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Damien Symonds

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Posts posted by Damien Symonds


  1. COVID-19 Pandemic
    SPECIAL CLASS PRICES

    While many of us can't leave our homes, it's a great time for intensive online learning!  So for the month of April I'm offering special price structures on some of my classes.

    Normal class memberships are for twelve months.  That allows enough time for busy people to learn.  But while you don't have much else to do, here's your chance to save money by signing up for only five weeks.

    • The Bridge Class: $10 $6
    • The Layers & Masks Class: $34 $25
    • The Raw Class: $79 $48
    • The Channel Mixer Class: $45 $34

    Five weeks is plenty of time to get through the classes without the distractions of, y'know, leaving the house.  And of course at the end of the time you'll have the option to extend if you wish.

    You can still sign up for the full twelve months, of course.  If that is what you'd prefer, go here.

    Interested? >>

    *Prices are in AUD if you're in Australia, or USD if you're elsewhere in the world.


  2. 6 hours ago, AniaAnia said:

    I'm interested in why you don't recommend using a lab's test prints. Isn't that the purpose of them?

    No.  The purpose of that lab print is to test the GAMUT of your screen.  That is a secondary issue.  It only happens after you've finished a successful calibration.  Then you get the lab's soft-proofing profile to check how accurate it is.

    6 hours ago, AniaAnia said:

    In the FullCal today I chose a warm present (6866K)

    This confirms my fears, I think.  A screen's "warm" setting should definitely NOT be this high. So either it's a terrible screen (vaguely possible) or your calibrator is terrible at reading it (most likely).

    You need to buy - or at least borrow - a newer calibrator, sorry.


  3. Oh gee, a touch screen.  They make me nervous.

    It's likely that your calibrator is too old to properly calibrate that screen.

    But let's not give up right away.

    The first thing to do is throw this stupid thing in the bin:

    2 hours ago, AniaAnia said:

    Streets_lge-srgb-info3.jpg

    You must only use your own photos to confirm calibration.

    Are you following my calibration instructions here?  https://www.damiensymonds.net/calibration.html


  4. It's done with High Pass filter.

    Duplicate the Background layer and change its blend mode to "Hard Light" (actually, all five modes from Overlay to Linear Light work in various ways).  Then go to Filter>Other>High Pass.  I estimate the look you want will be somewhere between 20 and 50.


  5. < Go back to the previous step    << Go back to the beginning

    Troubleshooting

    If you’ve ended up at this page, you must be frustrated, and I don’t blame you. Calibration should be a straightforward process, but for a small unlucky minority, it’s a PITA. Something must be wrong somewhere.

    Here are a few things to consider …

    • I know I've already said this multiple times, but I must say it again.  The light around your computer is so critical.  Sometimes even changing the location of your computer in the same room is enough to fix problems.
    • It's time to ask yourself if your screen is good enough for editing. If it was advertised as a gaming screen it'll be great for gaming, but might be poor for imaging.  Or maybe it's just plain old.

    Even if it isn’t a very good screen, let’s not run out to the computer store straight away …

    • Is there another computer in your house you can try calibrating? It would be good to check that the calibrator itself is ok. Heck, even if you have to drive over to your BFF’s house and try calibrating their computer, it’s worth the drive. Have a wine and a gossip while you’re there.
    • Is there desktop screen in your house you can plug in to your computer and try calibrating? If a different screen gave the same bad results, it might point to the problem being in your computer itself.
    • It might be your graphics card. Have you checked for updates to your graphics card drivers?
    • Maybe it’s the cable you’re using to connect computer to monitor? If you’re still using an old VGA cable, that sure can affect things. Your screen and computer should have DVI, HDMI or Display ports, so make sure you’re using them.
    • Contact Datacolor. They’re the experts, after all. Hopefully they’ll be able to identify your glitch and straighten it out.

    Please feel free to comment below, or post in Ask Damien, and I'll help you if I can.


