There’s more to properly viewing Web gallery images than simply opening up the files with your favourite Web Browser. Unfortunately there are significant differences in colour veracity between Monitors and Graphic Adapters. No two brand of monitors look the same and different operating platforms use different standards for brightness, contrast and gamma. To this end I am giving you some basic guidelines for balancing your system closer to what our technician percieves on the Dmax Photographic Imaging Workstation.
The images should look good on most color monitors. If you’re running 16 or 24 bit color, your viewer should look great, at a minimum you should be browsing in 256 colours.
To fine-tune your monitor to match our monitor, download The Dmax Photographic Colour Checker. This is a calibration “photograph” of a Macbeth ColorChecker(tm) Chart and a Kodak Gray Scale which are accepted standards in the Photographic and Graphic arts trade. The gray scale and squares of color have been balanced so that they are extremely close matches to the originals. Use the large gray patches and the gray scale to adjust your monitor the colour patches are for reference only unless you have you own ColorChecker to balance with. The black patch should look black and the white patch should look white with all the steps between looking varied shades of gray. The secret to the colour balance is that the scale should look neutral with no trace colours.
To accomplish this, adjust your brightness so that you can just barely distinguish the three darkest steps of the gray scale. You shouldn’t see a big difference between them. Adjust your contrast control so the white step looks white and you can clearly see the difference between that step and the one next to it. To adjust the colour balance you will have to have either a monitor that has hardware controls to adjust its colour curves or a Video Adapter Card with software adjustment support.
The Basic Steps
- Adjust your monitor brightness so that you can just barely distinguish between the three darkest steps in the gray scale.
- Adjust your monitor contrast so that the white step in the gray scale looks white and the ones next to it show seperation.
- The middle steps of the large scale should look medium gray.
- If you have the ability to correct the colour balance of the monitor, adjust the RGB curves so that the gray scale and patches are neutral with no trace colours or hues.