Calibration: What It Is, Why You Should Do It, and How It's Done

Calibration: What It Is, Why You Should Do It, and How It's Done

Why is my print dark? Why are the colors off? I believe we all found ourselves asking these questions inside our head (or worse, yelling at our photo printer!) during our first steps into our journey in photography. Monitor calibration is the solution, bad settings and bad color reproduction by the monitor are the culprit. Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink and read on, I'll tell you everything about it, what you have to do, what you gain, how it's done, and what you need to correctly calibrate your monitors.

Introduction

Alright, so here we go!
Monitor calibration is a process during which our monitor settings are being adjusted properly in order to achieve a true representation of the "image" our computer sends to the monitor.
Unless you configure your monitor correctly, you're not seeing things as they are meant to be displayed!

By monitor settings, we're not just talking about the basics (Brightness, Contrast, Color Temperature), nor exclusively about the settings exposed to us by our monitor's OSD (On Screen Display, a.k.a. menu) and perhaps the hidden "Service Menu." We're also adjusting things via software on a software "layer." Think of it as telling the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), the part of your computer that is in charge of sending the data to be displayed to your monitor, "Hey graphics card, my monitor doesn't show light blue properly, it's off by X amount of red, tell it to show light blue corrected by compensating with X amount of red." Calibrating your monitor is also correcting the Gamma Curve, expanding the color gamut, and enhancing color reproduction, something we tech geeks call "software LUT."
Hope I didn't confuse you already, I'm doing my best to keep things simple and understandable without requiring more than basic technical knowledge/terminology.

What do you get out of calibrating your monitor ?

  • You get to see the exposure and colors as they are and not as your monitor used to think they are.
  • You get to send your photos to any printing company out there, and never get them back looking under or over exposed, the colors will be very close to what you saw on your monitor, etc (proper printing requires that you use a printer and paper ICC profile, good printing companies provide you with those).
  • You know your photos are post-processed properly, your colors are accurate, everyone with a calibrated monitor will get to see the same image as you did when editing it.
  • No more flat looking photos, no under or over-exposed photos, you see the shadow and highlight details as they are, not darker or brighter making you adjust them while you shouldn't.


The benefits don't stop there, with a calibrated monitor your movies and TV shows will look their best, you'll be seeing what the producers wanted you to see, the skin tones will finally look natural.

With the manufacturer pre-defined settings being, well terrible, calibrating it will get your monitor's power consumption to drop, and your monitor's lifespan will expand. It will live longer because the LED or CCFL lamp is now operating at a lower setting and not at its maximum setting, its lifespan will generally live longer and so will your monitor as a result!.



Take a look at the photos in the gallery below to see how much of a difference monitor calibration can do.

In this case I'm showing you a few photos on a cheap Dell monitor with an IPS panel and W-LED backlight using the 6500K Color Temp Preset (stock, not calibrated) and calibrated.
How far off can a monitor be at its stock settings or the settings you dialed in using your "eyes" as a calibration device? From 15% to 500%. Some monitors come with a reasonable settings preset, others with terrible presets.
In general, with a very few exceptions, all stock monitors will show your images over-exposed and the colors will be clearly off (you can tell just by looking at a photo of yours for less than a second).

How is calibration done?

To calibrate your monitor you need some sort of equipment that captures and analyzes what your display shows and the appropriate software applications.
There are two kinds of calibration devices, colorimeters and spectroradiometers. Without going into technical details and several blocks of text, let's just say that unless the colorimeter comes with your monitor (inside the package, calibrated by the monitor's manufacturer), it isn't accurate enough to get your colors right or near right (if you are interested in a deeply technical article about it, let me know in the comments).
You can get the brightness of your monitor calibrated properly, but the colors will still be off, not as off as prior to the calibration process, but not even remotely close to what your monitor can achieve if calibrated with a high precision instrument like a spectroradiometer.
A brand new decent spectroradiometer will set you back about $1,200, I suggest the X-rite i1Basic Pro 2. There are even more accurate spectroradiometers, expensive and big lab equipment like the CS-2000A by Kodak-Minolta (about $34,000), although the X-rite is more than accurate enough to get the absolute quality your monitor is capable of producing. Otherwise, you can hire a professional calibrator to do the calibration for you ($75-$150).

