How to calibrate your PC’s monitor
Ever taken a photo you’re really proud of, edited on your PC and uploaded it to Flickr or Facebook only to discover that it looks terrible on other people’s phones, tablets and computer screens?
Take time to make sure that you're monitor displays colours properly
It’s a common problem with a world full of monitors and cameras — and every one of which is unique in the way it displays colour.
What’s red on one monitor, for example, might appear slightly magenta on another depending on how it’s been set up and how used the backlight bulb is — as these can fade over time.
The only way to ensure that an image looks the same on two different screens is through calibration — adjusting colour settings to compensate for any differences in the panel.
Photo shops will often sell devices with professional colorimeters, which use cameras and special software to adjust your PC’s image properties, but these are often expensive if you don’t rely on perfect calibration to make a living.
For most of us, using Windows’ in-built tools is enough to make sure that when you share a photo with the world, everyone will appreciate it as much as you do.
So where to begin?
1. Type ‘Calibrate’ into your Start menu to call up the Windows calibration tool. It will open as a full screen window filled with a grey colour.
2. Click ‘Next’ twice to go on to the gamma correction dialogue. You will see a grid of nine circles and a slider on the left. Squint at the screen, and move the slider until the dot in the centre of each circle vanishes.
3. The next two screens will guide you through your monitor’s brightness and contrast settings. Change them in order to get the pictures to display correctly.
4. The most important part of calibration is adjusting the white balance. To do this, Windows presents you with a series of grey strips. Adjust the colour sliders until they look plain, with no traces of red, green or blue in them.
5. Finally, you can switch between the old settings and the new ones, to see what difference you’ve made.
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