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Color calibrated

I just finished color calibrating my monitors. It went a lot better than the first attempt. There is a lot to learn about color spaces, calibration, and what it all means. There are already lots of resources online, many in-depth. None seem to give a good summary, so here it is:

The general ideal settings for color calibrating a monitor:

  • Gamma 2.2
  • White point 6500K
  • Brightness 140-180 cd/m2

What this means

Color calibration is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure you achieve accurate results when printing, or even just sharing online.

Modern monitors are generally set to gamma 2.2. Gamma 1.8 was used on older Macs, and gives better detail in shadows.

The white point setting of 5000 used to be very popular more than 15-20 years ago. However, this is too warm for general purposes and 6500 is typically recommended at present, especially for LCD monitors.

Brightness will depend on the ambient lighting conditions, which should be moderate indoor lighting. For darker rooms, perhaps 120 is enough.

I used the Datacolor Spyder 4 Elite. It sets up quickly, is easy to use, and supports a multiple monitor configuration. It also provides a handy before and after comparison.


Room setup is also important. For best results, lighting should be moderate and as diffuse as possible. Try not to use incandescent bulbs — these are overly warm. Equally, cheaper bulbs of other technologies may be too cold. Broad spectrum, either fluorescent or halogen work well. The wall visible within your peripheral vision around your monitor should be blank and painted neutral grey. The further it is off of grey and the more cluttered it is, the more it will affect your perception of the colors in the images you are editing.


I hope this helps! Happy photo editing.

Posted in Photography.

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