The calibration process using for example the bundled i1Profiler application from X-rite is pretty straightforward. You warm up your monitor for 30-45 minutes prior to the calibration process, launch the i1Profiler application, hang the spectroradiometer over your monitor, pick your preset (Photography) and click next and follow the 2 step process with the instructions displayed on your monitor. In the end you are given an ICC profile for your setup (unique monitor, monitor settings and graphics card setup dependent).
 

I say unique monitor, because even if you and I have the same monitor model, our panels and LED (backlight) will not have the exact behavior. The settings and ICC profile that work fine for my monitor WILL NOT WORK for your monitor.


Using my settings might get you closer to real color and exposure than the monitor's defaults, sometimes though, it might make things worse.
I'm not saying this to make you spend money on equipment or hiring a professional, I'm not affiliated to any calibration hardware/software manufacturer, nor friends with a calibrator. I will soon be releasing a video showing you exactly why you need your own settings and others settings won't work.

To get the very best, you usually have to make some manual tweaks (manually adjust the black and white levels to prevent any of the primary colors from crashing, see if your monitor suffers from gamut reduction when using low levels of backlight, tweak the grayscale, color temp, etc). That's tweaking the monitor to go from about 98% to 100% of its capabilities.


The calibration process should be done under the viewing conditions that you work under when post-processing.
Changing ambient light conditions and temperature changes the way our eyes perceive the displayed colors and exposure. Ideally, you should be viewing and working on your photos under zero artificial lighting, just the light that comes out of your monitor. No window light or room lamps, desk lamps, etc. If you can't, at least make sure your room is dim, and don't have any source of light shining directly upon your monitor or within your sight.

After calibrating your monitor, you can use the ColorChecker feature of SpectraCal's CalMAN Ultimate application to check your monitor's color accuracy for a decent variety of color tones.

In the photos below you can see the results of the ColorChecker workflow with two cheap monitors in stock and then in calibrated settings.
You can see the difference calibration makes both in numbers (deltaE and the horizontal bars in the chart, shorter bars equals better color accuracy) and also see specific color differences using the bars in the bottom of the screen, the bottom half displays the color that is sent to the monitor while the upper half the color that was displayed (wrongfully) by the monitor.

first the Samsung TN panel LCD:

Samsung TN Monitor Pre-Calibration Results
Dell eIPS Monitor Calibration Results ColorChecker CalMAN
Samsung TN Monitor Post-Calibration Results

and the Dell with the e-IPS LED backlit panel:

Dell e-IPS W-LED backlit monitor calibration results colorchecker calman


The lower the deltaE number (dE) the more accurate your color reproduction is.
Under 2 you've got decent accuracy, under 1 you've got near perfect color accuracy.
Generally from a dE of 3 and higher you have severe color inaccuracies, you can see the difference clearly without paying attention.
A very good monitor can achieve average dE's of 0.3 to 0.5 with the max dE under 1.
A decent monitor will give you an average dE around 0.8 - 1.2, max around dE 2-3.
An average/ good monitor will give you an average dE around 1.3 - 1.8, max around dE 6-7.

Limitations, Tips and Recommendations

Assuming that you, or the professional you hired to do the calibration for you, have the appropriate knowledge, experience, and a precision spectroradiometer, the limiting factor will be your monitor. The monitor's capabilities will set the "ballpark" in terms of the color accuracy you'll achieve. There's also another factor, aging. As your monitor ages, its performance will drop. You don't need to go crazy over this, but a pretty solid monitor will still be pretty solid after 4-6 years of good use. Chances are, by the time your monitor's performance drops significantly, you'll already be tempted to get a newer model. Since every new generation of monitors expands their horizons, we now have monitors capable of producing very wide color gamuts, more accurate color reproduction, and more.

What should you be looking for when buying a monitor for graphics work ? 

100% or near 100% coverage of your target color gamut (sRGB for photography on the web, AdobeRGB or ProPhoto RGB for prints, Rec. 2020 for 4k video material post-production). A panel type that is known for good color reproduction like IPS (In-Plane Switching), VA as a second choice. TN panels should be avoided unless you have a very very low budget. Apart from the monitor, your viewing conditions matter a whole lot. Just like I said before, try to work in a dark room (yes, we're back to the film days in the dark chambers!) or if a completely dark room is impossible, at least under dim lighting conditions.

