12 May 2010

Colour Calibration

Domestic trivia is the death of such free time as an amateur photographer has.  A new central heating boiler, a car in the garage with 2 out of 3 engine bolts sheared off and various other distractions have been on the menu recently.  So work on Part 3 has been sketchy/non existent.  I have managed to read most of the study book and it is all making a bit of sense but I am not completely on the right wavelength yet (spectrum joke)!

My professional knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum has given me a basic understanding of how we perceive light and how it behaves but the terminology of hue, saturation, brightness, complementary colours etc. are all areas where I can afford to learn a great deal more.  I am obviously concerned that whilst I need to calibrate my mind to these new concepts I would also have to ensure that my equipment was providing a standard output so that my tutor and assessor can see what I see.

To help me I sought the advice of some friendly professional photographers, Michel Focard de Fontefiguieres and Chris Pearsall and have now acquired a Spyder monitor calibration device.  Chris was kind enough to give up some of his precious time to come round this afternoon and help me to go through the first few calibrations to get my monitors set up correctly.  Michel is lucky enough to have done enough colour calibration throughout his life to educate his eye to a level that allows him to do without.

Chris' help was also invaluable in ensuring that I was using the same colour system throughout all my equipment.  I now have my cameras, Photoshop and my monitors all working to Adobe RGB (1998) so at least they are all talking apples and not apples, pears and bananas.  So I now have both of my monitors calibrated and I have been able to notice a distinct change from the previously overly yellow/green images when compared to my new set up.  I have also noted a change in the subtlety of the greys that reveal a lot more information in the shadows and highlights in my pictures.

The system I have chosen is the Spyder 3 which hangs over the top of the monitors during calibration and then sits near them facing me when I am working so that it can measure ambient light around the screens.  Just working through the set up has given me an education in itself and it all helps to expand my knowledge base.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u