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Monitor Color Correction

This has been beaten to death previously, but here goes another:

I now color-calibrate my monitor at home where I develop and process my photos. I have the reminder set for every two weeks. I come to my day job, and when I have some free time, I search the websites or Facebook pages of companies I have shot events, just to see if any of them got used for. When I look at MY photos, which I believe were correctly to my eye color corrected, they don't look the same. They are different from the way I have sent them off to the client.

I understand why we must keep our monitors calibrated. But, what good does it do, unless the photos will be printed out (I guess), if these as-best-you-can-color-balanced photos don't look as good when viewed on another monitor?

Why is this seemingly an issue to me? If I send off what I believe is a properly color-balanced photo to someone who doesn't have a calibrated monitor, they may think less of my work.

To me this is a bit of a dilemma. The argument is not IF you should color-calibrate your monitor. It's just something else, and it would be helpful if someone could put my head on straight about this.



  • rs_eosrs_eos Member
    edited March 2017
    Always calibrate.  Here's why...

    Let's say you don't calibrate and your monitor adds too much green.  Whenever you adjust your photos, you'd be removing that green and thus the images on a calibrated display would end up being a bit more magenta.    Then, you provide those photos to your client who has a monitor with too much blue.  Now to them, they're probably so used to the blue that they cannot see it.  But the images have too little green which they will probably see. There are ultimately two issues.  Also, if your client now color calibrates on their end, the image is still wrong and will never show up correctly.

    When you do calibrate, you are basically providing images that are correct when they leave you.  If your clients do not calibrate, again, they are probably very used to the various color casts and will view your image as being "correct".  For those clients that do calibrate, all is now well.
  • Thanks, RS. In my head, it's a bit of a conundrum. I know to calibrate, and you are right - when the photos leave you, they are as right as you make them. But I do wonder - and this goes to repeat business, etc - if the client sees them and thinks "Ugh". You know what I mean?
  • But your clients shouldn't have that reaction.  If they only receive calibrated images (to include images inside software; I calibrate for that purpose too!), those images will always be re-interpreted with their uncalibrated display.  And, re-interpreted the same exact way.   When they receive images that have no consistency, they will definitely have reactions to certain sets.

    Same exact thing happens in video.  Some television channels mess up at the source and as we flip around, some channels have a bad tint, others too much contrast, etc.

    Note that this doen't mean that every image/video-frame will be perfectly white-balanced.  We often want to add warmth, cooling or various other creative effects.  But, a calibrated system will ensure that such warmth, cooling, etc is at the right level everywhere you have a calibrated system.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    It's exactly as rs_eos has it ... you don't want to compound the problem. So it makes most sense to have your workflow as calibrated as  you can manage. 
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