If you're anything like me, you've stared at your computer screen for hours drooling over other people's wedding images, meticulously creating wedding projects in various computer programs, and agonizing over colors/details/textures of wedding-related purchases you make online. Needless to say you and I are logging a lot of screen time, which means we probably place a high importance on our computer screen showing us an *exact* replica of whatever we're looking at.
Recently I sent some pictures off to be printed, and when they returned they were very different from the image I saw on my screen. Because these images came from a source I trusted (not a professional photo lab by any means, but the best I've used thus far), I guessed that the problem was not on their end. So if the problem was on my end, then I knew there was an issue with how my screen was rendering colors. At the time, I didn't know what the term for this was, so I googled like crazy until I came across some articles about monitor calibration. Since I'm very interested in photography and I do a fair amount of photo editing (not to mention that I'm about to have a certain big event in my life that will generate thousands of photos, which I'll probably want to look at on my computer screen), I decided to take the plunge and order a lower-end monitor calibration software.
I'd never calibrated my monitor before, so I don't have anything to compare this to, but nevertheless I was pretty amazed with the results. I wasn't able to capture the actual before and after as it's seen on my screen because when I turn the calibration on, both images just look the same. So I took some rudimentary pictures of my screen in hopes that you could kinda see the difference. Befores on the left, Afters on the right.
Taking a picture of a picture being displayed on a screen is NOT the most accurate way to document this change because some of the differences between the before and after pics get lost in translation. But I hope you can also see that the change is more dramatic on some images than on others.
The most amazing part (and the part I couldn't get an accurate picture of, unfortunately) is how much more similar the printed photos are to the images I see on the screen now. That's going to be so crucial when we're printing a bunch of paper goods for the invitations or signage and especially when we're editing photos and ordering prints after the wedding. I'm really glad I learned about this now and not after I'd been editing/ordering photos for hours only to print them and find that they weren't as I expected.
Have you ever used monitor calibration software before? What did you think of the results?