Most of you who read this blog have some sort of fancy camera (i.e. a DSLR) and most of you have some sort of fancy editing program (i.e. PSE, PS or LR) but I cannot safely say that most of you have a monitor calibration system. So, I am going to briefly talk about what the heck that is and why you might need to do it (oh, and I’m giving one away).
What does it mean to calibrate your monitor and why should you do it?
Calibrating your monitor helps you see the colors you think you are seeing, so that the pictures you print have the color you meant them to have.
Simply put, the calibration system measures the colors on your monitor (in the right lighting conditions) and adjusts them to be truer colors if they are off. If you have ever edited a picture, loved everything about it, then printed it and got a big surprise because the picture did not have the colors you were seeing on your monitor, that was most likely because your monitor needed calibrating.
How do you calibrate a monitor? You buy a monitor calibration system. There are many available, some more elaborate and expensive than others. My suggestion to you is access your needs then find the calibration system that will meet those needs. My needs were simple, so I bought a simple system.
What do I use for calibrating my monitor? Spyder 3 Express. It is affordable, easy to use and effective. I bought it 1.5 years ago and I have been extremely pleased with it. I have a video showing how to use the Spyder 3 Express at the bottom of this post, for those interested.
Here are some tidbits about my Spyder that may be helpful to know:
- I can calibrate two separate computer monitors with it
- It notifies me when the calibration has “worn off” and to recalibrate
- I get notified when there are free software updates
- It is small and easy to tote with me if I need to calibrate while away
Things to remember about calibrating:
- Do not calibrate your monitor “cold;” allow it to warm up for 30 min before running the software
- Do not calibrate in the dark
- Do not calibrate with light directly hitting your monitor (like don’t have sunlight shining directly on the monitor)
- Do not calibrate then print at a discount lab (i.e. Walmart, Costco, CVS, etc.) and expect to see the same colors as your monitor – the problem there is the LAB.
To better explain what a calibration system does, here is the product description of Spyder3 Express (per the product page at Amazon):
The Spyder 3 Express adjusts the color on your monitor so your photos appear more accurately. Easy-to-use right out of the box, this award winning proven technology helps you calibrate your display – just like professionals. There’s a reason your on-screen colors aren’t always true. Chances are, your monitor color is the problem, not your camera or your printer. The Spyder 3 Express is a simple monitor color correction tool that automatically adjusts the color of your monitor so what you’re seeing is more true. It is designed for Photo Enthusiasts, Advanced Amateurs, Passionate Photographers and DSLR users of all kinds.
GIVEAWAY IS OVER
Comment #20, made by Beth, was the winning number chosen via Random.org. Thank you to all who entered!
I am giving away one brand new Spyder 3 Express calibration system.
To enter the giveaway simply tell me your favorite book (or top 3 for book lovers out there).
- One entry per person
- Comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook
- Giveaway ends Thursday, November 10 at 11:00 PM EST
- Winner will be chosen via Random.org
- Winner will be notified by me via email and has one week to respond, after which another winner will be chosen
GIVEAWAY IS OVER
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I will be buying the Spyder3Express for the winner, not DataColor. All links to Amazon are affiliate links which means I earn 3% of sales made through the link, which help me cover the cost of items I giveaway here.