August 31, 2010

Tuesday Tip

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Calibrate Your Monitor!

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Today for the Tuesday Tip I thought I'd talk about something that I feel very strongly about...calibrating your monitor.


Calibrating your monitor is often overlooked by beginning photographers. They invest a lot of money on their photography equipment (camera, lenses, and filters), and ignore one of the most essential tools in the digital photographer’s toolkit – the computer monitor. Your monitor is where you view, sort through, and edit your digital images. If you care about your images, you need to make sure that the colors that you see on your monitor match the colors that you saw when you looked through the view finder on your camera, and that the colors on your monitor match your printed image.


Regardless of what type of monitor you have, you need to calibrate your monitor. With an uncalibrated monitor you cannot tell if you have achieved proper exposure, whether the color balance is correct, or whether your post processing looks true to life. With an uncalibrated monitor, you may tweak your images so they look good on the monitor only to discover that the images look horrible when printed.

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When I first started taking digital pictures, I would spend hours carefully editing my images. When my prints returned, I was so frustrated to see that all of my images had a yellowish hue. This frustrating problem had a relatively simple solution: I calibrated my monitor.

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There are a variety of methods to calibrate your monitor from looking at your monitor’s owner’s manual, to following free online tutorials, to purchasing calibration software. If you use a professional printer (which I highly recommend – more on that later!), then the printer will likely provide you with printer specific calibration. They can also send you a calibration kit with a printed image, and the same image on a disk that you can compare it to. That way you can tweak the brightness/contrast/colors on your computer until what you see on your monitor matches the printed image. The calibration method you choose will likely depend on how serious you are about photography and how much you are willing to spend. Whichever way you choose to calibrate your monitor, I'm sure you'll be glad you did. Being able to know that "what you see is what you get" is a good feeling. :)


Happy Calibrating!

3 comments:

Becky said...

I am so excited for your tips. This is a great one that I've tried several times but it seems I never get through the whole process.

Thanks for the help!!

Jonnie said...

You read my mind...I was just gonna ask you about this! Thanks!

Libby said...

What about Tuesday Tip #3-upgrade your Photobucket account? Haha. Really cute pics of Lili by the way!