Configuring Spyder3Elite

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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!

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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!

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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

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Selecting the Right Color Profile for Epson Scanners

This is Part 2 of the Color Management series.  For an overview of color management covered in Part 1 please refer to this link here.

To select the right color profile for your scanner first open the application that was included with the scanner. I have the Epson V700 so the application panel looks like this:

Screen shot 2009-11-09 at 7.34.40 PM

To access the color profile settings click the “Configuration” or similar labelled button.

Screen shot 2009-11-09 at 7.34.58 PM

Last step is to select the “Adobe RGB” target profile from the drop down list. And now your scanner is correctly color profiled!

For setting up Photoshop color profiling please refer to the Computer Darkroom tutorial.

Epson Perfection V700 Photo Color Scanner on Amazon

Color Management

I once posted this image I took to a forum only to have it rendered a ghastly greenish color on the screen.  One of the fellow forum goers gave me a few tips about color management and I’ve made sure since then that my colors are synched up across my workflow.  Here’s a little diagram I made to keep it straight in my head:

Color Sync Diagram

It’s actually not as confusing as it looks.  Color management basically works like this:

  • Each input and output device has its own ICC profile for color management
  • The arrows are labelled with the ICC profile which is in use by the device or software
  • You just have to make sure that the correct or preferred profile is chosen
  • Ambient light affects the way colors are perceived on your screen
  • So it is advisable to keep your monitor calibrated for the ambient light in your room

When you’re ready you should definitely purchase a monitor calibration device to keep things sorted. Here’s the Spyder 3 Elite on Amazon

It’ll only take you about 5 minutes to map this out for yourself.  For more details check this website out which has an awesome tutorial on color management: Computer Darkroom

Part 2 – Selecting the Right Color Profile for Epson Scanners