  6. < Go back to the previous step    << Go back to the beginning

    Colour and brightness not right

    Please never underestimate the impact your surrounding light has on this calibration/comparison process. If your light is too dim or too yellow (both VERY common problems) it will always make your prints seem darker and/or yellower than they really are, and cause you to think that your screen is too bright and/or cold.

    If you think, or even suspect, that your light is the culprit, take steps to rectify it. Get brighter/whiter bulbs if you can, or at least try assessing your prints in daylight. I would hate to be wasting your time with all of these calibration adjustments if the calibration wasn’t actually the problem.

    If you’re sure the light is ok, read on …

    Let’s try again.

    Pull down the little Shortcuts menu in the bottom left corner of the screen, and choose "Expert Console" ...

    expert.png

    ... to come back to this screen:

    nec22.png

    First, brightness

    Type a new value in the White Luminance field:

    newbright.png

    • If your screen is darker than your prints, type a higher number than before.
    • If your screen is brighter than your prints, type a lower number than before.

    Note: If you find you need to go lower than 70, please, I beg you, consider the light that you’re in. 70 should be as low as you ever need to go if your light is good.  If it's not low enough for you, your room light is too dim.

    Then, colour

    Choose a different white point target:

    newwhite.gif

    • If your screen is presently warmer than your prints, you need to choose a higher number than before.
    • If your screen is colder than your prints, you need to choose lower number.

    For example, if I’d calibrated to 6500K the first time, and found that my screen was a bit too blue compared to the prints, I’d choose 5800K this time. If I had come around to this screen a second time, because the screen was still too cool, I’d go to 5000K.

    If you want a smaller adjustment than the menu gives you, you can choose "Other" and enter your own value:

    Elite09-troubleshoot-colour-change-2.png

     

    Once you’ve chosen your new targets, press “Next“ and continue with the new calibration.

    Follow the instructions again >>


  7. < Go back to the previous step    << Go back to the beginning

    Brightness not right

    Please never underestimate the impact your surrounding light has on this calibration/comparison process. If your light is too dim (which is a very common problem) it will always make your prints seem darker than they really are, and cause you to think that your screen is too bright.

    If you think, or even suspect, that your light is the culprit, take steps to rectify it. Get brighter bulbs if you can, or at least try assessing your prints in daylight. I would hate to be wasting your time with all of these calibration adjustments if the calibration wasn’t actually the problem.

    If you’re sure the light is ok, read on …

    Let’s try again.

    Pull down the little Shortcuts menu in the bottom left corner of the screen, and choose "Expert Console" ...

    expert.png

    ... to come back to this screen:

    nec22.png

    Then type a new value in the White Luminance field:

    newbright.png

    What setting to choose

    • If your screen is darker than your prints, type a higher number than before.
    • If your screen is brighter than your prints, type a lower number than before.

    Note: If you find you need to go lower than 70, please, I beg you, consider the light that you’re in. 70 should be as low as you ever need to go if your light is good.  If it's not low enough for you, your room light is too dim.

    Once you’ve chosen your new target, press “Next“ and continue with the new calibration.

    Follow the instructions again >>


  8. < Go back to the previous step    << Go back to the beginning

    Colour not right

    I know I’ve said this before, but I have to hammer it home again. NEVER underestimate the effect your surrounding light has on the way your photos appear. You’re on this page because your screen and prints differ in colour. Before proceeding, I need you to make a frank appraisal of the light in your room. If it’s too yellow (which is the most common problem) it will make your prints appear yellow, and therefore cause you to conclude that your screen’s calibration is too cold.

    If you think, or even suspect, that your light is the culprit, take steps to rectify it. Get whiter bulbs if you can, or at least try assessing your prints in daylight. I would hate to be wasting your time with all of these calibration adjustments if the calibration wasn’t actually the problem.

    If you’re sure the light is ok, read on …

    Let’s try again.

