How important it is to calibrate your monitor

posted on 24th of april, 2008

Hello there,

After seeing 31 of my files under the Rejected Files list, I've learned something really important.

These are the common reasons for my pictures being rejected:

Poor color: this image has a low color profile and needs improvement in order to increase its sales potential. You can process your image with color enhancement software, such as Photoshop, giving it the appeal it needs.
Poor lighting setup, poor contrast or incorrect exposure

First of all, I was using Picasa to quickly edit my files, enhancing contrast, warming up colors and the like. Ok, maybe this is not the best software I could use but the important point, I think -correct me if I'm wrong- is monitor calibration.

I don't know how it works in other countries, but here in Spain there is a myth: only Mac computers can display colors as you see them on paper. Be it true or not, the truth is that Mac is able to set up a ICC color profile at system level. And OS X, for example, has a built-in Display Calibrator Assistant, which is very helpful.

So what's left to Windows users? I'm going to try Adobe Gamma, which comes with Photoshop, but maybe there are much better options. Also, I use a LCD display, for which there is also another myth: "colors are more likely to look fainter on LCD's".

Anyhow, if your pictures are rejected because of contrast/lighting/color issues, you might want to check your monitor. I thought my photos were alright after processing them, but in other people's -decent- monitors they probably didn't looked that good ;)

Another lesson to learn and I thank DT for it.

This is a picture I wasn't sure it'd be accepted. It was difficult to adjust contrast and lighting to enhance colors and remove that redish fog you get on most night pictures.
Another difficult picture. Candles where there, I didn't have my tripod and I tried my best... and here they are ;)

Keep it up, people.

Comments (4)

Posted by Rebeccaosborn on April 25, 2008
keep creating, you have a great portfolio!
Posted by Charlesoutcalt on April 24, 2008
Luis, I might have nice equipment, but you have the golden eye. Gadgets come and go, but talent endures.
Posted by Javaduke on April 24, 2008
Definitely Mac OS X color management is far superior to that on Windows. I had a windows machine and my numerous attempts to build a consistent color from scanner to monitor to printer failed. When I switched to Mac, I also purchased ColorVision Spyder3Studio that includes software and hardware to calibrate monitor and printer and I can say it was one of the best investments I ever made!
Posted by Seesea on April 24, 2008
Wonderful fireworks!

This article has been read 1396 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Luis Serrano.

About me

I love photography, though my main occupation is web development. Dreamstime is my first experience -so far- with stock photography and I am learning a lot here. I lived in Valencia, Barcelona (Spain) and London (UK), and I have a huge collection of pictures full of memories to tell. But now I am trying to focus on commercial photography. I'd love to share experiences with you, so don't hesitate and feel free to contact me any time. I also accept assignments, specially if you'd like to have pictures of Spain, Barcelona, the Mediterranean views, etc.

Barcelona, ES

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