Essential Monitor Settings

Every device (scanner, monitor, printer) has a slightly different color calibration. You can add a color profile to the image so that the color is consistent on all the devices and color shifts can be kept to a minimum. There are two possibilities to ensure a consistent color reproduction on all output equipment.

Initially, it may be enough to select a suitable color profile for your monitor and to adjust it to GIMP (or any other editing program). Should the printout still deviate from your screen rendition, you can calibrate you monitor. When you calibrate your monitor, you are optimizing the color rendition and its gamma value (grayscale contrast and brightness) to assure that the images on the screen have the correct color and brightness values.

There are some basic settings you can change: Adjust the monitor's color depth in the system preferences of your operating system to the highest value. Normally, this will be 32-bit color depth in Windows (24-bit color plus 8-bit alpha channel for transparencies), and for Mac OS X it will be 24-bit color depth. In Windows 7, you can find the setting under Start Menu > Control Panel > Category: Appearance and Personalization > Adjust screen resolution. In the dialog box that opens, you will find the Advanced settings link. Here you can choose a color profile (sRGB recommended) in the Color Management tab of the Advanced Settings dialog box. Moreover, the Monitor tab there allows you to choose Colors: True Color (32 bit), if it is not set as the default. In Windows XP and Vista, you will find those settings in Control Panel > Display.

Furthermore, you have the option of adjusting your display over the buttons for the settings of the monitor itself. At least for CRT (tube) monitors, set the color temperature to 6500 K (Kelvin, as far as this is available), set the contrast to 100% (LCD monitors about 50%), and adjust the brightness. Ideally, you should use a monitor calibrating system.

The daylight brightness has an approximate color temperature of 6500 Kelvin. Many monitors are calibrated for a higher color temperature, which lets white appear as more of a bluish tone and slightly shifts the color spectrum. For color prints, you should save your images in the sRGB color profile; sRGB sets white at 6500 K and the gamma value at 2.2.

For Windows, you set the standard gamma value at 2.2, and for Mac OS at 1.8. The same image will appear darker on the Mac screen compared to Windows. You can calibrate the gamma value under the same path. GammaToggle for Mac OS, a free shareware for private users, offers an opportunity to easily change the standard gamma value. More at: http://www.thankyouware. com/gammatoggle.html.

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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