Thursday, October 7, 2010

Calibrate Your Computer Monitor: Here's How (SPYDER)

This will be a quick post to show you what I use and how I use it when I calibrate my monitor.

DISCLOSURE: I OWN THIS PIECE OF EQUIPMENT AND I LOVE IT MORE THAN MY DOGS BUT, NOT AS MUCH AS MY CAMERAS. MAYBE, AS MUCH AS MY WIFE !

It's called the Spyder2express. You simply install the software they give you, plug the USB wire in, and the gadget does everything else for you.  Only they don't tell you to clean the caffine and nicotine stains and chunks of beard off the monitor first. I figured that out after a few times, all by myself.  See, I'm becoming somewhat of a perfectionist lately, instead of becoming a saint.


The lights are on in this picture. Once everything is set-up I turn all the lights off and go outside for about 10 minutes.  Calibration of the monitor should be done in dim lighting or no lighting at all. When you're doing photo editing you shouldn't be sitting in a room of bright lights, either.



Now, you've already plugged into the USB port and your monitor will tell you exactly where to place the Spyder (Only they call it a SENSOR).  It has a fairly long wire going to the USB and may want to slide out of position. They have suction cups on the Spyder's legs but I don't use them. I used to take a clothespin and clamp the wire to the top of my screen.  Then one day I discovered I could just tilt the screen back far enough to keep the Spyder from sliding.  Well, the spyder was heavy enough to make my laptop fall off the bar.  I caught it just in time.  Now, I know enough to put something heavy on my keyboard so the computer doesn't fall. I refuse to use suction cups on my monitor. It gets enough abuse.



The program runs your computer monitor through all kinds of tests. If you hang around and watch it you'll see it turn your screen all different shades of white, red, yellow, green, black and grey. What it's really doing is adjusting and setting you computer's color profiles.

You don't realize it, when you're staring at a monitor everyday, the colors you see are slowly drifting out of whack.  The Spyder people recommend calibrating your monitor once a month.  I calibrate my monitor every two weeks and weekly if I'm doing lots of editing or printing of photos.



When monitor calibration is complete you'll see something like this on your screen.  This is a picture of what my monitor looked like before calibration.



Here's what it looks like after calibration. If your monitor isn't calibrated it's probably hard to see the difference!  Trust me, the difference is significant. It helps get you award-winning photos.

RELATED POST: CALIBRATE YOUR MONITOR: HERE'S WHY


PURCHASE THE LATEST VERSION OF THIS CALIBRATION TOOL FOR LESS THAN $100.00 AT ADORAMA CAMERA SEE THE SPYDER 3 EXPRESS, HERE





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