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Question about creating profiles using ColourChecker Passport

Zenon

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#1
Aside from WB what should I be seeing? I created profiles for both overcast and sunny conditions. Overcast one day and sunny the next. I'm not seeing a lot of difference between the two colour wise. Do I need to make a WB adjustment before create I create a profile? Lighting conditions change all of the time but I just want base profile. I'll adjust WB later. Most of my shooting is in non overcast conditions and I'm not sure which one is correct.

We do have some slight haze due to the forrest fires from the west. I didn't see the sun (I didn't look very hard) and didn't do this in the shade. Should I do this again when the skies are completely clear? Not sure if I can count that as direct sunlight. I'm just taking the shot with CCP in about 80% of the frame, no adjustments and exporting with CPP.
 

Zenon

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#2
I should be more clear. If I choose an image taken on a sunny day I'm not seeing much difference between applying the overcast or sunny profiles.
 

Ferguson

Linwood Ferguson
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#3
The profile is not whitebalance, and generally speaking should not affect white balance. Also, cloudy vs sunny should not vary much, as that's white balance.

The profile is more about fixing color errors in individual colors due to either the spectrum of the light, or the sensor. As an example, if your lighting source (let's say mercury vapor lights) makes the blues over-saturated, but reds dull, building a profile under that light will tend to de-saturate the blues a bit, and add saturation to the red (it's probably not "saturation" but a change in hue, I'm not sure, I am speaking more how it appears than what it does). It won't make it perfect, as some light is just too bad, but it makes it better. I can see big differences in certain colors (greens, blues especially) on my Nikon shots in arena lighting, for example.

If you build a daylight profile, and alternate between applying it and using the LR default, you can expect to see only very subtle changes, because the Adobe default profiles are pretty good, and your sensor is likely pretty good. But there should be some minor difference.

On the other hand, build a profile for more unusual lighting, and try again. You may see more distinct difference.

The other place you can see an impact is if you have two different cameras, either different bodies, or different vendors. There's often a difference in color "look" between them, and the profile will tend to synchronize them. Note however, that before comparing that effect, you need to match their white balance. I've found different bodies have significantly different white balance even from the same vendor. Profiles are not white balance (keep thinking that).

As to your question about what to do with white balance when building the profile, since the image used for the profile is raw, it should not matter, though I have not tested to see if the profile software uses the AWB settings in the raw file. That's an interesting question, I have always used AWB, not a specific white balance.

When I build profiles it is usually for specific lighting, e.g. at a baseball stadium, a soccer field, etc. What I'll do is shoot the passport in daylight, then shoot it under the lights, and build a dual profile. That way as it goes from daylight to dark (lights) it still works properly, interpolating (or something). It's quite important to get the passport where the subject will be. Don't (for example) set it on nice green grass and take a shot, or anywhere there's a strong reflections from any colored object (unless that object is going to be the same for all your shots). Also, I've found it pretty important to under-expose a bit so no channel is saturated, otherwise when you build the profile, it will err out. Best is just take a bracket of say 5 stops or so, then you know you have something to use.

I also have a "normal" that I built with daylight and with incandescent for other places, though the whole idea that incandescent is "inside light" is largely gone, with the advent of LED's. LED's vary a lot, and if you are using them (say in a studio) I would make a profile from them as well.
 

Zenon

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#4
Thanks for the detailed explanation. That alI makes sense especially when you mention the spectrum of the light. Yeah some colours clipped the first time so I underexposesed about 2 stops. I wondered about the effect of underexposing but that is now answered. I have read about dual profiles. I noticed the second column for it when I edited names using the profile manager. I'll have to check it out.

I've had CPP for a few years now, tried it a few times and went back to Canon. You mention blue and that is what really stands out. Big difference between Canon and CPP. It just seemed too saturated to me compared to what I was seeing but I know that CPP is correct. It does a good job with skin tones. Since discovering that some Canon profiles fo not play nicely using Auto Tone I'm re-evaluating this. I know that some don't like using Auto but I find the improvement Adobe made provides a good starting point. Even more so now using CPP/Adobe profiles.
 
Joined
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#5
Part of the problem may be that the Color Checker Passport is designed more for studio situations (rather than out in the "real world"), in environments where the light is totally controlled, and also to make it so that people not involved in the actual photography, who may not have been present - retouchers and designers - will be able to get an accurate fix on the color of the light. This is beyond the basic way of using it (the way I do), which is to simply click on a neutral gray. As for Canon, which is what I use, it's common that Canon accentuates red a bit too much. And Nikon often over-amps the blue. Shooting RAW allows all that to be managed.
 

Zenon

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#6
Makes sense. I guess using it at each shoot is the best way to this which I don't want to do. If I was a working pro I more than likely would. Oh yes Canon vs Adobe. Canon skin tones are tad on red side and Adobe yellow. Too yellow many years ago but Adobe has come a long way. I've spent a lot of time on this over the years. Adobe does a pretty decent job of matching Canon profiles but I always looked for recipes to tweak them a little here and there.

I'm looking into creating a Dual Illuminant using daylight and Tungsten.
 

Zenon

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#7
A question mostly out curiosity. If you use the CCP app you have to convert to DNG. When using LR to created a single illuminant my guess it does this automatically during the process. I realize you need to use the app for dual .
 

