Xrite Color IQ Test

How well do you really know color. Studies have shown that up to 10% of men are color blind. But even if you have normal recognition of colors doesn’t mean you see a color shift in your photos or know how to correct this shift. Knowing that cyan is the opposite of red has no correlation on the ability to correctly identify a cyan shift in a photo.

Most photographers that I have run into over the years feel that they have a natural ability to recognize color. They feel the ability comes with being a photographer. Back when I was in school for photography one of the assignments was to produce a color print of a test subject photographed under controlled lighting. A grey card and flesh tone dummy was part of the set-up. Once a perfect print was produced a ring around of various colors was then produced and mounted on foam board. Perfect print, then 3 cyan, 6 cyan, 9 cyan, 3 red, 6 red 9 red, out to 30 units change. This was done for all of the colors. Cyan, red, green, magenta, blue yellow. Twice a week we had tests where we were given prints and had to record our answer on the color correction need to correct the color. The prints started at a value of 20 units off and progressed to prints that were 2 units off. Some prints also had multiple colors such as magenta blue. The whole class took the tests until we all received a perfect score. I have shown the ring around poster to lots of photographers and most were unable to correctly identify the correct color. I find that we have gotten better since the profession has gone digital but I feel it is mostly the auto button in photoshop and lightroom.

Xrite Photo has done a real service to the industry with their easy to use and high quality calibration products. I recommend that everybody have one of their color products. To get correctly color balanced photos you have to have a properly calibrated monitor. Their is no reason to spend thousands on cameras and lenses and not spend at least a couple hundred on Xrite products. Using a calibrated monitor and calibrating your camera with a Color Checker Passport can save you so much time and money that they are wise investments. To say I just shoot gray cards and can see color shifts just doesn’t fly, color can be tricky to see sometimes, just let the device do the work for you.

Instead of reading camera reviews spend some time on the basics of color. Clients are getting more demanding everyday. Get your system calibrated. Now you will notice that color shift in the shadows. Your flesh tones in your portraits will look better. Xrite has a great tool at their website called The Color IQ test. Go take the test. It only takes a few minutes. Then go pick-up one of their products and you will have one less thing to worry about.

 Xrite Color IQ test

Xrite Color IQ test


Note: I have no affiliation with Xrite Photo. I just have really strong feelings about color.