The Spyder 4 Elite is what we use to calibrate all of our monitors in our studio to ensure that what we see on the screen, is what we will get back in print. Calibrating your monitor is an absolute necessity if you want to make sure your bride and groom’s faces don’t end up orange in their album. :)
The Spyder 4 Elite is really versatile and can tweak any monitor you have including your laptop, your iPhone or even the flat screen TV you use for showcasing images to your clients at in-home sales sessions! All you do is download the software, place the Spyder over your screen, and it shoots out and array of colors and contrast settings and then reads it, tweaks it and streamlines your color, brightness and contrast. It is amazing! If you have never calibrated your monitor, when you first do this, it can freak you out since everything might look way different. But just remember, it always looked that way, you just didn’t realize it. :)
A few things to keep in mind when it comes to color calibration and editing:
- Laptops screens for the most part can never really be calibrated as they are not able to accurately show colors, contrast ratios and are not designed for editing. They also can shift their color in a matter of days or weeks and need to constantly be re-calibrated just to be in the ballpark (and many can’t even be adjusted to any real accuracy at all). If you are in the habit of heading to your favorite coffee shop with your laptop to adjust color and tweak and edit images, chances are your printed images will be all over the place.
- Make sure you edit in similar lighting conditions without too much ambient light in the room for consistency. If orange light hits your screen from the room lights, you may end up reducing orange, but in reality you only thought you needed to and then your clients look like vampires (which is pretty popular these days, so maybe it will work out for the best). :)
- Get a real editing monitor as that tool is just as important as your camera and lenses. We use the Dell U2410 which is designed for editing and is a really great monitor for the price.