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 From:  Message:
Michael Whitson
Sat Jan 27 2007 11:03 am
Monitor Calibration

How do I ensure that my monitor is calibrated correctly and how can I do it?
Sat Jan 27 2007 1:10 pm
How to calibrate your monitor

Great question! As I mentioned in the article "Basic Color Correction", unless your monitor is calibrated you can't properly evaluate your photographs for either viewing on the web or in print. (Printer profiling is also essential, but that's another story :-)

Here's a quick visual aid I made to check the gamma and basic color neutrality of your display right here in the browser:

Highlights: Bars 1 & 2 should appear slightly different in brightness. If they look the same, you'll lose highlight details.

Shadows: Bars 5 & 6 should also be slightly different. If they both appear equally black, you may lose shadow detail.

Color: Bars 2, 3 & 4 should be neutral gray. If you see a blue or red tint in any of them (it will be rather subtle unless your monitor is WAY off), then you can't gauge accurate color in your photos.

Monitor Calibration
There are two methods of monitor calibration: software and hardware. Software calibration (such as Adobe Gamma) helps you judge the gamma and color of your display to get in the "ball park".

Hardware calibration uses a color photometer that attaches to your display to "read" the colors during set up. This is the best way to get accurate colors (and match to your printer profile), but you'll need to buy the device. The most popular systems are the ColorVision Spyder2 (about $160) and the GreytagMacbeth Eye-One (about $240) and they can calibrate and profile both your monitor and printer. If you want accurate color reproduction, hardware calibration is essential.

There are lots of resources on the web for learning about color calibration. Here are two I highly recommend:


Here's an onsite color check page with an expanded version of this topic:

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