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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 …

Choose a different temperature setting


  • If your screen needs to be cooler to match your prints, a higher value.
  • If your screen needs to be warmer to match your prints, choose a lower value.

So if, for example, my screen was just a tiny bit too cold at 6500, I could reduce my target for the next calibration by 250:


Extra special note

If you have tried various custom temperature calibrations and it's STILL not right, there is one more avenue of adjustment.  It's super-complicated and super-frustrating, but if you're up to it, read the following detailed instructions:


If the screen is too pink or too green

I was hoping that the previous steps would give you a happy result.  But maybe even when the warmth of your screen is just right, there will be a lingering problem with pinkness or greenness.  This problem is less common, and it’s darn fiddly to overcome.  For some reason, all the standard calibration settings only concentrate on the warm/cool axis.  When you examine the presets, you’ll see they all follow a straight line between warm and cool:


To take control over a green or pink problem with your screen, you have to manually choose specific target co-ordinates.

First, you have to take note of the X and Y co-ordinates from your best calibration so far:


Write them down:


(Yes, I know the numbers in my screenshot don't match the numbers on my notepad. Please forgive me, I'm borrowing from a different screen's results.)

Then choose “xy Value” from the menu:


And you’ll see it gives you precise control over the co-ordinates:


It’s time for you to tweak the numbers (then recalibrate to check the results).

xy-5a.jpg xy-5b.jpg

WARNING: I’ve found that a little goes a long way.  Don’t make big adjustments, or your calibration will be outrageous!!!  Generally 0.005 or 0.01 at a time is enough.

In my case,  I needed my screen to be a little pinker, so I lowered the Y value and raised the X value slightly.


Whatever values you choose to try, make sure you write them down!


Go ahead and run the whole calibration process again with your new targets.  Then compare to prints and see how you went.  It’s very likely that you’ll need to do this a few times before you get it right.  When you’re finally happy, make sure you write down your X and Y values somewhere permanent!  You’ll need them again next month.

Re-calibrate >>

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