This is Part 3 of the Color Management series. Please refer to the following for previous related posts:
Part 1 – Overview of Color Management
Part 2 – Selecting the Right Color Profile for Epson Scanners
Hopefully this post will help to demystify monitor calibration using a colorimeter such as Spyder3Elite from Datacolor.
The first screen will ask you to choose which monitor you would like to calibrate for those that have two or more monitors you can select one here. The drop down box in the window below shows a Cinema HD Display and the second option you can’t see is the LCD Display on my Macbook Pro.
This window is as complicated as it gets so if you can understand this step then you are all set. The “Change these settings” radio button allows you to adjust the parameters specified. If this is your first time just follow the suggested settings. The settings shown are typical for operating in a dimly lit room.
Here’s where you sit back and let the colorimeter do its’ magic. In this step it measures the ambient light in the room where your monitor is situated.
As you can see I have chosen to accept the suggested settings which are based on the ambient light reading in the step above. Once again, all very magical!
Pretty simple so far. This is the step where you actually mount the colorimeter onto the screen so it can begin the color calibration process. It will automatically run through a series of colors starting with blacks, whites then progressing to blues, greens and reds. The sensor is held in place by a suction cup that is easily applied and removed leaving no marks on the screen.
This is the only part where you have to intervene in the automated process. All you have to do is set the brightness of the screen to the specified target value which is graphically represented by the two bars. Press the brightness control buttons on the keyboard or monitor and hit the update button shown to see if you are in range. You may have to repeat this step a couple of times to get it between the goal posts!
Your done! All you have to do is give your newly created profile a name which you can identify later. I usually use my name and date for the profile name.
The last screen shows the before and after calibration effects on a batch of photos. Just hit the “Switch” button to toggle back and forth between the before and after.
Here’s the Spyder 3 Elite on Amazon