Monthly Archives: November 2010

Monitor calibration – what’s the point?

We often get asked; “what is achieved by calibrating a computer monitor, and is it something I actually need to do?”

Well, monitor calibration (and profiling) is important if you use your computer monitor for the assessment and preparation of photography or graphics – where producing something accurate is really important. In addition to the fact that an image will simply look brighter/darker depending on the level you set the brightness button, the brightness and balance of colour varies between different monitors, even with identical new models.

Calibration and profiling of a monitor gives you the ability to accurately set your monitor to an accepted colour balance and brightness.

This means if a picture looks too dark and blue on a calibrated monitor and you spend time making adjustments, it will be for the right reasons and you will achieve your objective of improving the image. It will then look similarly correct on other calibrated monitors and prints.

Whereas, if the image was actually correct but just looked bad due to the current balance of your monitor, your time will have been spent destroying a perfectly good image, which will subsequently look wrong when viewed or printed under correct conditions. Calibration is not just for controlling subtle colour differences, but will also correct highlight and shadow detail. Basically, what you get is an image on-screen that is more accurate, and a better reflection of the image you originally photographed or created.

So, what if you’d spent a lot of time painting out an image background, then when you see it displayed on a friend’s computer there were bits of people in the background which you thought you’d removed – you check back again on your computer and still can’t see what had been missed…?

This is a frequently highlighted problem, and is an excellent real life example of what can easily happen if you don’t have a calibrated monitor. Had your monitor been calibrated all the background would have been visible to you and removed as originally required. Even if you pictures are then subsequently viewed or printed on an un-calibrated device – the images may not look as good as you had intended – there is no way unwanted areas you removed can reappear.

Monitor calibration is frequently the first step we recommend to producing more accurate images, and is often one of the simplest things to do to start people on their way.

Have you ever thought about calibrating your monitor? Perhaps you’d like to, but don’t know which one is best for you?

Drop us a line or post a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Simon Prais
Technical Director

Friday round-up

Firstly we have an apology to make. Our Movember effort came to a swift, itchy and sudden end. We tried, but ultimately didn’t succeed in growing ridiculous mustaches . A few of us still are, but my promise of updating you with dodgy photographs doesn’t look like bearing any fruit. Maybe next year!

We’ve blogged before about our Jargon Buster, and I’m pleased to say it’s all live and ready to go. There are loads of useful explanations for technical terms you may not understand – as a new comer to this industry, I know I often get lost with all the technical stuff. There’s also room for more, so if there are any other words of phrases that confuse you, email and we’ll add them to the list.

There’s a new camera being developed that can let people see around corners! The concept certainly seems sound enough, but by the looks of it there is still a long way to go in the development process. Nevertheless, it would open up a whole new world of potential should the technology ever get simple enough for everyday cameras.

Going back to more imagery stuff this week, and while the twitter photography hashtag is normally full of bots re-tweeting links, it does throw-up the occasional blog or website with some really exquisite photography. Here are a few from this week which caught my eye:

That’s it for this week, stay tuned to in the next few days as out website turns all festive! Is it really approaching Christmas time already!?

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing

Friday round-up

We’re into November – or rather Movember (more on that later) – the night’s are drawing in, frost appeared on the car the other day and the trees are quickly changing colour. It’s a wonderful time of year full of vibrant colours and sounds – anyone off to a bonfire tonight? – and the perfect opportunity for perfecting your photography skills.

It may well present a great chance to enter our competition by capturing that picturesque, Autumnal landscape scene. We really do need to liven up our wall so please send in your pictures! You will be rewarded accordingly!

If you’re a photographer there’s a pretty decent chance you use Photoshop, Lightroom or Apeture. If you do, or are new to the software, WDL’s 13 cheat sheets are well worth a look – especially if you’re a beginner. As I’m quickly learning, there’s much more to photography than meets the eye – so anything that simplifies things can only be good!

An article published on the BJP website this week discussed street photography rights, and recent announcements from the Home Office about reviewing anti-terror policies and the potential effect on photographers. All sounds a bit complicated, but it’s well worth a read and definitely worth being aware of.

Another useful link; are you a young, aspiring creative photographer, graphic designer or web developer trying to find your way? Perhaps you’ve got all the gear, but aren’t sure what the next step is? Take a look at Ideas Tap, an arts charity established to help young, creative people at the start of their careers. It sounds a brilliant idea and a valuable resource to use.

I mentioned at the start of this post Movember. If you’re not sure what it is, have a look at this.

Yes, it means the gentlemen of Colour Confidence are growing – or trying to grow – vast amounts of facial hair to raise awareness for males cancers. All good.

It’s just a shame growing facial hair leads to ridiculous amounts or itchiness. And rest assured, I will be posting pictures of our efforts for you all to have a giggle at on here, and on our twitter. As of today, I can report that stubble length is still short stubble, I wouldn’t class it as ‘hair’ just yet… but there’s a long way to go!

I’m off for another scratching session.

Adam Borriello
Social media and marketing