color calibration confusions

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kkamin, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Help,

    I've been through many inexpensive colorimeters for my laptop, all have proved useless by producing a terrible color cast. I started getting work, so I had to do some WHCC test prints with just my laptop display's default LCD profile--the results were not bad. (the images I sent them for tests were very, very colorful and punchy, but later prints I ordered from them were more subdued in hue, and clearly showed a slight cyan/green cast in the skin tones.) So I had a problem.

    The last colorimeter I tried was a Pantone Huey Pro. It produced a very small pink cast on my display, so I had initially rendered it useless. But when I loaded up that color profile and looked at my troubled prints from WHCC, they were pretty close in hue and contrast--the Huey profile showed the subtle cyan and green issues that are in the prints.

    1. Should I just use this colorimeter for now, even though it has a slight pink cast? I think my eyes adjust to it after I stare at it for a moment, but I'm not sure, and I'm not sure if it adjusts enough for me to not make other color mistakes in my prints, especially in the neutral tones.

    2. When I open some images in Photoshop, they look dramatically different than when I preview them in Bridge (spacebar) or look at them in OS X's Preview. In Bridge and in Preview they look more contrasty and warmer (redder). I'm working in sRGB. All my Adobe programs are color synced. Why is this happening?

    3. When I upload sRGB jpegs to places like Facebook, the colors end up looking washed out after their systems process them. Does anyone know why that is happening and is there anything I can do? I want to start a Fan Page for my business and I would like my images to look like they do on my website or in Photoshop.

    Thanks for reading,

    KKamin

    PS: I fully realize that color correcting on a 6-bit laptop display is borderline retarded. And that I should have a newer, more trusted colorimeter by now. But I've sunk many thousands into the business up until now and unfortunately am at a point where I need some cash flow before I can continue with my hardware purchases.
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1. Is it your display that is a wrong cast or your your colorimeter? You say you get a pink tint after calibrating. Did you by any chance have a slight green tint before calibrating? Are you basing your opinion on the fact that before things look white? Maybe you're eyes have just adjusted to that fact.

    Now that you're thinking, you're probably right. One of the downsides of colour correcting a ****ty display is that you get very mediocre results. When I use my Eye-One Display 2 to calibrate my desktop monitor the results are perfect. When I use it to calibrate it my laptop it just tends to skew the colours. One of the issues is when you're very close to a display with crap viewing angles (say like a colour sensor to a laptop) you inadvertently pick up colour casts from adjacent pixels which are way outside their normal viewing angles, which can affect calibration. Different units give different results, but I haven't seen a unit totally immune to it (I have only first hand experience with Spyder 2 and i1 Display 2 though the rest is just anecdotes).

    I'd say stick with it, it sounds like it's only a slight cast. You're running a business so see the note below*

    2. I would want to hope they look different in Photoshop. Photoshop will (should) read the colour profile created by your Huey to adapt the colours in the file so they render correctly on your display. Most applications do not do this. You can check this in photoshop by clicking edit -> colour settings. Going to the RGB working profile, clicking the drop down box to select a colour profile, and checking what "Monitor RGB" is called. Do not select the profile, just check and then quietly cancel out of the dialogue.

    If the profile is correctly loaded it should say "Monitor RGB - the_profile_created_by_your_software.icc" If it's not correctly loaded it should say "Monitor RGB - sRGB IECsomethinorother"

    3. Let's assume for a moment you are actually uploading sRGB (you'd be surprised how many people aren't actually, but think they are when they complain about this), the issue may be related to what's going on in point 2. Are the results different to Photoshop (see point 2) or are they different to OS X Preview (are you really in sRGB?).

    * You seem to say you have a slight colour cast when comparing the image to your screen. Put the image down somewhere, go outside, relax, have a cigar, and come back and look at that image again without looking at your monitor or comparing the print to the screen. Can you still tell if it has a colour cast? This is exactly what your clients would see. Sure a carefully colour managed print with a slight cast may look like pure evil next to a calibrated screen, and we then think damn how do I perfect my art if I can't 100% rely on the results. But the answer more often then not is that you don't really need to. All we really need to do is produce an image that a client thinks is fantastic, and given how I get positive feedback from the few weddings I have shot I am beginning to think that the average client is colourblind :lol:
     
  3. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Garbz. Your advice helped me out a lot. :thumbup:
     
  4. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Actually I had a follow up question or two if you have time.

