How Important Is Color Calibration?
Photography is an art which requires creativity. The more creative you are the better your chances of becoming successful and making an impact. Being creative usually involves breaking a few rules here and there. Well, at least that is what a majority of photographers believe. In that case, thinking outside the box is the way to go. Take color, for example, an essential part of a photo’s composition. Whether you are going for a bright portrait or a monochromatic street scene, the right color can set a tone and create a mood that has a lasting impact on the viewer.
Importance of Colors
Colors can be used practically by a photographer to avert a viewer’s gaze and to draw their attention towards a particular part of a photo, towards the subject that makes the photo stand out. Beginner photographers and even some established photographers can improve their photography skills learning something about color calibration. Without proper color calibration, the final photo cannot have the impact that the photographer might have thought it would. This is because, as a photographer, we first imagine and compose a photo in our mind before trying to capture it using a camera. The image we see with our eyes is not exactly what we capture in the camera. Most times the true color of the scene does not translate into the final photo and that becomes a disappointment for an aspiring photographer.
In-Camera Color Calibration
So, color calibration is absolutely necessary in-camera as it is in post-processing. See that white balance option in your camera? Yes, that is there to help you get the right colors for a particular situation or environment. Choosing the right white balance will allow you to get that perfect photo you have been looking to get your entire life.
The biggest problem photographers face is not being able to transfer their thoughts and ideas to a viewer’s computer or mobile screen. That is because you might not be seeing what the other person must be seeing on their laptop screen. Therefore, monitor calibration is definitely necessary to make your photos stand out. Why does it matter? Well, that is because when you’re editing photos, all the colors and lights around you in the room affect the way that your eyes see and the way your computer screen appears to you. Our eyes are like super cameras and they work and adjust in an instance. They search for a neutral white balance area on which to focus and they then make you see differently. The biggest issue with this is that not everyone will have the same white balance in their room as you do and so they might be seeing an entirely different image from you.
How’s that your fault, you might think? Well, it isn’t, because you are doing your best to edit your images. This takes us to our next question.
Who Needs Color Calibration?
In a perfect world, everyone’s screen would be color calibrated but there is a counter-argument for that and that is not everyone is viewing photos on their laptop screen or monitor. Many people actually view photos on mobile devices like tablets and cellphones while on the move. Therefore, a MacBook screen would not have the same color temperature and range as let’s say a cellphone. The final result would always differ but if your monitor or screen is color calibrated you can expect to put out consistent photos. So, if you are into that kind of a thing, if you are going down the professional path, you should consider color calibrating your monitor.
How to Calibrate a Monitor?
Many monitors and laptop screens nowadays come with automatic color calibration, so the user does not need to manually adjust or calibrate using an external device. However, a built-in calibration device does not work that well, at least for serious photographers. If you are really thinking of being consistent with your photos, you need to get yourself a color calibrator from the market. There are several brands making one at various price ranges, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that fits your budget and your needs. You only need to use a calibrator once every week to make an impact, given that you are editing in the same location every time.
To conclude, we would point out that color calibration is indeed a difficult subject and requires significant amount of time to master the skill. Thus, every photographer must know or recognize his/her own skill and take photos accordingly.