Remember ColorRight, the cool little white balance filter-like device that makes custom white balance a breeze? (Read the ColorRight review.)
Well, the folks at ColorRight have an updated version called ColorRight MAX. It offers the same reflective light custom white balance settings that it handled before. Now, however, you can tweak white balance for different skin tones by just clicking on the appropriate white balance reference in your RAW editor.
Frankly, ColorRight MAX does more than I need it to do. It is definitely more “pro” oriented than the original ColorRight (which is still available and, as far as I know, will remain available). However, those of you who can use this tool will immediately understand how that it can help your work flow.
Essentially, you’ll have your model hold the ColorRight MAX while you capture a reference shot that you’ll revisit in post-processing, then you go on with the rest of your shoot. When you’re in post, you pull the reference shot up and can use the dropper tool to select the appropriate white balance from the ColorRight MAX’s skin tone references.
Here’s an image and description from ColorRight:
The revolutionary skin tone selector is on the back side of COLORRIGHT MAX. This new patent pending method of providing pleasing skin tones for people of all different skin tones. The skin tone selector provides 6 one click skin patches for proper, and pleasing, skin color. As you can see in the image above, these 6 patches are arranged like pie slices in a semi-circle. Patches for people with lighter skin tones are found on the left side, while darker skin tone patches are located on the right. Medium skin tone patches are found in the center.
In addition to the 6 skin patches, the top half of the above image shows off the 2 guaranteed neutral gray references.
One of the best examples that I’ve seen for use of the ColorRight MAX was at a wedding reception, where the photographer grabbed a quick shot of someone holding the ColorRight MAX before leaving for the evening. It gave him a great reference for all the images shot under that light at the reception. (See the Jamie Roberts review link below.)
Again, I don’t see this as the perfect tool for every prosumer photographer out there, but many photographers will “get it” immediately and see the benefits in their work flow. I see wedding and portrait photographers as two broad classes of potential ColorRight MAX users. Even if you don’t use the skin tone and neutral reference patches on every shoot, the MAX still functions like the traditional ColorRight too.
You can learn more about the ColorRight MAX at the ColorRight website. Also, see Jamie Roberts’ review of the MAX, which shows off some real world examples of how he incorporated the device in his work flow.