Posted by livesthrulenses on August 18, 2012
Ever took the perfect shot and gave it a great edit only to be disappointed when it returned from the printers? Were the colors off or the image much darker than you expected? Why doesn’t your printed image match up to the image on your computer screen?
It’s pretty simple but a lot of people don’t think of it. Your monitor is not calibrated.
This means that what you are seeing on your screen isn’t what the printer is going to ‘see’ or even what others see on their computer screens. The most common problem of uncalibrated monitors is brightness. People like bright monitors, and LCDs are known for their beautiful bright screens. While that is great for the average internet surfer, it isn’t an ideal environment for editing pictures. To you, the picture will be bright and beautiful but it will always return to you printed too dark.
This is a well known fact for many photographers. However, new photographers, hobbyists, and amateur editors may not know about calibration. I sure didn’t.
I started out editing photos. I loved it, and I would edit any picture I could whenever I could. When my husband and I got married, suddenly I had tons of photographs to edit. I was in heaven but I was disappointed each time I had one printed off. They always came back too dark. I finally gave up on printing, and I left my edited pictures on my computer.
When I decided to pick up the camera myself, I slowly began to send my photos back out to be printed. The result was the same. I started using a professional lab thinking that this would be the solution. While my photos came back with better quality, they were still too dark. Frustrated, I decided to figure out what exactly I was doing wrong. Eventually, I stumbled across the answer on the internet. Embarrassed, I fixed the problem quickly and sent my photos off again. This time they came back looking perfect, and I could not be more relieved.
Calibration is not cheap though. It can start from 100 dollars up to 1,000. A good calibration system would by Spyder 4 Express which retails for about 100 dollars. If you do not want to spend the money on a calibration system for your computer, think about calibrating your monitor yourself. It’s not the best but it is good for a temporary fix or for someone who just likes to edit their own photographs.
Here is a video that helps walk you through the process.