Let's take a look at some interesting monitors (with decent performance out of the box or after they've been calibrated):

Dell UltraSharp U2414H ~ $215
Better than average color accuracy but pretty bright out of the box, drop the brightness from the default 75 to about 35 and you should be pretty close to the calibration standard 120cm2. Calibrate it with a spectroradiometer and you'll get an average dE around 1 with the max under 5.

Dell UltraSharp U2415 ~ $260
Despite being more expensive than the U2414H, its default performance isn't blowing it away, in fact, its maximum dE is higher than the U2414H's. This one also comes very bright out of the box, drop the brightness setting to ~30 to get it close to the calibration standard 120cdm2. Once calibrated the U2415 however does wonders achieving performance numbers belonging to more expensive monitors. The average dE is under 1.2, while the maximum stays under dE 3.

NEC MultiSync P232W ~ $540
Leaning towards the pricier monitor choices, the NEC P232W covers the sRGB color gamut almost flawlessly, and goes beyond the sRGB limits in some cases (blues and greens mainly). Ironically, Out of the box performance is worse than the $260 Dell U2415. In the high bright setting it is... brighter than recommended, and in the sRGB color space profile it is less bright than it should be (around 80cdm/2 instead of 120cdm/2). Once calibrated the average dE stays below 0.8, while the max dE stays under 1.5!

Eizo FlexScan EV2736WFS ~ $830
An even more expensive monitor choice is Eizo's FlexScan series 27" monitor, the EV2736WFS. Its out of the box performance is very disappointing, terrible even. Once calibrated however, this monitor shines. It reaches an average dE of 0.3-0.4 and the maximum dE stays under 0.6. Brilliant!

I believe we covered a few budget ranges already, if you have questions or a different budget range leave a comment and I will do my best to get back to you ASAP!

That's it for now, I shall be back with more technical articles soon, keep Fstopping ladies and gentlemen!

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76 Comments

Previous comments
Lee Christiansen's picture

On the subject of monitor brightness... My Eizo CG211 is set to 80cdm/2 and I work in a very dark room, (just a proofing light in the background for company.

Prints come out as expected and albums printed by other sources are just fine too.

The second there's ambient light in the room everything goes to pot though so blackout curtains and doors closed are order of the day.

Upside is the wall colours in the room don't matter, and the screen life is much extended.

I have my laptop set to about 100-120 cdm/2 when I'm working in ambient light with a hood over it - seem,s to work.

Nick Pecori's picture

While I love the idea off calibrating your screen, I had a bad experience when I bought a Spyder and calibrated my Macbook Retina a few months ago. When I viewed my photo on my phone, it was completely different looking in tones (as well as everyone elses phone). If there's a work around for this I would appreciate it.

Bill Peppas's picture

Phones, especially Samsung's latest have terrible color accuracy ( especially Samsung, is oversaturing every single color tone ).

The Spyder would've made things better in terms of exposure ( "brightness and contrast" ) on your retina, your prints would be closer to what you saw on the screen.

The worst thing is no matter what you do, unless the other person viewing your photo has calibrated his monitor, or at least he "tweaked" the stock settings to a better ( closer ) match to the sRGB standard, they'll be seeing your photo differently.

If I recall correctly, both DataColor ( with their Spyder series ) and X-Rite now have applications for smartphones ( they get the colors to display more accurately, but within their own photo viewer application since iOS/Android/WindowsPhone do not expose the color look up tables and graphics settings for grayscale, etc.

I'd stick with the calibrated result and profile, if another person has "issues" with your photo's exposure or colors and his monitor is badly configured, it's his "fault".

Can't satisfy everybody sadly.

I can't wait for the day somebody, somehow, forces the manufacturers to truly calibrate their monitors for sRGB before sending them off to the shelves.

Actually this is quite wrong: the latest Samsung phones are the market leaders when it comes to the accuracy of their displays. AMOLED technology is nothing short of amazing these days. The thing is, the phones are all setup out of the box to a gimmicky oversaturated screen mode called "Adaptative Display" or something like that. The screen mode has to be set to "Standard" in order to get very accurate colors:

"The Galaxy Note 5 Basic screen mode has the most accurate display colors for reproducing all standard consumer content (sRGB / Rec.709) of any Smartphone or Tablet display that we have ever tested, with a measured Absolute Color Accuracy of 1.4 JNCD, which is visually indistinguishable from perfect, and is very likely considerably better than your living room TV. The previous record holder was the Galaxy Note 4."

http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_Note5_ShootOut_1.htm

Bill Peppas's picture

I'm talking about their out of the box state my friend.
Out of the box they are oversaturated and way off.