    Pull down the little Shortcuts menu in the bottom left corner of the screen, and choose "Expert Console" ...

    expert.png

    ... to come back to this screen:

    nec22.png

    We're here to correct the colour, so it's time to choose a different white point target:

    newwhite.gif

    What setting to choose

    • If your screen is presently warmer than your prints, you need to choose a higher number than before.
    • If your screen is colder than your prints, you need to choose lower number.

    For example, if I’d calibrated to 6500K the first time, and found that my screen was a bit too blue compared to the prints, I’d choose 5800K this time. If I had come around to this screen a second time, because the screen was still too cool, I’d go to 5000K.

    If you want a smaller adjustment than the menu gives you, you can choose "Other" and enter your own value:

    Elite09-troubleshoot-colour-change-2.png

    Once you’ve chosen your new target, press “Next“ and continue with the new calibration.

    Follow the instructions again >>


  9. < Go back to the previous step    << Go back to the beginning

    SpyderTune

    Since you’ve decided that your colour is pretty darn close, but could benefit from some slight tweaking, it’s time to explore the feature which sets the SpyderElite apart from its cheaper siblings:

    tune1.gif

    The SpyderTune screen looks like this:

    tune2.jpg

    On the right are the sliders which allow you to make small adjustments to the colour of your screen:

    tune3.jpg

    Those sliders behave similarly (although not identically) to the Temperature and Tint sliders you’re probably familiar with in your raw processing program. So if you have some experience with raw editing, I expect you’ll find these sliders fairly intuitive.

    PLEASE DON’T RUSH THIS. Take your time, opening your test print files one at a time, making tweaks to those sliders, then opening the next image to see how it fared, make more tiny tweaks as necessary, and so on. I expect you’ll open all five of your files at least three times each, while you satisfy yourself about your modifications.

    I’d love to tell you that you’ll be able to make all five files match their prints exactly. Alas, it won’t happen. Your goal is to find settings that give a tolerable average match across the set. That is the nature of calibration in general.

    The other sliders

    You’ll see there are two other sliders – “Gamma” and “Brightness“. By clicking the link to come to this page, you’ve already decided that your brightness was ok, so I hope you won’t need to touch that slider. However, some tiny tweaks to the Gamma slider might be ok, if you find it essential. Not too much, though!

    The buttons

    tune4.gif

    If you’ve moved the sliders too much, and made a mess, that’s not a problem. Just hit the “Reset” button and start over. Don’t worry, it won’t undo your whole calibration, just these SpyderTune sliders.

    The “Switch” button is as pointless as ever, sadly. It would be nice if it showed just the before-and-after of your slider tweaking, but at this stage, it shows the before-and-after of the whole calibration. I hope Datacolor might change this functionality in the future.

    Once you’re happy that the sliders are perfect, press the “Save” button to embed those tweaks in the monitor profile. Then press the “Next” button to complete the process.

    Finish >>


  10. Monthly recalibration

    When the month has rolled around, your computer will notify you that it’s time to recalibrate. If you’re like me, you’ll ignore it for a few days because you’re busy. But don’t ignore it too long.

    Provided nothing has changed with your setup since last month (new hard drive or graphics card or anything like that), recalibration is fast and easy.

    Of course, before recalibrating, make sure your screen has been on for half an hour to warm up and stabilise.

    When you launch, you’ll see this familiar screen.  But don't press "Next".  Instead, choose the "Shortcuts" menu in the bottom left corner, and jump straight to the "Expert Console".

    recal.png

    hub.png

    I'm sure you remember what to do here.  It should be all the same as last month.

    1. Consult your notes to check what White Point you used last month.
    2. Consult your notes to check what Luminance you used last month.
    3. Make sure it's not compensating for room light.
    4. Make sure Gray Balance is still set to "Better" (sometimes it switches back) and the Backlight setting is still correct for your screen.
    5. Make sure you do a FullCAL.  Yes, there is a ReCAL option, but it's half-assed.  Do things properly.

    Then go ahead and run the calibration, then compare against your prints to make sure everything is still fine.  If so, get back to work.

    If for some reason it's not fine, go to the results page to revisit your options.

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