Monitor Calibration
Match Your Screen To Your Prints

Monitor calibration, what is that? Well have you ever viewed your images on your screen and thought how wonderful it would be to have a print of it?

So you go ahead and print only to discover that the image looks completely different from the colours on your screen.

Well without calibrating your monitor you will never be able to get the prints you want.

Every computer monitor displays colours differently, so how do you know what you see on your screen will be what is printed out?

You don't unless you do some tweaking of your monitors settings to match natural colours.

Basic Calibration

Before you start:

  • Make sure your monitor is not facing a window, a reflective surface or has glare from nearby lamps or lights. Any glare on your screen will affect how you see the colours displayed.
  • Turn your monitor on and allow to warm up for at least 15 minutes.
Monitor Calibration

Most photo manipulation software should have options to allow you to calibrate your monitor.

Photoshop and Elements have included a program called Adobe Gamma.

This calibration method relies on your own judgement to set the colours and contrast on your monitor correctly; as such it is not 100% accurate.

  • Open up your calibration software and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Make sure you adjust all the colours individually i.e. the green, blue and red.
  • Check with the before and after image displayed and when you are happy that you have more natural colours, click save.

Now every time you start your monitor the colours and contrast will match this new profile.

Or course there are more accurate monitor calibration options, which naturally will also include a cost. The decision to use these more advanced methods depends on whether or not you are a professional photographer who requires extremely accurate prints.

These advanced options require a piece of hardware to be fixed to the monitor so that it can read the displayed colours and make any changes accordingly.

Because these devices can be rather expensive and you may only need to use them now and again, it is possible to pay companies to come and set your monitor calibration for you using their own devices. This is perhaps the best option for the semi professional photographer.