Bill Peppas's picture

Most of them sadly never find their way to "Standard" mode.
People like oversaturated photos and looks unless directed otherwise.

That's why you see the same sh1t in consumer electronics shops, where all the TVs in display are in the silly Dynamic Mode ( crazy brightness ) and with the saturation high.
Sharpness to the max.
Dynamic Contrast fully on, etc etc.

Kirk Lawrence's picture

Great article. Bill, I have a question. I use a ColorMunki Display to calibrate my 23" Apple Cinema Display. I normally set it to 100 cdm/2. I usually edit in a dimly-lit room. Should I be setting it to 120 cdm/2?

Bill Peppas's picture

If dim is closer to very dark than afternoon window light, then you're fine at 100cdm/2.

A "subjective" test that you can do is hold a white A4 paper in your hand and compare it with a pure white on your monitor.
If they appear to be equally bright and in tone, then you're ok as you are.

Sean Fenzl's picture

Judging by comments, I guess we can add this to the list of things modern photographers don't need! Light Meters, Color Cards, and Calibration!

I use all three - and when a client views on their monitor, cellphone, laptop.... and think it's too cool or warm, or over/underexposed, at least I've done my due diligence to make sure the source file is as 'correct' as possible. You know, like a professional.

With an i1Display Pro(colorimeter) you will get better readings from the darker tones as
the i1Pro(spectrophotometer) have difficult into reading the monitor darker tones, the
i1Display Pro is also much faster and cheaper than the i1Pro.

http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Profiling_Devices_for_Monitors
"Because spectrophotometers read a large number of bands, instead of just a few, they are
considered to be more accurate than colorimeter. (They are also more expensive.)
However, there is a major drawback. Because they read more bands of light, they will tend
to introduce more noise into the mix. This is not much of a problem until you get down to
measuring things like shadow detail and blacks. Imagine you're a spectrophotometer, dangling
off the front of a display and you're asked to measure a black patch. Well, there won't be much
of anything there to read, but you give it your best. You gather all the data from some 36
bands of wavelengths and because of digital noise and sensor dust, that will add to your report
of how bright black is. For this reason, spectrophotometers tend to not measure shadow detail
as dark as most colorimeter do. For example, the Monaco Optix (DTP-94) is famous for getting
great shadow detail. It even has some noise-reduction circuitry built into it."

Display Calibration Hardware Capabilities
https://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/Calibration/MonitorCalibrationHardwa...
As we can see in the above link, for monitor calibration an i1Display Pro is the
ideal choice as the results are excellent and it is not very expensive like
the BasICColor Discus.

If the monitor have a programmable hardware internal LUT like Eizo CG/CX/CS, NEC PA and the
Dell UltraSharp Wide gamut models, the best software to calibrate is the manufacturer software.
For the common monitor(without programmable internal LUT)I consider Argyll+dispcalGUI the best option.
An old and maybe useful tutorial http://www.modelmayhem.com/forums/post/870355/1#post17806610
To have the best of both worlds, with Argyll you can use the i1Pro(spectrophotometer) to create a correction matrix for the i1Display Pro(colorimeter)

---------

Users with spectrophotometers like the X-rite i1Pro can check the quality of the light with
the ArgyllPRO http://www.argyllcms.com/pro/index.html
Some examples http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=102190.msg846600#msg...
Manual mode :)
http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=105155.0

Bill Peppas's picture

A colorimeter will read lower values, video signal speaking, IRE0,10,20, will be read faster with a colorimeter, with IRE0 & 10 being a little bit more accurate, IRE20 & 30 just take more time for a spectroradiometer, but they are read very accurately ( more accurately than a colorimeter ).

Essentially, a colorimeter is needed for a reviewer to compile ( calculate ) properly the black level of a display.

Great article Bill, very informative...
I use an Eizo Flexscan EV2335W and an HP ZR2440W calibrated with a HueyPro... any thoughts on that setup? Most of the time I'm happy with the results but there are occasions when I have doubts, that's in part because I find it a very complex process (colour management) and wonder if I missed something. I use Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC with colour management synced through Bridge. My cameras are Canon 1d and Fuji X100 running in AdobeRGB. Sometimes I'll run the HP without calibration and in the default (though dimmed) sRGB mode so I can see both views...

