Arts & Entertainment

The colour’s in the calibration

 | March 16, 2012

Have you been thinking of creating prints from you digital camera files? Wouldn’t it be great to have those images on your website or blog enlarged and displayed in your home or office?

If the answer is “yes” to these questions, you’ll want to calibrate your monitor for the best possible colours and contrast to really make those prints pop!

When you buy a computer monitor, the default settings are not always accurate. In fact, two identical brands and models can produce different color schemes right out of the box, so you really can’t be sure that the colours you see while editing a photo will be the same colours that appear when you actually print a photo. Monitors also fade over time, and ambient light can cause subtle changes in the colours you’re viewing, making editing a frustrating experience.

When I first started printing photos at my local imaging lab, I was always disappointed with the results. At first, I was blaming the lab for my over- and under-saturated prints until I realized my monitor wasn’t calibrated. When I calibrated it, all my photos looked the same on other calibrated monitors and I had to apologize to the folks at the local lab. With a calibrated monitor, my images now look just as I expected after printing.

So, if you’d like to take your imaging to the next level and are serious about producing accurate colours, you’ll need to purchase a quality colourimeter. A colourimeter is a tool used by many colour management experts and serious photographers around the world that measures different wavelengths of colour. One of these colourimeters available to digital photographers, web designers and graphic illustrators is the X-rite i1 Display Pro available at B&H Photo.

This award winning calibration tool works with LCD, LED, Standard and Wide Gamut monitors. This small fist sized device is placed directly on your monitor and is extremely easy to use. The X-rite i1 Display Pro comes with software that can be used two ways—a basic mode suitable for wildlife and nature photographers like me, and an advanced mode for professional designers and illustrators.

In the basic setting, calibration requires no colour knowledge at all. Just attach the device to the monitor and let it do all the work. In the advanced setting you can adjust contrast and gamut and save your custom settings for future projects. You can even add or extract colours from your own images.

Calibrating your monitor can be something that’s added to your computer maintenance schedule and should be done every couple of months, even if you have the best monitor out there.

For more information on calibrating a monitor visit: www.xritephoto.com.

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