We finally got my new computer from the local shop, and after working out a few bugs (the cpu fan stopped working!) and installing various programs, it’s almost usable. Almost. I had to tackle the daunting task of calibrating the monitor by eye. All monitors are not created equal – what you see on the internet differs from what I see because our monitors are set up differently. If you don’t believe me, just go to Best Buy and eyeball the different computer monitors – not a one is alike. This poses a problem when it comes to photo editing – the image must match what the printer spits out, or I waste a lot of time and money trying to manually match it.
Now, real pros have a handy little calibrating program that does this stuff for you. Since I don’t want to spend a lot of money (and I know there are free programs – I’ve been ordered not to download anything without permission after a few trojan/virus scares!) I decided to calibrate it by eye. Basically, I printed out a photograph that I know is a good one, since I edited it on my formerly calibrated, dying gamma monitor, and compared the image on the screen until I got it right. Sounds easy? Not at all. I’m still not sure I got the color balance right – the reds and blue aren’t quite as accurate as I want, and I’m still showing a few hot spots on the monitor that aren’t on the original image. But, overall, I could put up this image without feeling too scared of what it actually looks like.
Corbin and I went for a walk along the Mohawk river the other evening. Mosquitoes abounded and the water level has dropped drastically, but the evening light was lovely. I don’t shoot landscape a lot, and this is truly just a snapshot. Still, I thought it turned out ok for a distracted photo shoot with baby in tow.
I finally got an updated version of Photoshop to go with my brand new computer, so expect some experimentation in the coming weeks. I have all these new toys and I don’t know what to try first! In all my spare time, that is. Of course, when I say I edited a photograph, bear in mind that I’m somewhat of a purist: no wild edits, insertions, or deletions. I pretty much stick with basic darkroom edits – it’s just what I’m more comfortable with.
This is a lovely photograph, worth the insect bites.
I have calibrated my monitor using the Windows Calibrate Color (Control Panel – Display) and it works pretty well. The only thing better would be a monitor calibration device that sell from anywhere north of $100. It’s free and you probably already have it.
I used the Nvidia calibration panel – it had a little more tweaking ability. I don’t have a calibration device – if I can get away without spending more money, all the better! I might have to break down and buy it though 🙂