Color Calibration between the monitor and prints has long been a thorn in the side of the photographer. When I first got involved with printing my own images on my Epson almost 10 years ago, nobody knew much of anything. There was one guy in the UK that shed some light on the subject, but there were few tools.
Well we’ve come a long way since then! Now it’s so easy to calibrate your monitor and printer. I recently got a Dell U2410 monitor. Dell says it’s color calibrated for sRGB and Adobe RGB from the factory. And boy did it look good when I plugged it in. Too good actually. Images that I had previously developed looked garish, bright and oversaturated. They were fine when printed. Hmmm a mismatch here.
So I got a Spyder4 from Datacolor the mid level Pro version. And boy was it easy to use. A huge improvement over their previous products. It measures the ambient light, the interface is simple – none of the adjusting brightness to make the logo disappear into the black – you know what I’m talking about if you’ve used older products.
And the results were spot on. Images perfectly matched from screen to my Epson 7800. So if you’re printing and need a solution I highly recommend the Spyder 4!
So if you’ve taken a class from me you know how rabid I am about backing up your files. If you’ve never had a computer crash before it will happen and it finally happened to me. Not a complete crash, the computer just wouldn’t shut down, then wouldn’t restart… Some corruption somewhere, sigh. My husband spent quite a bit of time trying to solve the issue, but alas computers don’t read the manual and do whatever they want to do. We had to reload the entire operating system which meant losing everything on the hard drive. But I had backed up my files and while time consuming reloading programs, I have a brand new computer again, without all of the previous problems!
So back up your files! For Lightroom make sure to save the catalog so when you reload it all of your information is still there: files, collections, folders, editing history, keywords. If you reload the catalog and then hook up your external hard drive, the computer may not assign the drive the letter that Lightroom recognizes. Fear not, just change the drive letter to the one Lightroom used before and you are good to go. (For information on changing drive letters, Google it, it’s easy to do). Back up picture files separately. All of mine are on external hard drives that mirror each other. So no tedious reloading of terabytes of information! Have a system wide back up like Genie or Time Machine that copies all of the pertinent information on your machine. Be prepared! So my Thanksgiving wasn’t a total loss. Next week I’ll tell you about the cool new monitor I am getting for editing!