Calibrate Your Monitor for Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

Calibrate Your Monitor for Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Your monitor needs to be calibrated to adjust the gamma and brightness, correct any color tints or colorcasts, and generally get your monitor to display, as precisely as possible, accurate colors on your output. You can choose among a few tools to adjust monitor brightness.

These tools range from a low-cost hardware device that sells for less than $100 to expensive calibration equipment of $3,000 or more — or you can skip the hardware and use tools provided by Mac OS X or Windows.

Gamma is the brightness of midlevel tones in an image. In technical terms, it’s a parameter that describes the shape of the transfer function for one or more stages in an imaging pipeline.

Skip the high-end costly devices and software utilities that don’t do you any good and make, at the very least, one valuable purchase for creating a monitor profile: a hardware profiling system. On the low end, some affordable devices go a long way in helping you adjust your monitor brightness and color balance, with prices ranging from $60 to $100.

The best way to find a device that works for you is to search the Internet for hardware descriptions, dealers, and costs. You’ll find items such as the ColorVision Spyder2express and Pantone huey Pro, to name just a few.

On LCD/LED monitors, you need to adjust the hardware controls to bring your monitor into a match for overall brightness with your photo prints. Be certain to run many test prints and match your prints against your monitor view to make the two as similar as possible.