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Thursday, February 1, 2007

True Colors

Calibrate your monitor to achieve accurate color in your digital darkroom

The joy of digital photography can be quickly diffused when the photograph we've printed doesn't resemble what we saw on our monitors. Dramatic differences in brightness, contrast and especially color make using a digital darkroom an exercise in frustration instead of creativity.

Photographers can save themselves the aggravation, as well as loads of paper and ink, by calibrating their monitors. Just because that brand-new monitor looks impressive on your desk doesn't mean that it's prepared to be the heart of your photographic workflow. Thankfully, the process of preparing your monitor to accurately display color and tone is both easy and affordable at prices beginning as low as $79.

Monitor-calibration systems, such as those from Datacolor ColorVision, Pantone and X-Rite (formerly GretagMacbeth), have been designed to help photographers, whether professional or enthusiast, make sure that their LCDs or CRTs are outputting the best and most accurate image possible.

What you want from a monitor is for it to provide a color-neutral workspace that allows you to confidently enhance your images. Since so much of image editing is dependent on a visual assessment of what's on the screen, a calibrated monitor becomes essential.

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