Why it’s important to Color Calibrate your screen

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Why it’s important to Color Calibrate your screen

You’ve spent hours and hours editing your photos, adjusting brightness, optimizing white balance. But what good does it all do if what you see on your screen is different from what you’ll see when it’s printed?

Not only is it important to color calibrate when you print your photos but also when you are processing them.

As your monitor gets older, it loses accuracy. How can you provide consistent work if you see your photos differently each time? If you want to be taken seriously as a photographer you make sure your photos are consistent and always up to par. Color calibrating your screen saves you both time and money.

Screen vs Printer / RGB vs CMYK

Knowing the difference between RGB and CMYK is very important if you print your work.

RGB stands for Red Green Blue. CMYK stands for Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black.

Anything dealing with the web should always be in RGB and printed things should be in CMYK.

Your computer screen is able to generate millions of colors. Something a printer is incapable of doing. To make sure that what you see on your screen is going to be the same as the printed version, the photo lab will send you their ICC profile you can use. The ICC profile will only work if you use it on a calibrated screen.

2 Ways to calibrate your screen

When you want to calibrate your screen you’ve got 2 options: software-only calibration or by using a hardware colorimeter.

Software-only calibration

When you want to calibrate your screen using software, you highly depend on what it is that you see. Which is perfectly fine for all-day use or playing video games. It’s not good enough if you’re a photographer.

Both Windows and OS have a built-in calibration tool.

Hardware colorimeter

A hardware colorimeter, I use the Spyder5Pro, calibrates your screen to an industry color reference standard. If I were to calibrate my screen using the software-only option and when I’d be done, my husband would do it again: it would look different from each other. The hardware colorimeter makes sure that each and every screen he calibrates looks exactly the same.Hardware colorimeters are easy to use. Most of the time you just have to plug-in the device into a direct USB-port on your computer and follow the steps the wizard tells you to do. Depending on how much work he’s got, it’ll take about 10-15 minutes.You’ll find a good colorimeter starting at around $180.

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