Top 5 Colour Management Habits to start in 2020
The start of 2020 saw the typical new year’s resolutions; get fit, Dry January, reduce screen time; and whilst some new year’s resolutions have been known to stick, we’re looking to focus on achievable resolutions that will provide significant benefits in our everyday life.
Colour management can sometimes be overlooked, but should be considered from the outset before you even capture your image for the result to match your vision. We’ve rounded up our top 5 colour management habits to adopt in 2020, helping you perfect your images and save time and money.
1. Set a custom white balance before shooting
White balance is how warm or cool the overall colours in your image look, therefore if your white balance hasn’t been set, this can cause your image to appear too warm or too cool. We recommend setting a custom white balance before shooting to save time looking for a neutral reference point later in post-production and to ensure that the colour temperature of your image has been adjusted according to the shooting location.
2. Calibrate your monitor
Calibrating your monitor is one of the fundamental aspects of colour management. If you reach the photo editing stage and your monitor isn’t displaying accurate colours, there will be very little chance of producing an image with the colours you captured! We recommend calibrating your monitor every 2-6 weeks since temperature and screen brightness will gradually change over time. Monitor calibration tools we love include X-Rite i1Display Studio, X-Rite i1Studio and X-Rite i1 ColorChecker Photo Kit.
3. Find the right software for you
You’ve already bought the right tools for your colour management workflow, so the next step is to use industry-standard software, such as Adobe, Capture One and Affinity. Adobe Photoshop is perfect for retouching, compositing and editing images down to the pixel level. Capture One’s Phase One software gives professional photographers the tools they need to produce premier quality images direct from RAW files. Affinity Photo offers sophisticated tools for enhancing and retouching your images in an incredibly intuitive interface. It’s just about finding the best software that suits your needs!
4. Set up a viewing area for evaluating prints
Whether you’re working from a studio or at home, it is essential to work in a correctly lit space to avoid viewing your prints in exceptionally dark or bright conditions. If possible, set up a viewing area with a viewing booth, which is designed for evaluating work where there is often a lack of natural light. If a viewing booth is out of your budget, consider assessing prints by using a natural daylight lamp, such as the GrafiLite, which allows you to view prints and colour swatches in natural light during any time of the day.
5. Invest in the right tools
When it comes to colour management, it’s important to have the right tools to achieve the best results. Whether you have a small or large budget, it’s important to get into the habit of choosing the best tools for your budget and need, and there are a variety of tools available to help you achieve those perfect results. X-Rite’s calibration tools are designed for anyone serious about colour management for their images, with a range of tools for photographers and digital imaging experts who are looking to achieve consistent colours from capture-to-screen-to-print.
Want to get into these habits? Then we’ve got all of the right tools for you here.