Category Archives: colour

DataColor Webinar Recording

Reportage & Street Photography

For those who couldn’t join in live on my webinar earlier this week, courtesy of DataColor, here’s a recording of the webinar. It lacks the Q&A which went on for around 30 minutes after, so feel free to post questions here instead.

Datacolor Webinar

My Free Online Seminar On A Few Things Photographic

The sun sets over Margate Sands. Kent. April 15, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The sun sets over Margate Sands. Kent. April 15, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Hope you can join me on May 21st, 2014 at 7pm BST (British Summer Time) for my webinar. I’ll be chatting about my photography, workflow and getting accurate colour and focus, amongst other challenges met by today’s digital photographer.

Sign up for free, HERE. Hope to see you online!

My Workflow Using Aperture and Nik Software Plugins

My Workflow Using Aperture and Nik Software Plugins from Edmond Terakopian on Vimeo.

A free online webinar workshop hosted by Nik Software. I’ll show how I use Apple’s Aperture in combination with my favourite plugins from Nik Software; Viveza 2, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Sharpener Pro 3. I’ll also demonstrate how the same plugins work within a Photoshop environment. Regardless of which platform you’re on, you should find something of interest as the plugin interfaces and use are practically the same. This is the recording from the webinar on June 7, 2011.

For those who missed the live webinar on June 7th, 2011, here is a recording of the event. Due to it’s format, sadly we’ve had to cut out the Q&A session, so do keep your eyes on this blog and Nik Software’s pages to find out when the next webinar will be.

Sekonic C-500 Prodigi Colour Meter

Getting Colour Right

Colour; it can be the cause of endless head aches. With digital photography, we’re in many ways quite lucky as we can set custom white balances and even dial in degrees of Kelvin (which is unit for the measurement of temperature and in our case, colour temperature).

However, most photographers are quite lazy in this and will shoot in auto white balance and hope to correct things later in post processing. This is not such a bad thing if one shoots RAW but I’ve seen many colleagues shoot jpeg and then try and correct the most horrendous colour casts and end up ruining perfectly good images as a result. Even for us who do shoot RAW, we’re still reliant on finding a neutral grey to click our white balance tool on and tweak the slider until it looks right. To do this, we’re also relying on our monitors and laptop displays to be accurately calibrated.

In the world of video it gets much more complicated and many times more time consuming. To make things worse, any extreme colour corrections can lead to a degradation in quality as unless you’re shooting with a RED One, you’re not shooting RAW.

The Sekonic C-500 Prodigi Colour Meter. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

For anyone who hasn’t tried it, setting a custom white balance involves photographing a white (or grey) card and choosing that image as a custom setting. This works extremely well and allows for exact colours, even in pretty extreme lighting conditions. The only downside to this is having to stop and either use a white balance tool (EzyBalance) such as those made by Lastolite or try and find a notepad with white paper that is big enough to photograph. An extra step is then needed to set the white balance to custom and finally to choose this image as the reference for the custom white balance. It is rather longwinded.

If shooting on a tripod with creative and spot lighting, it can also be an extra head ache as the camera has to be taken off the tripod, brought to where the light is falling on the subject, white card photographed, then set and finally put back on the tripod and set up again for the shot. Even adjusting power settings or diffusion on lights can change the colour temperature.

This is where a colourmeter comes in to save the day. It involves the photographer holding the light receptor in the light being photographed, with it pointing back towards the camera. A measuring button is then pressed and it gives an exact Kelvin reading of the colour temperature. All you then have to do is to set this on the camera and shoot away. In a photographic situation I also sometimes just make a note of the temperature in different areas I’m working and then input these onto the RAW files when processing them on Aperture 3. Both systems work equally well. Naturally for video work though, one inputs the Kelvin reading into the camera before doing a shot.

