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Calibration

mom2tylerwolf 2:28am, 6 October 2009
Can someone explain to me about calibration. On another site that I frequent, they talk about calibrating their monitors. I know it's for coloring and such, but how does it work, and how do I actually do it?

Thank you!
moostang78 9 years ago
I have researched this a couple times and from what I have read...it seems the only time this is really important is if you are in advertising where color matching REALLY matters and for printing purposes. I could be totally wrong and there could be a totally different reason, but I feel it doesn't matter anyway because if you calibrate to see your colors all the same etc., people who open the photos will probably not see them the same way because their screens are not calibrated. Also, I believe if you want to do it thoroughly....there is a 3rd party software involved. Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
Mr. Mysterious 9 years ago
MPixPro has a nice video on the calibration of your monitor.

I think with the advent of LCD monitors calibration is less of a problem than when everyone had CRT's. Yes, there is still some room for adjustment but nothing like it was a few years ago.
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Trevor Warren 9 years ago
moostang78 pretty much covered it. It's really only for things that will be printed like a company logo where they want it to perfectly match their Pantone color card.

Basically you want to calibrate for the intended viewing medium and if you're publishing things to the web I'd switch the monitor to it's default setting (usually 9200k) and if you're printing, the monitors built-in sRGB setting (6500k) should get you close enough.

Most flat panel monitors have terrible color and contrast and even that shifts significantly based on your viewing angle. If you really need to have a calibrated print setup you'd need something like an Eizo monitor or good old CRT monitor will still blow away the average flat panel monitor.
mom2tylerwolf 9 years ago
Thank you for the responses.

Ok, so if you are taking photos for printing, and you do a lot of post editing, are you saying that you don't necessarily need to calibrate? But if my monitor is way off in its colors (I am on a laptop), won't whatever post editing I do be for not since it isn't giving me the "true" picture?
moostang78 9 years ago
If your monitor's color is truly off kilter, you could calibrate it to get it back to where it needs to be.

Just a little printing advice...if you are post processing (which I do a LOT of) and you get them printed the colors could change anyway depending on what print source you use. Unless you are printing them to a good print source, the colors are going to be a little off in the printing anyway. That has been my experience anyway. They are close...but not exactly the same as what I see on my monitor.

Also, colors can look WAY different depending on how you have your post processing work space set up too. Such as if you have a white or black background. Black makes you want to overexpose and white seems to make you want to underexpose and darken colors too much. I found that if you change everything to a neutral grey you get better judgment of colors and exposure. I have only worked on laptops minimally but it might be a bad source to post process on depending on the screen and if there is a lot of light reflection etc. bouncing off the screen. Don't know if that helps at all.
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Trevor Warren Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Trevor Warren (admin) 9 years ago
This book is a really great resource:

Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers. There are a lot of books with similar titles but this particular series written by Martin Evening seems to be almost universally endorsed.

I have the CS2 version and there is a whole chapter dedicated to Color Management and a chapter each for print and web output.

If the monitor is out of whack it may not be a bad idea to get an inexpensive colorimeter like a Spyder2Express just to remove an off hue.
mom2tylerwolf 9 years ago
Thank you so much! I will most definitely check that out!!!
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