Why is it essential to colour calibrate?

Discover why calibrating your computer monitor is necessary to achieve top results from your photos.

It’s not uncommon to find that your photo prints lack a little vibrancy when comparing them to the edited image on your computer screen. Some colours may even appear incorrect, with reds seemingly more magenta and greens looking a little yellow. This is often the result of your computer monitor not having been calibrated.

Colour calibration is important if you want perfect print results, as it will ensure the colour hues that you see on screen match those that are produced by the printer.

All computer screens differ slightly in their level of brightness, contrast and colour representation. Although they are manufactured to produce the best possible picture, they still require some tuning. There are two methods you can employ to do this: one being by eye, using built-in software within the screen; or the other, using hardware, which will do it automatically.

You can calibrate your computer screen to an extent by adjusting the monitor’s brightness and contrast settings. Some let you adjust resolution and calibrate colours using specialist settings. Serious shooters may want to invest in hardware, such as a ColorMunki or Spyder device, which attaches to your screen and automatically calibrates it for you with accuracy.

It works by using a colorimeter sensor, which is placed on top of the screen. This communicates with software that will then make any necessary adjustments to the monitor. For complete colour accuracy, you should calibrate around once every two months.

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