Now, I know this post will probably bore most of you straight to that x on your web browser (honk shoo … honk shoooo), but for the few of you who may be interested (ahem, Amanda who left the comment after my latest Critique Me post) I thought I’d write a quick post about calibration software. What it is, what I use, where you buy it, how to use it, etc.
If you are viewing photos and/or editing them consistently it’s a great idea to have your monitor calibrated and calibrated often. If you are not doing those things it is still helpful since most all of us shop online and who wants to order a fantastic navy and white striped scarf only to receive it and realize it’s purple and yellow?
The software I use is X-Rite i1Display 2. I’m not sure if it’s the best option out there (do your research), but it’s what my local camera store had on hand and it certainly does the trick.
Here’s how it works:
This little thing simply hangs over your monitor.
And, along with the software that comes with it it reads the light, contrast and colors that flash on your screen and calibrates your monitor. The end. Wambamthankyoumaam. It really is that easy!
As an added bonus you can also hold the calibrator tool out from your monitor and ask it to take in account the ambient light. This is most helpful when you are not editing in a dark room.
A few things to note/keep in mind:
- Glossy screens will make editing tricky as the screen is designed to make images look brighter, higher in contrast and richer in color. Editing on a matte screen is ideal.
- Ambient light plays a huge role in the way colors will look on our monitor. So, if ever I am editing images on the go and forced to use my laptop I calibrate every single time I open Photoshop. In one hotel I may be editing at night with only side lamps on, in another I may be editing next to a large, open window. The ambient light is totally different in those two situations and yes, will make my photos look different on screen and ultimately, in print.
- If possible, edit on a monitor in a dark room where the light remains consistent. Otherwise, if you are editing for long periods of time and the light is changing in the room you are in, know that you may need to calibrate more than once that day.
- The color, contrast and brightness on our screen can change ever so slightly the longer it’s running. This is due to the heat. So, again it may be necessary to edit more than once in a long-editing day.
Okay, that’s enough borefest (and the crowd chants, “tell it again! tell it again!”).
p.s. one of my students shared this little Color IQ Test on the forum. I scored a 24 (which in my opinion, is not good. I stoopid), how about you?