Is Your Monitor Calibration Wonky?

Do you ever wonder if the images you are viewing on your computer are displaying correctly and showing the correct density and colour tone? Anytime you are concerned about the density and/or colour accuracy of images you are viewing on your computer monitor, whether your images or those of others, its best to check to make sure your monitor is correctly calibrated.

The team at SeeVirtual views image quality as integral to the success of the company. All of our processors and photographers are responsible for ensuring that their computer monitors are correctly calibrated. Doing so ensures that users will be able to view the images in their optimal state. Unfortunately the quality and calibration of user’s computer monitors is beyond the control of SeeVirtual.

Some people will view our excellent images on a tired CRT display and wonder why the images are dark and flat (no fault of ours, recycle the monitor and get a new one!). In one case  a client insisted on submitting a photo for us to match in terms of colour and density, sadly it was as orange as the fruit and much lighter. We did their bidding as the customer is always right. The photos we sent them were awful, but apparently displayed fine on their monitor. Too bad for the rest of the viewing public!

Image above processed to SeeVirtual standard

Image below processed to clients  request

A simple way to check your monitor for density and contrast calibration is to view a calibrated image on your monitor to confirm that you are seeing the image the way it should display. Take a careful look at the image below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the instructions on the image above indicate, you should be able to discern the difference between each of the patches on the two strips. If you are not able to see the difference between the lightest two patches then your monitor is set too bright, and needs adjustment. If you are not able to see the difference between the two darkest patches on the image then your monitor is set too dark, and needs adjustment. Refer to your monitor owners manual to make adjustment to the brightness and contrast so the above image display correctly.

Here is a second image to view on your computer. Follow the instructions on the image to double check your monitor density and contrast calibration.

 

 

Use the image below to check the monitor colour balance. Skin tones should be natural. Whites should be pure white and the grey tones should be neutral.

 

 

The best and most accurate method of calibrating your monitor is to use a Monitor calibration device such as the Spyder. Using such a device is the best way to ensure that your monitor is always displaying images the way they should be. For more details on how to calibrate your monitor using the Spyder click here.

Factors that influence the quality of image presentation on computer monitors

  • Quality, age and type of monitor
  • Monitor calibration settings
  • Coloured walls behind and beside the monitor
  • Quality, colour and level of ambient lighting
  • User colour blindness at varying levels

For more information regarding monitor calibration check out http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/adjust-monitor.html, http://www.monitorsetup.com/ and http://www.photofriday.com/calibrate.php.

 

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