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Lights up

Turn your lights back on, or open the blinds, or whatever.


Here, Datacolor gives us a grid of images to assess the calibration. It’s a completely pointless grid, because we don’t have those prints, do we? To assess the calibration, we need images that we can compare to prints. So immediately press the “Open Custom” button ...


… and one at a time, you can open their files and compare the screen to the prints. Here are a couple of examples of photos I used:



I wish there was a way to flick between your five files more quickly – unfortunately, I haven’t found one. So allow a few minutes to go through all your files a few times, while holding their corresponding prints out to the side, and assess the result of the calibration. Don’t rush this part – take your time.

I have found, however, that you can drag-and-drop your image files from their folder onto the Spyder screen, which does speed things up a bit.

Note 1:

Remember that if any of your photos have extremely vivid colours in them (eg a bright turquoise dress, or a glowing orange sunset) those colours might be unprintable, and should be ignored when assessing calibration. Concentrate on the “normal/everyday” range of colours instead.

Note 2:

Please let me reiterate – have some tolerance. Calibration isn’t some kind of magic. It can never make ink on paper exactly match light coming from a screen. “Acceptably close” is what we’re aiming for.

Note 3:

On the right-hand side of the screen there’s a “Switch” button which shows you the difference between the uncalibrated and calibrated state of your monitor. This might seem handy at first glance, and it’s fun to toggle for curiosity’s sake, but the truth is it has no relevance to the task of print comparison, so don’t spend too much time playing with it.


How is your calibration? >>

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