Editor’s Note: A special thanks to our partner Datacolor for helping us to bring more information about color calibration to you. Check out the links at the end of the article for more info and how to take advantage of Datacolor’s upgrade pricing.

Color management is a bug-a-boo to lots of photographers. It doesn’t have to be a hassle at all. Once it’s set up, it’s mostly automatic. I say “mostly” because monitors have to be recalibrated every couple of months and that’s no big deal. The calibration software reminds when it’s time to recalibrate. No calendar entry needed. Nice!


Unclaibrated on the left and calibrated on the right
The power of calibration is clear.

WIIFM? (What’s In It For Me?)

The big win is accurate color on websites and in prints. While I can’t calibrate every monitor on the web, I can send them accurate color information that will result in a better-looking photo than one not color managed. When I profile one of my printers or use a lab’s profile, I apply a translation to the file that will accurately reproduce what I see on my monitor on paper. This is also true when sending photographs to a magazine that will be produced on a printing press. I have been using color calibration for a long time now. Before that, I relied on reviewing the “numbers” in Photoshop. Read more about the benefits of color calibration and the numbers.

Be a color calibration fan

The best way to start is calibrating the monitor or, in my case, monitors. I have three of them on my main workstation, one on the film scanner and of course, my laptop. It’s easy to do and thanks to a special offer from Datacolor, really affordable. Details and links are at the end of this post. My fellow Photofocus author, Bryan Esler, recently posted on his first experience with monitor calibration. A calibrated monitor (or three) allows the work seen on the screen to be accurately reproduced.

4 versions with accurate color
Consistent color is a benefit of calibration

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