    Yes, it is using the profile I created with the colorimeter. And thank you, I assigned that profile to the Preview program and it matches Photoshop now.

    As for jpegs that are uploaded to image galleries looking washed out- they are sRGB, I don't work in any other color space currently. But I just watched a tutorial on saving jpegs for the web, and it recommended softproofing in Monitor RGB. I didn't understand why. I thought the web was more or less in sRGB and there didn't need to be any image corrections. I understand when I want to print an image to photo paper, there will be a change because of inks and paper, and I need to adjust for that. But when staying in the digital realm and publishing to the web, I don't see why there needs to be any adjustments. Is perhaps the image gallery I'm dealing with not working in sRGB but some kind of monitor RGB profile?
     
  5. P.Rogers

    P.Rogers TPF Noob!

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    I used the spyder2express on my imac glossy screen - didn't really do anything. I took a couple print outs from various semi-professional printers and just eyeballed the calibration - so it was really really close.
    I wish there was a better way.
    Some of the new monitors coming out have great calibration tools built in - can't wait to try those.
     
  6. bhphotography

    bhphotography TPF Noob!

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    The problem is that colour on laptop screens varies more than regular monitors. Try picking up a decent external monitor for your laptop and edit with that. Unless your spending thousands on a laptop, the screen isn't going to be all that great for editing.

    I use a spyder3 and my prints always come out matching the monitor. I'm using an hp 24" (they do make smaller monitors as well).
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I have an expensive laptop with a WUXGA+ monitor. Even after calibrating with a Spyder 3, it still is lousy for editing (so I bought a Dell 2209WA IPS monitor which I calibrate with the Spyder 3).
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Soft proofing makes one device look like another. And there's no reason for the above. Why make your monitor profile look like your monitor profile? That's what is being displayed anyway. The only time this is ever useful is if you are using an image with a wide gamut and you want to know what it is that you can't see on your screen. So softproof to the screen and turn on out of gamut warning indicator.

    Do you have a wide gamut monitor by any chance? As I mentioned earlier the website software isn't colour managed either. You would see a similar difference between an image loaded by your webbrowser (not necessarily the gallery), as you would have between photoshop and preview before you assigned the profiles correctly.

    Firefox 3 and later supports ICC output profiles. The options are set in about:config and are fairly involved so a quick google would help set that up.
     
  9. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    OH GOD! This thread reminds me of all the hassles I went through with this same question. I finally tossed all the fancy equipment in the closet and bought an expensive monitor and just use it as is out of the box.
    I feel for you...good luck getting it all figured out!
     
  10. adamcoupe

    adamcoupe TPF Noob!

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    Yep
    I've been there like many of the contributions - laptops and laptop screens struggle with calibration tools - I ended up buying a 24" Dell CRT monitor which calibrated perfectly. I now run a 24" Dell LCD screen alongside the 24" CRT and still use the CRT for all colour critical RAW adjustment & processing. You have to spend a great deal on an LCD monitor before it will match even the most humble of CRT's.
    Adam
    Commercial Photography - Portfolio - Adam Coupe Photography
     
  11. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    But I would think you would still need to do the routine calibrations on the monitor, it would still be susceptible to drifting and losing brightness.
     
  12. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    Well, when I'm in Photoshop, my image is sitting in an sRGB color space (and goes through my monitor's calibrated profile to appear on screen), so when I softproof in Monitor RGB there is a big shift. Is Monitor RGB a 'safe' way to see how images will be viewed online? My fear is if I adjust to the Monitor RGB softproof, the people who can view sRGB accurately in their browsers will see something disgusting.

    Thanks for your time, Garbz. Always illuminating!
     

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