Color Calibration... and life

I've had a non-technical topic on my mind for some time. Well, a non-database topic, anyway. As one who enjoys digital photography, I use my computer to prepare images for publishing. I mainly use Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and a few add-in programs. I find working with my images fun and surprisingly cathartic. 

A key part of finalizing a digital image is ensuring the color is "right." The best, and most accurate way to do that is to use a calibration tool. These devices are able to measure the light from the monitor and create a calibrated profile. This process is hugely beneficial and results in colors on the screen that match what the photographer intended. Correct color on screen = correct color in print. (Yes, the printer also has to be calibrated. I outsource my printing to reputable printing resources for just that reason). 

Although the initial calibration is hugely important with potentially significant results, it's recommended that calibration be performed on a periodic basis. Every time I calibrate my monitor, I benefit. The longer I go between calibrations, the greater the potential adjustment to the profile. 

Calibrated01.jpg
 What can happen to color when you're not paying attention!

What can happen to color when you're not paying attention!

Another key component to correct color is the white balance: how "warm" or "cool" the color is in the image. In order to start with correct white balance, I use a gray card. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_card) I especially use the gray card for pictures I know I want to be spot on, like family gatherings, birthdays, etc. 

Now, moving away from the photographic to the philosophical. I have found myself lately requiring much more frequent calibration of the values I consider most important in my life. I don't know why this occurs more now than in the past -- maybe I have a heightened awareness or maybe I have more to change. Regardless, I appreciate the chance to adjust. When I compare how I live each day to the values I care most about, I can see what I have to change to get back in line.