Screen calibration comparison

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hmm I recognise this place! And some of you!
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Ok someones chat of calibrations reminded me that I hadn't calibrated this "new" (ancient bit of rubbish found dusty in a corner at home) monitor so I just did - and got hit with the OMG was it that out of sync shock. I don't think my eyes have adjusted to the "new look" either.

So here are two shots - one before and one after the calibration and I would be very eager to hear which shot looks the "better". A tricky term I know because better is debatable and the only real way to know what "I" wanted is to be sitting right next to me - but in theory it should be the second shot.

Before:
4978894089_8059ea1e39_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4146/4978894089_8059ea1e39_b.jpg

After:
5076651962_7ee057b4ee_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4012/5076651962_7ee057b4ee_b.jpg


urgh and now the before is looking better and the after looking worse to me - gah I hate screen calibrating ;)
Also is it me or does the second one start to have banding and problems in the background blur?
 
#1 looks more true to life to me. The second one is a little on the warm side to me it seems. It's a great shot though, either way.
 
Slightly higher gamma on the second shot...not by a whole lot, but noticeable. A little bit darker dark tones on the second shot.
 
I'm sort of starting to agree that maybe I went a little too far with the second version - the first just seemed (after the editing) to lose the colour and contrast "punch" effect that I thought it had more strongly. Maybe something half way between the two.
Most of what I did was to darken the highlights and a slight s curve - maybe just the s curve was what I needed.

I think I might have to break down and get lightroom oneday so I can show side by side before and afters - its just not the same turning layers on and off as it is to see them side by side.

As a bonus though the calibration has totally destroyed the screen glare I didn't know I was getting - far more relaxing on the eyes now!
 
heh i was doing some editing on my pc before I went to the digital lab at my school (with calibrated monitors) and what a difference! My highlights were blown out on the schools computers but looked fine on my computer... Man I need a good monitor and calibration -.-
 

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