Differences in monitors.

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    So. I like solid, contrasty, saturated photos. So I tend to play with gamma and curves a lot, especially on images that look hazy or washed out coming from the camera, and I tend to shoot with EV -0.7 as a default. (I have recently started using the histogram instead of the preview window, so I’m learning and leveling up).

    But my question is: I set my photos so they look good on my laptop, where I do my primary editing. Recently, I had to swap laptops due to a screen failure, and the images look almost identical. I noticed a while back, that as the angle of the laptop changes, the contrast of the image changes, so I try to keep my screen angle perpendicular to my line of sight. At this angle, most everyone elses posted photos look pretty good, too.

    But. My desktop inputs to my TV, and when I view my flicker stream, a lot of my heavier contrast photos seem to be overly dark. I always figured this was a biproduct of using a tv instead of an actual monitor and didn’t pay much attention. Recently, I started working in an office with a desk and *gasp* real interwebs, and can surf the tubes during the day. While cruising flickr for desktop wallpaper, I noticed some of my heavier contrast images appeared overshadowed here, too. So my question is two-fold.

    a) Do many / some of my photos look too dark to any of the rest of you?

    b) Is there any way to compensate for differences in monitors, ie adjust the image settings so that it’ll look optimized for an “average” monitor or “most” monitors?

    If it helps, I also notice that when I print from my printer, the images seem oversaturated and dark. but when I have the w-mart print them , they look fine and as-planned.


    Best bet’s a good screen calibrator. I use a Huey Pro.

    There are other devices, like the Spyder, that can deal with calibrating the screen *and* the printer.


    There’s no real correction for what anyone else’s monitor is set up as, though. My desktop monitors often look different from my laptop monitor, which seems brighter in general than they are. I have the desktop monitors pseudo-callibrated, at least for contrast (they’re set up so I can see all the wedges in a light-to-dark wedge strip as separate shades), but my laptop isn’t callibrated at all. I sometimes check what my images look like on both monitors (which were bought at different times and are slightly different color temperatures) and on the laptop just to see what the range is that the images display at. When I print, I have a general idea of what the printer is going to do with the images compared to how they look on my screen (they’re close, and a lot of the difference is accountable to the light projecting monitor vs light absorbing print).

    For what it’s worth, I hadn’t noticed that your photos looked particularly dark…the projected word image from this past week was appropriately low key, but I saw a pretty good range of tones. If you’re paying attention to your histogram as you’re editing, that should help; if you aren’t blowing out highlights or completely blocking shadows, you should be good. Just know that some people will be viewing on shitty and/or non-calibrated monitors, and there won’t be anything you can do about that. You just kinda gotta go with it.

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