Ferguson

Linwood Ferguson
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#8
Part of the problem may be that the Color Checker Passport is designed more for studio situations (rather than out in the "real world"), in environments where the light is totally controlled, and also to make it so that people not involved in the actual photography, who may not have been present - retouchers and designers - will be able to get an accurate fix on the color of the light.
I shoot sports, and find there are a lot of "real world" (or at least "real sports") where they are useful. All facilities not using LED lights in particular tend to have weird colors from sodium and mercury vapor lights. The killer combination for these locations for me was (a) Flicker control, which fires the shutter at the peak lighting instant so it reduces the pink/green alternation in frames, and (b) a profile in that light. The lighting is still really bad, but this moves the needle in the right direction, and night sports in badly lit arena needs all the help it can get.

For LED lighting the effect is more subtle, but still present. You do get flicker but not the color flicker. But the colors are still not "right". I think I've posted this before, but just as an example, on the left is the adobe Camera Standard, and on the right is a custom profile under newish LED lights in an arena. At first glance there's not a lot of difference, but look closely at the skin town on the face and arms. To me the left has a yellow-green hue that is fairly typical of a lot of basketball shots, but is not what skin looks like really . Now look at the floor itself -- the wood, at least to me, now looks like real maple, not the bright yellow that most photos show but is not real, but a side effect of the light. LED's tend to fool the camera a bit as being near daylight temperature, but not making it all the way into the higher K spectra.

I've done a lot of testing in just plain landscape scenes, and there it is tough. If you "flash" back and forth quickly between a DCP profile from CCP and the default Adobe you can see a difference, but it is very subtle. I found it mostly in flowers and brighter paint colors on buildings, not in the overall images. Cameras and their profiles are still designed for black body spectra, i.e. smooth bell-like spectra curves which are mostly characterized by their mid-point, which is what we call white balance. They still yield the best colors with sunlight, and second best in tungsten light from real hot-wire lightbulbs. Non-heat source lights (sodium, mercury, neon, even LED, even photographic LED which are otherwise really good) have spikes in their spectra that correspond to more light at some colors than others. It's the nature of the beast - they are generating light from techniques other than heat, which means the spectra is a combination of individual colors and not a smooth bell-like curve. The DCP profiles can help these.

(Complete aside: The new lightroom profiles, which are LUT based. CPP produces a DCP profile, same idea as the Adobe Profile Editor. Each new style Lightroom profile (used for raw) is a combination of a DCP profile under the covers, and an optional LUT profile on top. So the DCP profiles from CPP remain relevant. Unfortunately the way LR implemented it so far, it's tough to put your own DCP profile underneath one of their LUT profiles (well, it's tedious and you have to dig in the documentation, it's not really tough). But you can still apply just the DCP profile itself from CPP and ignore the creative versions.

This is beyond the basic way of using it (the way I do), which is to simply click on a neutral gray. As for Canon, which is what I use, it's common that Canon accentuates red a bit too much. And Nikon often over-amps the blue. Shooting RAW allows all that to be managed.
Perhaps obvious but worth saying: CLicking on the grey sets white balance only, it's no different from any white/grey neutral source, other than that CPP gives you some warmer/cooler "neutral" variations (a bit of an oxymoron actually).

One way to visualize CPP DCP profiles along this line of thought, that is not quite technically accurate but is conceptually helpful, is that using the whole CPP is like setting white balance separately for each color. So rather than having one control knob you shift yellow/blue, what you have 18 different ranges spread out over the colors, and you are adjusting "white balance" for each of the 18, separately, then blending them together. Then the actual LR Whitebalance sits on top of that, and let's you do an overall shift to skew the overall image, after the individual 18 have been applied automagically. You can actually move the balance manually in Adobe's profile editor, they show up as dots and you can shift them directionally to adjust each color separately. Intellectually interesting, WAY too tedious for real life work for most people.
 

Zenon

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#9
Interesting. With Nikon it reduces the blues slightly. With Canon it is a major saturation shift.
 

PhilBurton

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#10
I shoot sports, and find there are a lot of "real world" (or at least "real sports") where they are useful.

[Lots of material removed. Italics added.]

(Complete aside: The new lightroom profiles, which are LUT based. CPP produces a DCP profile, same idea as the Adobe Profile Editor. Each new style Lightroom profile (used for raw) is a combination of a DCP profile under the covers, and an optional LUT profile on top. So the DCP profiles from CPP remain relevant. Unfortunately the way LR implemented it so far, it's tough to put your own DCP profile underneath one of their LUT profiles (well, it's tedious and you have to dig in the documentation, it's not really tough). But you can still apply just the DCP profile itself from CPP and ignore the creative versions.
Several weeks ago I started this thread Library module - In LR 7.3, are Camera Profiles and the new Adobe RAW Profiles mutually exclusive? because I wasn't sure how I could do a Color Check Profile and integrate that with one of Adobe's new creative profiles. You've answered this question very well, in the italicized part above. My takeaway is that as a practical matter, I can use either a custom profile OR one of Adobe's creative profiles. Like Ferguson, I sometimes shoot in situations where the lighting is very difficult. Not in sports arenas, but in train stations, rail car interiors, or night shots with sodium vapor or other difficult illumination. That said, there are times when I want to do a black-and-white conversion, using one of the new profiles, but it's a black-and-white conversion of fluorescent or sodium-vapor lighting.

Phil Burton
 

Zenon

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#11
Mac has 3 libraries. System, HD and User. When I made a CCP profile it saved it in the User library. As for Adobe and Camera profiles I stumbled onto them last week trying to find the User library. They are located in HD library. I don't really don't what the HD library is called. I'm just assuming based on location.

For User and HD libraries it is - application support - adobe - camera raw - camera profiles.

1 =User library
2= HD library
3= System Library

I imagine LR stores user CCP and Adobe/Camera profiles separately in Windows as well.
 

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