Seeing Red… or Hot Pink, as the case may be…

It’s been awhile since I last posted… life has been happening behind the scenes and has taken my attention away from the blog.  One of the new changes has been setting me up behind a desk with my old 24″ monitor rather than me sitting on the couch with just my laptop.  This has been both helpful and frustrating… after spending a great deal of time calibrating both the monitor and my laptop monitor (with a Spyder), I was still seeing very different colors between the two… the 24″ monitor made everything *intensely* redder (or in the case of my last post insanely hot pink).  This set me on a long and frustrating journey into futility.

I reworked all the images from the last post while using the 24″ monitor, but when I looked at those images on my laptop they seemed dull and muddy.  So I decided to see what the two versions looked liked printed out… oddly neither looked bad at all, the initial images were perhaps a bit more brighter pink, but not like the differences seen on the monitors.

Then I was in a quandary… how will I know what my images are going to look like to everyone else?  Then I remembered that I had recently acquired sample prints from some of the labs used by SmugMug… taking that calibration image and the sample prints, I adjusted my 24″ monitor by altering the RGB toggles… really I only reduced the green, which seems rather counter-intuitive since it was reds that where the problem… reducing the green makes it more red/magenta… I’m rather confused at this point.  But when I adjusted the green, contrast, and brightness of the monitor (as well as set the icc profile to D65), I was able to get the calibration image on the screen to be *very* close to the printed image from the lab (at least the black to grey to white blocks along the top of the image… the skin tones were still a bit on the reddish side).  Just to be sure, I also printed out the calibration image on my own printer.

On the one hand, I feel that by setting the monitor to  be close to those black to grey to white blocks was the more important and honestly easier method of calibrating my monitor – my logic was this… we as photographers talk about white balance, black point, and white point… we don’t talk about red balance.  I feel like I spent several days working on this and although it is better, it is still a bit off and rather red.  Oddly other colors seem to be ok, but reds and pinks and a few oranges are almost glowing on my 24″ monitor, and those same colors look much more dull on my laptop.  Frustration has ensued, days have been spent, and I’m not sure I’m any closer to feeling confident about colors from this monitor than I was a week ago… sigh.

Until next time…
~nic

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