Bill Peppas's picture

Thank you Mike!

The EV2335W and the ZR2440W are pretty solid monitors when it comes to color accuracy capabilities.

With the Hueye Pro, which as you guessed it ain't that good, you still benefit from better color accuracy.
They're not performing as good as they can, but they're performing better than with the stock settings.

If you can have them calibrated with a spectro, especially the Eizo, you will get to see pretty close to what other people with calibrated monitors will see, and also close to print.

Thanks Bill, I did suspect the Huey to be my weak link! I'm just running it now with the dspcalGUI etc as mentioned here, curious to see if that gives me anything different to the Huey software which I always found wanting.... again, thanks for such an insightful article on a topic I find perplexing

Ludovit Kanta's picture

Correct ambient lighting can be - I would argue - more important than calibrating + profiling.

It's because your eyes will adapt and compensate for the difference of brightness and temperature between your monitor and surrounding light. Also, your ambient light tend to change quickly, depending on the time of the day - compared to the color of your monitor changing only slowly over time.

So for example, if you edit your photos during the night - using warm ambient light - your photos may appear too warm next day, when you view them during daylight (especially if you work on 6500K display).
But once you view them again during the night time, they might appear too bluish instead. Thus, the color correcting might appear to be endless.

Another thing; if you edit on 6500K monitor for example, it's best to look for artificial lighting with same color temperature and with as high CRI value as possible.

Also; if your monitor is too bright by default, lowering it's brightness and contrast too much - in order to make it comfortable during the night - might significantly influence its contrast and color accuracy.
I solved this problem by placing stool lamp directly behind monitor, and using the light reflected from the (white) wall to reduce the eye strain caused by higher brightness.

Bill Peppas's picture

Ambient lighting would be more important if:

Monitors with average dE higher than 5 didn't exist :D
When a color is so different ( color displayed vs color that should've been displayed ), no changing lighting condition can do that much damage.

Sure, if you have a monitor with an average dE of 1.5-2 ( there's for example an Asus VG series monitor that comes very well calibrated by factory, average dE around 1.4, max dE under 4, brightness almost bullseye at 120cdm/2 ), ambient lighting plays a very important role, more than calibration, otherwise no.

You do need both though, a good calibration under terrible lighting conditions is as bad as a terrible calibration under perfect lighting conditions.

You simply need both.

I sure hope most people nowadays have a decent grasp of "ideal vs non-ideal" or at least "recommended over not recommended ) monitor placement and lighting conditions knowledge after all these articles circulating the web the last few years :D

Bill - I just ordered two NEC PA272W-BK yesterday. Choose not to buy the internal calibrator as I have the Sypder 5 Elite already for my ridiculously old Dell 2407WPF's. From the above it sounds like you are saying at the end of the day the Sypder 5 really won't do the job. Better than nothing but not able to achieve what these monitors are capable of (didn't have the funds to jump to the Eizo's).

Bill Peppas's picture

It won't make them display the most accurate colors they can produce, but it will take them to a much better accuracy than their default settings.
To unleash their full potential you need a calibration with a high accuracy spectro ( yourself or by hiring somebody ).

It comes down to your needs, budget, etc.

Bart Slaman's picture

Ok I understand that it's important. But what about using a color passport and not worrying about calibration? Is that an option?

Regards

Bill Peppas's picture

It's not about the capture time but how you manipulate the colors in post-processing.

When you edit the RAW/JPEG file you see colors that are off in all 3 categories ( luminosity, saturation, hue ).

If your monitor for example has a tendency to oversaturate colors, your colors in post-processing might look very saturated when in reality they aren't ( can be anything from properly saturated or under saturated ).

During capture as long as your white balance is set correctly ( auto usually does a good job unless your scene has several light sources with different temperatures, then a white/gray card can solve the white balance issue easily and cheaply ), you're capturing everything properly.
It's the editing stage where everything gets harmed because you don't see what was really captured.

Bart Slaman's picture

Ok so when I push my saturation on my uncalibrated monitor, until it looks awefull, then in fact it can be just right on the print?

I have a cheap IPS monitor, which I calibrated with an online calibration site. Is that any helpfull or do I really need hardware to exclude the saturation thing?

I don't have money for a 1200,- calibration tool but do for something like the x-rite colormunki :-)

Bill Peppas's picture

Without hardware ( measurement equipment ) you can't calibrate it.
It's something the human eye isn't capable of.

