One of the most common complaints that I hear is that my pictures are too dark or too light or printed output doesn’t match what you see on the screen. There are 2 sources for this problem. One is monitor calibration, the other is printer calibration which will not be addressed.
Monitor calibration is an exact science and to do it properly really requires a hardware colour calibration tool. I use the Monitor Spyder series and it does a great job. You can do a reasonable colour calibration using Adobe Gamma as well. Its installed when you install Photoshop, Lightroom or any number of other Adobe products that require you to review images on the screen.
For those that want to do a quick colour calibration check, please use the following patches:
- You should be able to see 20 clearly defined patches ranging from pure black to pure white.
- There should be no trace of colour in any of the patches.
- If you cannot see all 20 patches, try settings your contrast on your monitor to 100% and then adjusting the brightness so that you can just see the difference between the first two black patches. There should be a subtle graduation difference between them.
Please check the colour graduations on the following patches:
- There are 16 patches in each strip.
- You should be able to clearly distinguish between each patch.
- If the last patches look all black, you made need to lighten that colour or darken the other 2 colours.