The first thing I always ask people when they ask me to comment about their photographs is, “is your monitor colour calibrated?”. And as expected, their replies are usually “calibrate what?”.
So if you are reading this, is your monitor colour calibrated (for photograph viewing and editing)?? No? Why should you?
There is nothing more important a properly colour calibrated monitor is to a photographer than anything else.
What is Monitor Colour Calibration?
There are more than a handful of manufacturers producing computer monitors in the market. And every manufacturers makes a few models and sizes. Every single model will produce different brightness, contrast, and colour reproduction. Even the same model from the same manufacturers from different production runs will not give you the same brightness, contrast, and colour reproduction!
And to complicate matters further, different graphic cards when combined with different monitors will produce different brightness, contrast, and colours!
So amid all these differences, whose monitors should we used as the standard when comparing exposure and colour reproduction? It may look good on your monitor but on someone else’s monitor it can be too dark or too warm!
Therefore, monitor calibration will ensure that you and me, and practically everyone else with a calibrated monitor, will see more or less the very same brightness, contrast etc.
And also later on, you will learn to use shadow details and highlights to help you determine Over/Under exposed photographs. A properly calibrated monitor will enable your monitor to produce more tones and shades so essential to digital photography retouching.
I am currently using a Gretagmacbeth (now X-Rite) Eyeone II which I bought 5 years ago. It cost me about SGD$300+ from Cathay Photo back then. However, during my last calibration, I discovered that the device maybe broken because now my screen seems to be a bit magenta and there is no way to diagnose it. I think I will give Datacolor’s Sypder a try.