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A 2-Minute Primer on How to Use a Color Checker


If you’ve never used an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport before, this quick-and-dirty primer by photographer Jeff Rojas is a great place to start.

Rojas, a fashion and portrait photographer based in New York, advises that you always use your ColorChecker, especially when shooting portraits. Colors can vary between camera bodies and lenses, even when you’re using the same manufacturer and model, and using the ColorChecker makes sure those variations don’t make it into your final edits.

X-Rite’s ColorChecker Passport is extremely easy to use, and works with accompanying software. Basically, all you do is take a portrait with your subject holding up the color checker without covering any part of it up. Then, import that photo into Lightroom, right click, and select Export > ColorChecker Passport.


This will create a custom DNG profile that ensures all of your colors are 100% accurate, allowing you to edit from an unblemished starting point. Once you’ve restarted Lightroom, you can select this custom profile in the Camera Calibration section on the right.

A ColorChecker Passport costs about $85, but it’s worth it to make sure you nail skin tones (and every other color) every time. Unlike a grey card, it handles way more than white balance.

Plus… if you’re looking to nail white balance, there’s always this ‘scientific’ method.

(via Jeff Rojas via Fstoppers)