Category Archives: Photography

Xrite ColorTRUE Review

ColorTRUE iconWhile on Apple’s App Store recently, I happened to notice Xrite’s ColorTRUE app. It promises to bring color management to your iOS device assuming you have a recent Xrite device such as:

  • ColorMunki Smile
  • ColorMunki Display
  • i1 Display Pro
  • i1 Pro 2

Fortunately, the Professional Photography Dept. at Langara College had purchased an i1 Pro 2 earlier in the year so I was in luck.

The setup is remarkably simple. Connect the device to the computer you normally use it with. Ensure it is on the same WiFi network as your iOS device. For my test I used an iPad Air. The larger gamut of the Air compared to the Mini should be noted if you’re a photographer.

When I started the ColorTRUE app on the iPad Air, it automatically went out and looked for the computer with the i1 Pro 2 attached. Connecting was simple and quick. Next, you need to calibrate the i1 Pro 2. After placing it on the calibration plate, a push of the button on the device started the calibration process.

The app flashes white, then red, until you place the device on the iPad’s screen. It auto detects the device when it’s in place and starts reading the patches the app presents on-screen. Total time was roughly three minutes. It looks similar to a monitor calibration sequence with a series of red, green and blue patches followed by several shades of grey.

ColorTRUE screenshot
The ring of circles surrounding the large red circle in the screeshot above shows the number of patches being read.

Once all the readings are taken, the brightness is adjusted and the profile is saved to Xrite’s server for use by the iPad being profiled. To get the benefit of the app, you need to view images from the Camera Roll on the iPad. The ColorTRUE app gives you options to view the image calibrated vs. uncalibrated, change the RGB profile (sRGB, Adobe RGB, and Pro Photo RGB) and adjust the white point.

The ColorTRUE page on Xrite’s website mentions that any ColorTRUE aware app will make use of the profile so that more accurate color can be obtained. The reality is that other than images on your Camera Roll or those being viewed in the Camranger app will not get the benefit of the profile you just created. Xrite has made an SDK available to developers. Whether the photographic community petitions the developers of their favorite apps to incorporate the ColorTRUE technology remains to be seen.

Evaluating a couple images left me with the impression that the app has a certain degree of usefulness in particular applications. If you can conveniently transfer your images into the Camera Roll (if they’re not already present) and you are in an environment with relatively controlled lighting, then the slightly improved rendering will be of interest. Should you have images that are in either Adobe RGB or Pro Photo RGB color space, then this app will allow you to see correct color rendering. You are also able to apply a print simulation. This will be of interest for those photographers creating images destined for a printing press. It does not include profiles for inkjet printers.

The ColorTRUE app is one of those bonus add-ons that adds to the value of an existing purchase. It wouldn’t motivate me to purchase a new colorimeter or spectrophotometer, however it will be useful from time to time in my workflow. I’m hoping the developer of the ShutterSnitch app chooses to incorporate the ColorTRUE technology.

Keeping it simple

One of my favourite aspects about teaching is seeing how people take ideas and information, then find ways to express their vision in their own unique way. I’ve been privileged to meet so many talented people while teaching for the Publishing and Photo-Imaging programs at Langara College.

As creative types, we need to keep nurturing our naturally inquisitive nature that seems to often become diminished as we get older. While teaching technology, I frequently run into people that are worried they will do something wrong or somehow break their software. Unlike software from 15 or 20 years ago, it’s difficult to render your photo editor useless or permanently change your pixels. Experiment. It’s essential.

So where is this post going? If you’re still with me, have you considered giving your camera to your child? No, not your $1000+ DSLR with your brand new super deluxe zoom lens that is worth more than your monthly mortgage payment. Besides worrying about it hitting the pavement, there are far too many buttons, knobs, screens, dials and whatnot. Roadblocks to creativity?

Instead, pull out that old point ‘n shoot digital camera that has been abandoned in the upgrade bin of your closet. Better yet, let your child use your smartphone next time you’re at the park, beach or the fair. The range of apps available will satisfy just about everyone’s tastes.

While visiting the PNE this year, my eight year old daughter asked for my iPhone and started photographing the ride called Atmosfear. I noticed the cool clouds drifting by and suggested we take more photos from a different angle.

Without prompting, she fired up Photo Forge 2 and confidently stated that she didn’t need any help. Apparently not.

Conversion to black and white, addition of a frame and a texture. Photo finished.

Keep it simple. We can all benefit from that approach.

Original image

Original image

Edited in Photo Forge 2

Edited in Photo Forge 2

Pet Photos with Santa – SPCA fundraiser

14 Years ago I ventured to Gibsons, BC to volunteer as the photographer for the Sunshine Coast SPCA Pet Photos with Santa fundraiser. This annual event has come to mark the beginning of the Christmas season for me. The dedication of the volunteers, support of the local businesses,  and the enthusiasm of the attendees have all contributed to the success of this event. While the dogs have definitely been out in numbers, we have a following of dedicated cat lovers, and over the years we have seen guinea pigs, a hen, ferrets and others. This fine fellow just joined his family five days ago.

2012 Pet Photos with Santa