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It's all in the monitor

By Jorge Torralba

You have heard it's all about the glass. But I must say, it's has a lot to do with the monitor as well. I have an imac 27" at home that I do most of my work on for LR, PS etc .. I even develop for ZeissImages.com on that computer. For the most part I think my photography is OK, when I do my uploads from home and view the picture on my nice monitor they come to life. Even the website has life to it. Nice and vivid. However, when I view my pictures at work, my laptop, or a monitor that does not have a glossy screen, my pictures look like junk. To be honest, I would be embarrassed to take credit for some of my pictures when seen through a poor monitor. It really does make a difference.

I don't own a computer store but I must say, along with your nice camera gear, one should also invest in a nice monitor.

Replies

Reply from Lollus on 08-5-10 2:23 PM
You are certainly right with the monitor, but the camera colour profile can screw up the best of them, so you really need both, and (a) third one(s) for each printer-paper combination. I am so stupid I even calibrated my beamer and I calibrate about anything I come across, and I can say some devices (be them monitors, cameras or summat) are really underrated because they suffer from a crappy factory calibration. Many people who know nothing about photography are extremely sensitive to colour and they do appreciate calibrated colours, for example my colleagues like my photos better since I use Firefox with the colour profiler plugin.
Now I go and calibrate the cat, she is a little greenish.
Reply from Steve Watson on 07-28-10 10:53 AM
"good as it may look, if it's not calibrated, it's usefulness is limited because you will not be able to reproduce the way it looks anywhere else."

Friend who is a Professional Wildlife Photographer warned me about this. He said that I might experience a few problems with printing images as uncalibrated, I would be unable to reproduce what is on my screen using my Epson printer. Makes sense.

By the way, just had an e-mail from Apple and they have upgradede the specification of the iMac. See: http://www.apple.com/uk/imac/

Stephen
Reply from Mike on 07-28-10 10:42 AM
Imacs have traditionally used better monitors than you usually see in consumer level machines. Again though, good as it may look, if it's not calibrated, it's usefulness is limited because you will not be able to reproduce the way it looks anywhere else.
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 07-27-10 4:42 PM
By no means am I an Apple fan boy :) In fact, I use a nexus one android phone. But, their Imac 27 is like sprinkling pixie dust on my pictures. They just look so much better on the imac.
Reply from James on 07-27-10 4:39 PM
I have worked with many computers and monitors in the past, as I used to repair them fro a living, most people have really bad monitors period, and I didn't even know that until I got a 2004 Dell UltraSharp, It was a huge difference from what I had seen in the past, and for the money (used) they are a good deal. Most people have VeiwSonic Gateway and other cheapo brand monitors connected to there computer, if you are one of those people I suggest that you dissconnect it tonight and place it behind the tire of your car, that way when you go to work in the morning you will run over the monitor, then you will have no choice but to buy a new one.

James
Reply from Mike on 07-27-10 2:17 PM
A good monitor is useful, and even more so when it's properly calibrated. It's important to pick a standard and stick to it. There are many, some people prefer 6500k, others 5000k, me, I'm a 5500k guy. I use a Mac, so the gamma is 1.8, and the most crucial step is to set brightness, and I've found 100 lumens to be a good place to be. If your monitor is too bright, your prints will probably appear very dark.

Most monitors are too bright, and too blue as the default color temp is usually set to 9300k, which when you print will make your images appear too yellow or warm in tone. I prepare images for 4 color offset printing, and for fine art printing on an Epson 7900 every day on my Mac. 5500°k, 100 lumens, and 1.8 gamma work all the time and for any process of printing, and for use on the internet.

Of course, you may have another set up that works for you. But if you have problems with reproduction, calibrating to a standard will help.
Reply from Andy Barton on 07-27-10 12:06 PM
I have to agree,most people invest in all the camera gear and tend to forget about one of the most important bits of digital darkroom kit you need to produce good images.I bought an Eizo 24" coloredge monitor and haven`t looked back since.

Andy
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 07-20-10 10:19 AM
here in the states, adobe does not charge to convert you from one os to another. You just have to sign a paper saying you will destroy the other version. At least that's what they did for me.

Next time you go by an apple store, load zeissimages.com it really looks good on an apple :)
Reply from Steve Watson on 07-20-10 10:15 AM
Great minds think alike! I went to have a look at the 27" Mac today. Took along a selection of Full Resolution images to look at. Wow! Blown away! I have nothing to do with Apple and I do not obviously own a Mac. I have never seen my images look so good, not even as prints (is that possible?). Highly recommended. Got to have one, but I need to check that I can get hold of Mac versions of my software without paying for them again. If your images don't set you alight on this LED display, then you really have a problem. Stephen
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