Colour Watcher - Working Modes

The Working modes of the Colour Watcher are

the normal dynamic mode with instant reading,
the static or captured mode,
fixed point sampling,
a magnifier (3 levels), and
setting Shadow & Highlight points.

These are demonstrated below.

You can have a Watcher monitor the current colour under the mouse, or you can run any number of them on stationary points - providing you don't move the underlying image!

When each Watcher Clock is set to monitor a particular point, the outside of the clock is the original colour and the current colour is shown in the middle.  You start/stop monitoring a fixed point by pressing the Spacebar.

To see the original values, press the 'q' key.

Opposite I've added a rather strong S curve (to demonstrate the change), and I placed the watchers after setting White point, so I could show you what the curving did.

This facility really becomes useful for removing colour casts and is an absolute must (for me anyway) when using Jacob's Ladder.


When you set the Black and White points using the Droppers in Photoshop Curve dialog, there is no indication as to whether you have selected the best point. But when you use the Levels dialog and hold down the Alt key as you move the sliders, Photoshop shows you what you are clipping. You can run my clock to give the same helpful indication when Curving.

Setting black/white points does two things - corrects the colour cast of the end points and sets the full tonal range of the image.

Either before or after you invoke the Photoshop Curves adjustment dialog up, fire up the Watcher - by default it will float over the image.
Opposite, I've placed it over the Curves Dialog and near the wave where I want to set a White point - the Watcher includes an optional small Magnifier of the area around the mouse (the mouse cursor is not shown in these snapshots - but the little dotted circle shows where it is).
Now press W on the Watcher (for White point). In the Curves dialog select the White Dropper and then watch the magnifier display, which changes to show what will be clipped.
Opposite I've selected White point and am moving the cursor towards the top of the wave. Any area that is not white will be clipped by Photoshop and become white and thus detail will be lost - so move the point until the display becomes as white as possible. That is then the best point, so just click the mouse to set it.
And opposite is the result of setting that point. Normally one would just hit W again and the Magnifier would disappear, but I've left it showing to demonstrate the result.

You will notice that Photoshop sets the individual channels to those values, correcting both colour and tone.

Difficult to show on a web page, but these snapshots may help give you the idea how good and simple this is.

If you are setting the Shadow point (B key for Black point), then any bit that has not gone Black will be clipped to black and you will loose colour and tone for it.

Pressing the S key will Stop/Start the monitoring if, for instance, you wish to remember a colour.  This is different from fixed point monitoring that will continue to show the colour changes.

There is a cautionary note: the Watcher picks up screen RGB values and not the underlying image values and so there can be a slight difference depending on your current profile - but luckily it is accurate on Neutrals and Skin tones. You can check this out by firing up the Watcher and compare the Photoshop values with it's values (place the Watcher near the Info Palette and view an image at 100% with both set to a single pixel).