How to Color Calibrate Your Monitor

Excerpts from Digital Photography School

“If you want to obtain accurate colours in your photos in Lightroom (or indeed any other software), no matter what you may read elsewhere, you need to calibrate your computer monitor. If you don’t, the colours in your photos won’t be accurate, and you will never produce a print (or any other form of output, such as a Blurb book) that matches the colours on your screen.”

“Mac owners will be fine. The Mac operating system (OS X) works very well with colour. Every program you use works with the monitor profile and displays accurate colour. It’s one of the reasons that many professional photographers use Apple computers.

If you have a Windows PC however the story is different. The operating system knows the monitor profile is there, but not all programs use it. It’s possible to have the same photo open in two programs, and for the colours in one to appear different to the other. One program is using the monitor profile, and the other isn’t.”

“Colorimetric devices are made by several manufacturers. The main players seem to beDatacolor (who make the Spyder models) and X-Rite (which makes Colormunki).

For many photographers, the least expensive model in each manufacturer’s range is probably sufficient. That’s good news because it means that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to calibrate your monitor.”

Setting Hyperfocal Distance for In-focus Foreground and Background

“You are out photographing a landscape. You have a nice foreground and background in the frame, and you want as much as possible in focus. You set a small aperture to get a nice wide depth of field. But still, you know that not everything in your frame will be sharp.

The fact is that lenses just cannot keep everything – from what is right in front of you all the way to the horizon – acceptably sharp at the same time. You can focus on something very close at the risk of blurring the background. Or you can focus on something far away and risk blurring your foreground elements.

So where should you focus? More particularly, how close can you can focus while still keeping the background sharp?”

From Digital Photography School – full article here.