Steven Powers (SMP): Quick Tip: Why Calibrate My Monitor

Quick Tip: Why Calibrate My Monitor

Calibrating your monitor.  What can I say?  We all try to get away with calibrating our monitor by eye, but that only works for so long and unfortunately our eyes change.  Not just over the years but throughout the day.  We get use to seeing a certain way and we adapt in different lighting situations.  In the end our paintings, photos or what have you suffer.  Our darks are too dark, the colors are to saturated or the hues just don't look right especially when we go to print.  So we are left to buying hardware to calibrate our monitors.

Even though we might use Free and Open Source software, we still have to pay for the hardware.  I am not going to go through a list of various manufactures and their products because I used them all to give you my choices.  Like most people, I am on a budget as well.  After going through many of reviews and comparing prices and features I did choose Datacolor's Spyder3Pro.  It is a step above the Elite and allows for systems with multiple monitors.  So far it works very well which I verified by printing out sample images and compared them to what I saw on the screen.  So I know that what I see is what will print (at least on my printer.)  The only drawback is that I haven't found away to use it on Linux.  I am sure their is a solution out their and when I find it I'll add an update to this post.
So even if you are just a hobbyist, I suggest using hardware to calibrate your monitor (on a regaler basis) to get the most out of your creative efforts.  Going by eye alone just doesn't cut it forever.

Hope this helps,

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