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Make a New Year’s Resolution: Calibrate your Monitor (with X-Rite!)
by Brenda K. Hipsher – January 5th, 2012
The title above is actually the title of a new smArticle on ShootSmarter.com. Gary Poole is a color consultant and contributor to ShootSmarter whose latest offering there is titled “Make a New Year’s Resolution: Calibrate your Monitor.” Gary’s company Your Best Color specializes in color correction for digital files. Gary is adamant about the absolute necessity for monitor calibration and profiling for photography.
“No matter what kind of monitor you own it will definitely benefit from proper calibration and profiling,” says Gary. “Investment in accurate monitor and profiling software may be one of the most important purchases you can make as a professional photographer. Even if you have no desire to correct your own images for color and density, wouldn’t it be great to see them as accurately as possible?” Why not indeed.
This article really is a basic look at what monitor profiling is and why it’s important to use a device and software rather than “eyeing it up” and hoping for the best. I have a lot of people ask me why we can’t use our eyes to set the monitor if we’re going to use our eyes to do the color correction in the end. The simple answer is that eyes are changeable and instruments are not.
Since color actually occurs in our brain not in our eyes there’s a lot more to how we see color and how we feel about the color we see than might… well, forgive the pun … meet the eye! Here’s how Gary puts it: “Some people try to adjust their monitors by ‘eyeballing.’ The problem with that is that our eyes are so easily influenced by our surroundings. We also have poor judgment of colors and densities due to retinal fatigue and the phenomenon of apparent changes in colors and tones based on adjacent colors.” So true. Color vision is also affected by our mood, the time of day, how rested or tired we are, and even sometimes by what we eat! Indigestion does not make for steady color vision in my own experience.
The bottom line… invest in your own color workflow and be diligent about calibrating and profiling your monitor. As Gary says even if you don’t plan to print your work wouldn’t you like to see what’s really IN the file? It goes without saying that if you’re printing in your studio, sending files to a lab to be printed, or preparing files to be delivered to a client you simply must be sure that your monitor is set to industry standards so that what you see is what others with calibrated and profiled monitors.
Read more of Gary Poole’s smArticles at ShootSmarter.com. You’ll find titles like “Does Good Color Really Matter?” and “Learn to Color Correct the Fast Way” among many other studio related titles. And there’s a lot more at ShootSmarter.com as well including Will Crockett’s Crocketville Blog, Friday Photo School, and much more.
Keep reading the X-Rite Photo Blog and follow X-Rite Photo on Facebook and @xritephoto on Twitter. Remember you can get all kinds of interesting educational webinar offerings from X-Rite Photo right here by pulling down the “Webinars” tab at the top of this page. You’ll be directly connected to the Learning section at www.xritephoto.com to keep up with live Webinars Coming Soon as well as a listing of archived Webinars On Demand.
Stop Guessing. Start Knowing. Find out more about ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro for monitor and projector calibration and profiling. These affordable, professional solutions give you the confidence you need to get it right. Get your color workflow under control with display calibration solutions from X-Rite!