you can make a preset or two for that. So every time you do a portrait on that setup just jump in and apply that preset and go to it.
So it’s just important you get the Spyder Checkr in on the first frame. I try to get it on the first frame. A lot of times it may end up being the last frame where I say, “Okay, I really got this dialed in. I like the way it looks. Let’s get a quick shot.” Then I move that to the first frame and that’s the way I go about batch processing.
So let’s take a look at the second one. This one I changed the quality of light completely. I turned it from a direct strobe interface to bouncing the strobe into the wall. So I’m going to just simply, I’ve already selected the ones that I liked and I’m going to select those and just command open. It’s going to bring all those 10 files into Camera Raw. Once I’m in Camera Raw I’m going to go directly to my Spyder Checkr image. I’m going to click on that. I’m going to bring this up which is going to really clean a lot of that color out. It’s 4850 and 4800. I’m going to stick with, I’m going to go to 4900. All right, command A. I’m just going to now sync those settings. And now that’s my color sync for everything. Now I’m going to quickly go over to an image I like making additional adjustments to one of the images that I really like before I apply it to everything. I don’t do that on the Spyder Checkr image because I want to get something that really feels like what I want the images to be and look like. All right, so I’m going to say, select all. I’m now going to sync the settings and there’s my overall approach. I can look at this now. I’ll just go through each one of these and they’re looking pretty good. Maybe a little too bright. Bring that down just a little bit. So I’ll go back to that image that I liked. One of these images I felt like this looked good. I’m going to quickly make a preset here. So create preset. I’ll call this “Blue lady 1”. Okay, there’s my preset. I can get back to that anytime I want. And now I’m going to command A or select all. And I’m going to save images.
So there’s a great time when you should change and definitely get another Spyder Checkr frame, is when you change the quality of light. I was using direct strobe. I went to a bounce light. Get that Spyder Checkr in there so I can control the color work on an image. Give yourself another preset. Save that preset. Process them and move on to the next batch. It’s that fast. So there’s my process in a nutshell. I use a Spyder Checkr as my color control marker. This is what gives me a place to start in each one of my setups. I’m changing quality of light. I’m changing really different things in the image. And that Spyder Checkr gives me the ability to get it very close or just very clean color. Sometimes too clean. I’m going, you know what, I want to warm this. I want to change it. But it gets me to a point where I can now control the color completely with that. Without that I’m just guessing. A lot of times you start hitting on the white of the eyes and things and just you’re all over the place. So I start with that Spyder Checkr. I put that at the beginning of each of the images that I process. I bring them into Raw. I make my adjustments and create my pre-set. So I can come back to it in the future if I want to. And I export them as jpegs and I’m ready to go on to the next one. It really becomes a very fast process when you get used to it. And it really makes your workflow much easier to do. And using that Spyder Checkr helps that to happen for me. All right, so there you have it, a look at this process from shooting to batch editing. So you keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!