Andy Ford Color Management

A Color-Managed Workflow

Whether you’re a videographer or photographer, accurate colors matter. That’s why I use a color-managed workflow with the Datacolor SpyderX Photo Kit. The kit includes the SpyderX Elite monitor calibration device, the SpyderCUBE advanced gray card and the SpyderCHECKR 24 camera color correction tool.

Since my team’s projects often involve capturing photos and videos at the same time, it’s great having a system that supports many programs such as Lightroom and DaVinci Resolve.

When on a shoot, find a place to dangle the SpyderCUBE gray card and either lean the SpyderCHECKR 24 against something or have the talent hold it. Then, take a quick reference shot and remove the items from the scene. In this case, I’ve just setup an example in my backyard.

It is worth noting that our photographer enjoys using the SpyderCUBE to set exposure, black level and brightness.

On the video side, I’m shooting in log with my Sony FS7. If you’re not familiar with log, it shows washed out colors and a lack of contrast, but uses logarithmic space for a greater number of gradations in the spectrum. In post, you get to reassign all of the color information, so it presents the opportunity for a more refined picture.

How do I accurately assign the color information in post? With the SpyderCHECKR 24 from my reference shot. The same tool being used by the photographer in Photoshop or Lightroom will be used by me in DaVinci Resolve for video.

Of course, first ensure your monitors are color-calibrated properly with the SpyderX Pro or Elite. Periodically, I’ll spend two minutes to ensure my monitors are right using this tool because it’s so fast and easy to use. For more information on this, please refer to my article here.

Next, I’ll import my footage into DaVinci Resolve and apply a color chart with the SpyderCHECKR 24 preset for color matching. This will adjust my recorded S-log3 source gamma to my target gamma of Rec.709.

I can then make further adjustments using the provided scopes and color correction tools. This is the same process the photographer follows in RAW software to achieve color accuracy (hue, saturation and luminance) for a series of images. Check out my workflow below with DaVinci Resolve and the SpyderCHECKR 24:

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