Thursday, February 1, 2007
Calibrate your monitor to achieve accurate color in your digital darkroom
Today's color-calibration systems are both accurate and simple to use. The main component of these products is a colorimeter, which when placed in front of a display, measures brightness and color values. The included software displays a series of screenshots, which consist of different neutral values, colors, patterns and levels of brightness. Taking the data provided by the colorimeter, the software creates a specific profile that optimizes the output of the monitor.
It's recommended that you calibrate your system once a month to ensure accuracy, because your monitor will change as it gets older. Though the display likely will remain fairly consistent for the first several years of its life, it's important to develop the habit of regular calibration.
Calibration tools help ensure display consistency, so that adjustments you make to your images are repeatable and predictable, which ultimately results in better print output with less guesswork.
Once your monitor is calibrated, it doesn't mean that your prints will exactly match what's on your screen. It's important to remember that the image you see on a monitor and what's printed on paper are from completely different mediums. A monitor uses a combination of red, green and blue light to produce an image that's emitted through the monitor, while a photograph is created by the reflection of light on a surface whose color is produced by a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks.
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