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Thread: Gray scale pattern for checking color balance

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    OOTB Moderator Kerry Perkins's Avatar
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    Default Gray scale pattern for checking color balance

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    Hi everyone. Here is a gray test pattern that is used in setting up monitors and projectors as well as video cameras. It works equally well as a post processing aid by showing you what "neutral", which is gray, black, and white, looks like on your monitor. These gray bars contain equal amounts of red, green, and blue. There is no color to them whatsoever. You can keep this little image open in your editing software as a reference. If you have any neutral areas in your image (black to gray to white), you can compare them with this reference image and see if they match. If your neutral areas have any color to them, it means that the color balance of the image is off and you can correct accordingly. By using this type of reference, the color errors of your monitor, if any, can be accounted for.

    BTW, not saying that every image should have neutral grays, but unless you are shooting in the warm light of sunrise or sunset and want to preserve that warm look, you will want to have neutral blacks, grays, and whites.
    Last edited by Kerry Perkins; 09-29-2011 at 10:52 PM.
    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." - Henri Cartier Bresson

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    Thanks Kerry. For fun I just checked the tones with Apple's Digital Color Meter and the new version that comes with Lion has dropped the option for a readout in LAB colour. Can you believe it! I'll have to contact Apple on this one.

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    OOTB Moderator Kerry Perkins's Avatar
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    John, I was involved in making this pattern so I can guarantee you that the code values are all the same in each bar. I was all psyched up to upgrade to Lion until I started reading things like what you reported. Many people are also unhappy that their desktop computer now works like an iPad and I am not ready to give up Rosetta... I still use Corel (and other) software that would have to go into the bit bucket. So, I'll be holding onto the Snow Leopard for a while.
    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." - Henri Cartier Bresson

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    My move to Lion was forced! BTW I had a look to see if the previous version of the Digital Color Meter would run in Lion just by copying across- it doesn't!

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    OOTB Moderator Kerry Perkins's Avatar
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    Lion is not the king of my jungle...

    "Philosophy is irrelevant." Who said that? Me!
    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." - Henri Cartier Bresson

    Please visit me on the web at http://kerryperkinsphotography.com


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    Kerry et al.: Just found this- a "classic" Digital Color Meter:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/class...51640037?mt=12

    It's $0.99 at the App Store

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    The two darkest bars both look black on my macbook pro. Is that bad?

    thanks,
    Bill

    Bill- Viewing angle is important as well so make sure you have the screen as close to 90° as possible to you viewing direction. Move your head up and down and you can see the effect.
    Last edited by John Chardine; 08-27-2011 at 05:13 AM.

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    OOTB Moderator Kerry Perkins's Avatar
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    Bill, yes it is. You need to calibrate.
    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." - Henri Cartier Bresson

    Please visit me on the web at http://kerryperkinsphotography.com


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    Lifetime Member Jay Gould's Avatar
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    Kerry, are you another MBP person? I am soooooooooooo angsting over making the jump from PC to MBP!!!!!!

    Lion; Snow Leopard. The decision is like entering a zoo.

    Rosetta?

    You are concerned with loosing programs when you change operating systems; I am more than a bit concerned with loosing programs when going from PC to MBP.
    Cheers, Jay

    My Digital Art - "Nature Interpreted" - can now be view at http://www.luvntravlnphotography.com

    "Nature Interpreted" - Photography begins with your mind and eyes, and ends with an image representing your vision and your reality of the captured scene; photography exceeds the camera sensor's limitations. Capturing and Processing landscapes and seascapes allows me to express my vision and reality of Nature.

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    Jay- I had to replace my aging Macbook recently and ended up with the MB Air 13". No regrets at all. The size and weight are perfect for traveling but the speed is what I real like. The solid-state drive makes everything very fast as does the i5 processor. The system and programs don't take up much space on the 256gb drive and I have over 220gb available for images before I have to start using an external drive. However, if you are anguishing over the switch from Windoze I would just stay where you are. Why cause extra grief when you don't need it?

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    Lifetime Member Jay Gould's Avatar
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    John, do you use the 13" at home or do you have a larger monitor? I live in a trailer (caravan in Australia). I bought a Dell 21.5" monitor as an experiment - simply too big.

    Right now I am using and carrying when I travel a Dell 17"; too heavy.

    I have to downsize to a 15" which will be my all-time computer.
    Cheers, Jay

    My Digital Art - "Nature Interpreted" - can now be view at http://www.luvntravlnphotography.com

    "Nature Interpreted" - Photography begins with your mind and eyes, and ends with an image representing your vision and your reality of the captured scene; photography exceeds the camera sensor's limitations. Capturing and Processing landscapes and seascapes allows me to express my vision and reality of Nature.

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    Hi Jay- My MB Air is for travel/photo trips and general use around the house (email, web etc). I have the 13". My main photo processing machine will be a new 27" iMac but right now I have an older dual G5 with an Apple Cinema display, which is fast but incapable of running the latest software versions. The tiny MBA is way faster than the desktop dual G5! For an all-use computer I would go with a bigger monitor (15") too. However, the MBA screen is hard to beat at 1440 x 900 resolution. I could use it for photo processing no problem.

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    Lifetime Member Jay Gould's Avatar
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    Sorry to hijack this thread Kerry! I will PM John.
    Cheers, Jay

    My Digital Art - "Nature Interpreted" - can now be view at http://www.luvntravlnphotography.com

    "Nature Interpreted" - Photography begins with your mind and eyes, and ends with an image representing your vision and your reality of the captured scene; photography exceeds the camera sensor's limitations. Capturing and Processing landscapes and seascapes allows me to express my vision and reality of Nature.

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    OOTB Moderator Kerry Perkins's Avatar
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    Jay, no worries mate! FYI, I do have a MBP - 17", which I only use on the road or with a 23" Apple Cinema Display. For my serious work at home I use a 27" iMac - i7 quad core, 8GB of ram, etc... Great computer for photo work.
    "It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart, and head." - Henri Cartier Bresson

    Please visit me on the web at http://kerryperkinsphotography.com


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    BPN Viewer Tom Graham's Avatar
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    Here's a monitor test chart I like because it shows color gamma and slight variations/non-neutral in gray.

    Name:  monitor-test.jpg
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