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Monitor calibration

From: Photoshop for Designers: Color

Video: Monitor calibration

We probably all have the experience of walking into an appliance store looking up seeing a row of TVs all showing the same channel, they may even be the same model of TV and the color looks very different. That's the essence of monitor calibration and it's why it makes people nervous. People think, can I trust my monitor? How do I know that the colors that I'm seeing are the true colors that are in the image? Well, I'd say, don't sweat it too much. These days monitors are quite stable and you probably can trust your monitor, but you do need to calibrate it on a regular basis.

Monitor calibration

We probably all have the experience of walking into an appliance store looking up seeing a row of TVs all showing the same channel, they may even be the same model of TV and the color looks very different. That's the essence of monitor calibration and it's why it makes people nervous. People think, can I trust my monitor? How do I know that the colors that I'm seeing are the true colors that are in the image? Well, I'd say, don't sweat it too much. These days monitors are quite stable and you probably can trust your monitor, but you do need to calibrate it on a regular basis.

What is regular basis mean? That's a very subjective term. Maybe it's every day if you're really exacting about color, maybe it's every week or every month, maybe it's every once in a while. You got two choices for how you do this. You can use the system's software or you can use a third-party device which will be measure the qualities of your monitor, your specific monitor and create a profile based upon that. So let's look at the first option. I'm going to go to my System Preferences and click on Displays, then click on Color and this is the current profile that I'm working with.

I'll now click on Calibrate and I have two choices, do I want to work in Expert Mode that gives me more choices or in Easy Mode. Let's take a look at Expert Mode even though I'm not going to change anything. We have several of these diagnostics where you can move these sliders one way or the other and you have to squint in order to get the best result. The problem with these is it's a bit like the experience of going and having your eyes tested and the optometrist says to you which do you think is best, A or B, A or B, A or B and after a while you stop caring and you lose all sense of judgment about which is best.

So if you're making changes here, unless there is something terribly wrong with your monitor the changes you make should be small ones. So you choose your target gamma, your target white point, and for the most part you are just clicking through accepting the values that it gives you. There is no compelling reason to change them. At the end of the process, you'll write a profile, you might want to append the date at the end of that, so you've got an instant visual reminder of when the profile was created and that profile now describes the qualities of your monitor.

If you want to be more exacting about it and if you have a couple of hundred bucks to spend, you can use a device like this one which is a photospectrometer and that's not an easy word to say, which will measure of the qualities of your monitor. It's a bit like a hockey puck that you attach to the front of your monitor and it measures the light values and the white point of your monitor and it builds a profile specific to your monitor. If you're considering using a third- party product to calibrate your monitor, I'd suggest you check out the ColorMunki website and you can also go to the Color Knowledge tab where you can go to training video where there is a short movie explaining exactly how that device works and the benefits of using it.

But in conclusion, the biggest point I would like to make about Color Calibration is don't get over anxious about it. I've taught color calibration in a classroom situation on several occasions and watch my students mess around with those options you saw me working with earlier, only to end up with a far worse result then they started with. So I would say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Monitors today are relatively stable, but it's something that you do need to consider on a regular basis, you get to define how regular that basis is.

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Image for Photoshop for Designers: Color
Photoshop for Designers: Color

75 video lessons · 17256 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 26s
    1. Defining color terms
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the color wheel
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding color relationships
      1m 7s
    4. Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Kuler web site
      3m 10s
    6. Colors on screen and on paper
      1m 42s
    7. Color as a signifier
      3m 14s
    8. Color inspirations
      2m 39s
    9. Color and accessibility
      2m 51s
  3. 38m 22s
    1. Demystifying the Color Picker
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding the role of foreground and background colors
      5m 39s
    3. Choosing colors
      6m 41s
    4. Managing swatches
      7m 40s
    5. Transparency
      9m 42s
    6. Color channels
      5m 43s
  4. 41m 4s
    1. Understanding additive and subtractive color
      2m 57s
    2. RGB mode
      1m 56s
    3. CMYK mode
      2m 41s
    4. Lab mode
      3m 49s
    5. Indexed mode
      2m 16s
    6. Grayscale mode
      5m 0s
    7. Color management
      14m 15s
    8. Color depth (8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit)
      4m 19s
    9. Monitor calibration
      3m 51s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Evaluating color with the Histogram panel
      3m 18s
    2. Evaluating color with the Info panel
      1m 48s
    3. Boosting color with levels
      3m 48s
    4. Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
      7m 38s
    5. Manually setting the black and white point
      3m 50s
    6. Curves
      6m 21s
  6. 18m 30s
    1. What is color correction?
      5m 45s
    2. White balancing in Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    3. Color correction with color balance
      1m 34s
    4. Color balancing using photo filters
      1m 26s
    5. Color correction with variations
      4m 27s
    6. Color correction by the numbers
      3m 32s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Selecting color with the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Selecting color with the Quick Selection tool
      2m 26s
    3. Selecting color with Color Range
      4m 0s
    4. Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode
      2m 55s
    5. Neutralizing blacks with the Screen blend mode
      57s
    6. Masking colors with the Blend If sliders
      2m 54s
    7. Masking hair with a channel mask and removing contaminant colors
      2m 58s
    8. Shifting targeted colors using Hue/Saturation
      5m 4s
    9. Matching colors using Hue/Saturation
      3m 16s
    10. Matching colors using the Match Color command
      1m 36s
    11. Matching colors using the Color blend modes
      2m 25s
  8. 21m 8s
    1. Saturating colors
      4m 9s
    2. Desaturating colors
      1m 57s
    3. Desaturating in Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    4. Creating a color accent with selective saturation
      2m 38s
    5. Enhancing a sunrise with a gradient map
      5m 49s
    6. Increasing vibrance
      1m 19s
    7. Using selective color
      2m 15s
  9. 32m 42s
    1. Designing with spot colors
      12m 15s
    2. Adding a fifth color to a CMYK image
      5m 0s
    3. Adding spot colors to a grayscale image
      5m 24s
    4. Create a metallic print effect
      3m 8s
    5. Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones
      6m 55s
  10. 30m 45s
    1. Creating a silkscreen print look with a limited color palette
      7m 59s
    2. Combining color with black and white
      2m 22s
    3. Creating a nostalgic travel poster using the Cut Out filter
      6m 27s
    4. Mapping an image to a color look up table (CLUT)
      7m 56s
    5. Converting to black and white
      6m 1s
  11. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the easy way)
      3m 29s
    2. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the harder way)
      11m 23s
    3. Creating an Andy Warhol look
      4m 44s
    4. Applying a gradient map
      4m 4s
    5. Sepia toning an image
      8m 41s
    6. Color tinting an image
      5m 15s
    7. Split toning an image
      2m 9s
    8. Working with line art
      8m 49s
  12. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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