The ColorChecker® Passport Photo pocket color reference chart has the same features as the ColorChecker® Classic but packs them in a rugged polycarbonate body that can stand upright on its own, or get tucked away easily in a shirt pocket or camera rucksack.
The ColorChecker® Passport Photo also brings some extra features that make it an indispensable tool for digital photo and video shooting. Besides the standard 24 color patches that made the ColorChecker® Classic so popular, the ColorChecker® Passport Photo adds a second surface with 26 additional patches combined in three groups. Here is what each one of them does:
- the neutral grey patches along the inner edge of the ColorChecker® Passport Photo allow fine control over blacks and highlights while making sure you will not lose detail in the darkest and lightest areas of the image;
- the two rows of five patches in the center allow you to introduce minimal, aesthetically pleasing changes to the white balance that make the image look warmer or cooler. The first row is intended for use with portraits and the second one works best for landscapes;
- the eight rainbow-colored patches on the outer edge allow you to check whether the artificial lighting on set has continuous spectrum (if it doesn't, the missing color will make its responding patch look black).
Using the ColorChecker® Passport Photo is very easy. First, you need to take a photo of the color chart in the same lighting conditions you will be shooting in (if they change, you have to take another photo). When you sit down to process the RAW images with your preferred Adobe product (Photoshop or Lightroom) you have to export the test picture in DNG format and open it with the free ColorChecker® Passport Photo software. The program will generate a camera profile and will store it where the Adobe products are looking for custom camera profiles. You then need to open the series of pictures and apply that profile to them before starting to edit each one of them in earnest.