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| p.1 #11 · Monitor Calibration...necessary? |
The idea is to have things match as much as possible. When you calibrate your monitor (correctly, and have good results) the colors shown in the image on screen are close to 'correct.'
When you print, however, there is no guarantee that the printer can reproduce the colors you have on screen, they might be out of gamut, and the printer might be not calibrated perfectly...
In order to match prints to the screen, then, you need to download printer profiles from the lab, and then soft proof in photoshop, basically looking at the image through the profile of the printers capability and accuracy.
Assuming that the printer has less gamut than your monitor, you should see an accurate representation of what the printer will print.
Then, once you get print home, it should match the screen when viewed through the printer profile..
however... big however... take that print outside and look at the color, then look at it under incandescent light. Or look at it in a room painted red. It won't match under varied conditions... so then you need a device that has a calibrated (usually 6500k) light to view the pictures under... if you place that little booth next to the calibrated monitor and view the picture through the printer profile and you haven't exceeded monitor gamut anywhere, it should be really, really close. Nirvana.
And then you give that print to a client and they hang it in a blue room and it looks all screwed up.
That's a brief rundown of my experience trying to match prints to the monitor. I can get them really close when viewed under calibrated light, but it doesn't matter much.
All of that being said, I still view calibrating a monitor as a must because I can't get ANYWHERE near as close manually tweaking things. To me, an uncalibrated monitor, even tweaked like crazy, is too far outside of the norm to be useful. That's the point in the post that I really wanted to quote... 'As long as the printed output [matches]...' is really hard to achieve without calibration depending on your color eye and how nuts you are.
Calibration is mandatory when you are shooting commercial stuff, dealing with color crazy artists and art directors, photographing paintings and things that need to be accurate in color... for amateurs showing pics on the web it's less important, but you need to be close enough so that you can see when whites are pure white or blacks still have detail, which is hard, but not impossible without calibration. As with anything, it's a value judgement... as a hobby, can you commit the resources to buy a good screen and a puck or is it not worth it to you? As a professional, I think I owe it to my clients to have accurate color for what I shoot, but that's the way I judge my business needs, and other people might be different.
For people that are not getting paid to shoot, close enough may be just fine...
This is a question that has puzzled me for some time. It seems to me the objective is to display an image as the photographer sees it, be it as a print or on a screen. To that end, as long as the printed output looks like what is seen on the screen, what does it matter if the monitor is calibrated? If I adjust an image to my liking on an uncalibrated monitor and my print matches the screen image, isnít that what counts?
Similarly, if I post the same image on the Internet, what assurances do I have that...Show more →