Your computer is kitted out and just waiting for that nudge of the mouse. Wait! Have you forgotten something? Calibrating our monitors is one of the basic steps most computer users forget or ignore. Pixel perfect monitor calibration is almost a holy rule for photographers and graphic artists. If you are either of those, you know all about calibrating your monitors.
If you aren’t, taking the pains to carefully (and intermittently) calibrating your monitor is just as important. The colors on screen may not be the exact match of what they actually are. Just imagine that you took a beautiful panoramic snap and downloaded it to your computer. But the blue of the sky or the green of the grass doesn’t resemble the one you saw through the viewfinder.
Today, it’s a lot about watching online movies, snapping digital photos and sharing image files. Color calibrating monitors is important to get as close to the real thing as possible. Graphic professionals will pick up serious apps for the job, but we laymen can rely on our eyes, our judgment, and some online help from these simple monitor calibration websites.
Photo Friday’s monitor calibration tool is a webpage which help you adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen. The idea is to tweak the monitor settings (or buttons), so that you can clearly distinguish the transition of tones from true black to true white. The instructions start off by telling you to dim the lights and hit F11 for viewing the grayscale chart in full screen mode.
Screencheck is a simple webpage that helps you to see if your screen is set to the correct brightness and color. The top bar checks the tone with a white to black band. The bottom bar displays a smooth RGB spectrum to check for color breaks.
DisplayCalibration.com is not a great looking site but it is more than a useful one. The site is not updated but you can use the online screen calibration tools placed in three pages – Brightness and Contrast, Color Depth, and Screen Resolution.
The site includes a series of test images that start from checking contrast to checking for response times of your monitor. It is recommended to go through the tests in the order they are placed. The developer also states that you can put the images on a Flash drive and try them in the computer store when shopping for a LCD monitor. A 120KB ZIP file download is included.
This website has a range of interactive tests to fix your screen colors. You can start off with a test that’s similar to the one we covered first. Next, the Color Range test checks if your monitor can smoothly produce color gradients. From the menu you can pick different color charts.
Look for ‘ghost images’ or image trails in the Trailing test. Move the box across the screen and check if any trails are produced. The controls and options to change the color and shape of the box are placed at the bottom.
The Homogenuity test helps to pinpoint damaged pixels and faulty monitors with backlight bleeding. 1:1 Pixel mapping and testing for blurring of Text are the last two tests on the lineup. While the former is not so much an issue with LCD monitors, the latter is worth a tryout if you feel that screen text is not crisp enough. There’s another test for dual monitors that can be used to test input lag on two monitors.
Before you start off with calibrating your monitor, you can dive into Windows Display Properties and finalize some of the settings. Set the optimal screen resolution and refresh rates for your model of the monitor. All monitors these days have a high color quality of 32 bits. With the basics in place, you can set about fine-tuning your monitor settings with monitor calibration apps.
You monitor also might have a calibration software. Windows 7 comes with a Display Color Calibration tool. You can access it from Start – Control Panel -Appearance and Personalization – Display. For older OS like Windows Vista and XP, online apps or third party software like Calibrize could be handy. Setting the right color and brightness of your monitor is not difficult. All you need is a good eye. Do you regularly calibrate your monitor? Which is your favored method?
Image credit: Shutterstock
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