Many years ago I tried using a Minolta colourmeter (designed in the days of film) with limited success; it certainly improved upon the auto setting but I still needed to tweak my shots. Sekonic, with the C-500 and C-500R (for pocket wizard connectivity) has brought out the world’s first digital and film colour meter. The spectral sensitivities of film and a digital sensor are different and by catering for both (you can change this in the mode setting) it works perfectly with digital cameras. For film shooters it can also give index readings for filters.

As is my way with tests, I took the Sekonic C-500 out with me on assignments. I used the meter with both a Canon 5D MkII (which uses a CMOS sensor) and a Leica M9 (which uses a CCD) and the results were great. On one event in the Army and Navy Club I photographed in a variety of artificial lighting conditions and the results were pretty much spot on. The meter can be tweaked to work with particular cameras even more accurately.

I also decided to do a set of video tests and using an X-Rite ColorChecker as a test subject, I shot film clips using the Canon 5D MkII in various lighting conditions from bright sunlight to extreme shade and also artificial light. The results again impressed.

All was not perfect though; although the meter has the ability to measure from 2300 to 20,000 Kelvin, it doesn’t seem to work in dim lighting and constantly gave an “Under” message. This happened even if the meter was brought right up to the light.

On the whole though, I have to say that I’m impressed with the meter and in all but the most extreme low light, it worked well. I think that any photographer who works in colour would do well to contemplate getting one of these and it’s an absolute no-brainer for anyone involved in video.

Printer Profiles With The ColorMunki


It’s always very exciting when evaluating a new product. Being one of the first on the planet to try something out that’s going to enhance one’s future workflow or a new tool which will add benefits is great. It goes without saying that this is how it felt when Canon asked me to evaluate their new 12 ink large format printer aimed at photographers; the iPF6300.

However, it’s not all excitement and fun as there is a surprising amount of hard and laborious work involved. One of the things I was asked to evaluate was how the printer behaved with various papers; both Canon and third party. This entails having to make hundreds of prints, in colour and black and white, using a variety of images and also a variety of print settings on all these different papers.
One hurdle I soon came across was that as this printer was so new and hadn’t even had it’s European launch, I was missing a large number of paper ICC profiles. These profiles, along with the correct media setting tell the printer how to print (how much ink, how to print the correct colour, which black ink to use and a host of other ‘under the hood’ settings which are chosen automatically) once the ICC and media settings are applied in the printer driver or plug-in. These ICC profiles simply didn’t exist. Canon had supplied me with most of the profiles for their wide range of papers but Hahnemuhle and Ilford didn’t yet have profiles and were working on getting them to me for some of their papers. I also had other papers from other manufacturers like Olmec too.
At this point I asked to borrow a ColorMunki photo from Canon’s Gary Vaughan who had kindly trained me on the printer. Apart from being used for screen calibrations, the ColorMunki from X-Rite can also be used to create ICC profiles for printing.
I loaded up the software, read the concise instructions and was good to go. Although my screen was already calibrated using my Eye One Display 2 and Color Eyes software (with which I’ve always been happy) I decided to calibrate my screen with the ColorMunki too. One very neat feature is that it can measure the room’s ambient light and take this into consideration when calibrating the screen’s luminosity.
After the screen was done I proceeded to getting my paper’s profile done, and chose Canon’s Glacier paper as my first port of call. I had already made some prints with this paper using a profile of a very similar paper but the results just didn’t sing. One extremely important thing to remember when making paper profiles is to make sure that colour management is switched off in the printer driver. The software guides the user through and I must say that I’m very impressed by the way it makes it child’s play to use. After a few steps, it prints out a colour chart which one then ‘reads’ with the ColorMunki puck. All you need to do is basically run the unit over the coloured bars, one column at a time. It then creates a second print out with a different set of colours and the same step is repeated, allowing the software to create an extremely accurate ICC for that paper. So easy and very smooth.
I chose my newly created printer profile and made another print – this time the print sang. I must say, I’m so impressed with this unit. It’s so straightforward to use with extremely user friendly software and is such a capable unit calibrating my screen and printer paper that I’m in absolute awe. I cannot recommend this highly enough.