You don't need to spend 1200.
You can either hire somebody to do it, somebody must be doing calibration in your region, or purchase a used spectro off ebay.
Every now and then there's an i1pro spectoradiometer for sale on ebay asking for 300-400$.

Since you can get a spectro off ebay for 300-400$ the 150-250$ asked by X-Rite & DataColor ( Spyder ) for colorimeters is out of the question, a "non-sensical" choice in my opinion.

Your monitor could be anything.
Showing the colors oversaturated, or undersaturated.
You might be seeing the images brighter than they are. Or darker. ( Brighter is more common since most monitors come with high brightness out of the box ).
Your grays might be cold or warm ( have a blue or orange/red tint in them ).

[ you can see the colored gray gradients in the photo of the calibration results in the article here ]

Akira Lee's picture

Thanks for sharing, Bill~ I have a question, what is the standard calibration setting for photographer? I believe different brand calibrators come with different softwares, and those softwares have different presets for photography. Therefore, I always used third party calibration software like BasicColor Display Pro. Also, I use custom setting which I was told by an instructor. The settings are: D6000, Gamma 2.0, 100cd/m2. I use this setting because I print my work with a printing company that works with this instructor; therefore, the printing company's monitor has the same calibration setting as mine. They see what I see at home, and this makes the prints I get are exactly the same as I see on my monitor. I also use this setting and try to print my work with other online services, like AsukaBooks, MILKBOOKS, and Artifact uprising, and it looks fine to me. But I still want to know is there a standard or not? Thank you.

Bill Peppas's picture

We're living in a messed up world :D

The printing company is right for giving you exact settings advice so you can see what the print's going to look like.

If you want accurate prints with them, that's the only real way.
You sacrifice web viewing ( it's already ruined because most people have badly configured monitors! ) for your prints.
Can't have two watermelons under one armpit ( a Greek metaphor ).

You can create two profiles, one for web sRGB and the one for your prints and change between them accordingly.

The "standard standard" for web is D65 sRGB gamma curve (~2.20 ) and... 120cdm/2 ( this one's more flexible, there's an acceptable range 80 - 140cdm/2, allowing leeway to compensate for room lighting conditions ).

Then there are different standards for other kind of "purposes" ( pre-press, CMYK printing, movies, etc ).

So, there are a few not stone-set standards depending on the work being done ( purpose ).

If you find computer monitor calibration standards messy and troublesome, you should look into TV/Projector and home cinema calibration where the movie studios do whatever they want instead of following the "regulations" ( others post-process at Gamma 2.2, others at 2.0, others at 2.4, ignore the reference levels set by THX & Dolby, etc etc ).

Grabbing the opportunity that I mentioned TVs, a recent trend is 4k monitors and TVs.
Unless you feel like spending money for nothing, steer clear from the current 4k Monitor/TVs because... they do not support the color gamut which seems to be getting in the Ultra HD ( 4k ) BluRay specifications ( Rec. 2020, a very wide color gamut, way bigger than the current standard for HD movies and blu-rays, BT.709 [Rec. 709] )

Bill Peppas's picture

Similar to PC Monitors ( the rule about calibration settings being unique for each piece applies to all Monitors/TVs/Projectors/etc ), a demonstration video showing the results ( and the corrections ) of using another person's calibration settings for your device, which... work perfectly for him but not for you.

Some might think that "his settings will be closer to the "ideal" than any random settings", sadly, this isn't true as well.
You can see how far off they are in the last segment of the video where I reconfigure the settings in real-time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHqq3AhPRbc

I started calibrating my monitors a while ago but stopped as most of my work is online, not print. Once I calibrated my monitor with the colormunki my clients were constantly saying they didn't like the color of the retouched image. I assumed it was because clients are all looking at my images on their laptops, tablets and smartphones most of which all have their own proprietary color science. I stopped using colormunki and my clients stopped complaining about color. Anyone else have this issue? Most apple devices have a Adobe RGB color profile so I left my monitors on that setting and haven't had any issue since.

Bill Peppas's picture

Your clients most likely like the oversaturated looks.
You calibrated your monitor to a better state than it came out of the box, thus applying less saturation to your photos.
The clients... well...

Bill Peppas's picture

The article has been updated with new photos and an additional pre & post calibration report from a second monitor model :)

Hello,

Which monitor would you recommend, EV2736WFS or Eizo CS270?

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