Color Calibration (a techie post)

I’m putting this quick post up for others who are serious about using their camera.

When getting in the photo biz, one recommendation I’ve heard repeatedly is to color calibrate your screen. I was working on a new iMac, so at first I wondered if that was really necessary–shouldn’t it be correct right out of the box?

I noticed as I was editing, my photos tended to have a more yellow and cool hue in my eye, but then would be deemed “correct” when I solicited feedback from professionals at Click Photo School. I ordered some test prints and products. Again, off — the prints were warmer than what I saw on my screen. Hm…. Maybe that first assumption wasn’t so right.

I picked up a DataColor Spyder monitor calibration tool, and so glad I did! I’m not a technical person, but this was incredibly easy to use (while this is not a Mac product, the way DataColor presents instructions and takes you through the steps is in the super simple Mac fashion). Download the software, plug in, and watch it work.


The Spyder nailed it — the change was exactly in that yellow / cool issue. The software automatically sets up your new calibrated settings, so you don’t have to go into your settings and do any tweaks. It also lets you see the before and after. These are iPhone shots of my screen, so not the highest quality, but look at the blond in the top row. You can see how much cooler and yellow she is in the uncalibrated version, and then sooo much warmer and natural looking in the calibrated.

Uncalibrated:

Calibrated:


Again, this was so easy. Meanwhile, I look around my house at the Duplos-covered living room, stuffed animal parade on the couch, clean laundry unfolded, and play dough on the floor, it makes me pretty darn happy to have accomplished something so quickly.

Bottom line: If you are dabbling in photography for real, color calibrate your monitor. You’ll be SO happy you did.

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