Have you ever tried ordering prints of your digital photos, but were disappointed by the results? Maybe the prints were darker or lighter than they looked on your monitor, or maybe they had a weird tint that seemed to just come out of nowhere.
Well, those problems most likely occurred because your monitor isn’t calibrated properly. The purpose of calibrating your monitor is to get it to display color as accurately as possible (so when you get your prints back from the photo lab, they look exactly like they did on your monitor).
How to calibrate your monitor
The simplest way to calibrate your monitor is to use a monitor calibration device. These devices look like a computer mouse, and hang from the top of your monitor while some software runs a few tests.
Using them is usually extremely easy. All you have to do is plug it in to your computer, install the included software, and let the software guide you through the whole process. The most difficult part of the process is hanging the device from your monitor and getting it to stay still in the center of your screen (but don’t worry, this is super easy!!).
There’s a few really great calibration devices out there, but I can personally recommend the Spyder4Pro. The software for this device was very easy to follow, and it successfully calibrated my monitor so now when I order prints of my photos, they look exactly like they did on my screen.
If you’ve had good success with another calibration device, please tell us about it by leaving a comment below!
More details on calibrating your monitor
For more technical information on calibrating your monitor and the importance of color management, check out these great articles:
- Overview of Color Management by Sean McHugh
- Monitor Calibration for Photography by Sean McHugh
- The Myth of the Screen to Print Match by Rich Seiling
Get more great tips in our free weekly newsletter.
Photos of computer monitors courtesy of Shutterstock
About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.