Have you ever noticed that the colors of the image that you saw on your display look very different when you transfer the image to another computer screen and view it there? You might also notice a similar change in colors when you view the image on your mobile phone. Why?
A long time ago, this question had troubled me a lot. I would edit an image only to find that it looked entirely different when I uploaded it to Facebook or my website. The colors even changed when I printed these photographs.
Thus, I came to realize, if there’s anything that is absolute about images, it’s the fact that no one is seeing the colors of an image exactly as the colors visible to you on your display.
Why Does It Happen?
The problem lies mostly with the difference in the brightness of monitor screens and whatever default color it happens to ship with. And also, as the monitor gets older, these colors start changing. The issue is more with the older bulb light monitors than with LEDs; but still, these colors change over time.You edit according to the color of the image on the monitor screen which is not accurate or standard. That is why you also get different colors when you print your image.
There is a process, known as Monitor Calibration, which gives you a good representation of colors and proper brightness on your screen. This will also help you towards getting better prints.
What Is Monitor Calibration?
Monitor Calibration is a process where you use a puck-like device that sits on your display/screen and measures the color that is being displayed. This device is called a Spectrophotometer; spectro- from spectrum meaning a range of colors, photo- light, and meter- to measure). In short, it measures the light color. Spectrophotometers come with their software, together bundled as a kit.
How To Calibrate Your Monitor?
I will let you know how to calibrate with the kit I have, i.e. Spyder 5 Pro.
The process is pretty straightforward. First, you will have to download(from the product website) and install the software on your computer and then, attach the device to your computer to get it authorized and licensed. Then the software will take you to its starting screen as shown in the image below.
Make sure that your display is on for half an hour and no direct light is falling on it. Then select and go through each option in the above picture and hit next. It will open up the screen as shown below.
You will find an interactive panel on the right side of the software window. It is really helpful and gives you all details of each option and selection in the software. It will help you completely in understanding and move forward with the process.
It is preferable to do the calibration in a dark room but that is not always the scenario if you are in a workplace or office. In such cases make sure that the Room Light option is selected ‘On’. And then hit next.
Again make sure there is no intense lighting falling on the display!
Spyder will do a room light analysis and let you know the recommended settings to start with.
Select ‘Accept recommended settings’ and hit next.
Place the Spyder device on the area shown in the above image by hanging it from the top of the display as shown in the cover image of this blog. Then hit next to Calibrate.
The software will make the display flash some colors. And then this will appear.
Proceed as per the instruction and then hit continue. Some more colors of varied intensity will be flashed by the display. That means the device is calibrating. Once it’s done, the following message will appear on your display.
Click on Finish and the following screen will appear with a congratulation message. You can save your new color profile if you want. And hit next.
That’s it. You’re done. Your computer is calibrated now!
Photoshop, Lightroom, and color managed browsers like Safari will use this profile when you view photos. It will help you to edit and process images with the best color rendition. Suggestively, you must calibrate once a month for best color profile and consistency. This is your first step in color management without knowing it. And probably the most important!
Do you have any doubts? Have you tried it out for yourself? Had any difficulties? If you use a similar device, lemme know which one and how good or bad is it? Please share in the comments below.
Also, check out Photoshop’s New Feature Will Blow Your Mind!