Who is colorblind now?

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Adobe Lightroom was one of my last purchases in support of my relationship with photography. It has literally transformed how I approach managing my photos. While it is not a replacement for Photoshop, it is its best compliment.

Last week I hopped over to B&H after work and picked up a GretagMacbeth, now xrite, i1Display2 monitor calibrator. I have been on the fence about color calibration – especially since to do it right requires a substantial investment. Monitor calibration is a first step to a commitment to color. If you have never experienced the difference of a color calibrated display you will be in for a treat. Once you are calibrated, you might think that the only pleasure you get is when you recalibrate, but as you work with images, you constantly remember that the color you see is consistent with what the color data in your files and that is amazingly satisfying.

Just after you calibrate you are sure to open up a recent photograph that you spent time adjusting – setting the white balance, highlight recovery and color – and you notice that what you have is markedly different than you remember. I was not disappointed by what I found, the shadows revealed richer transitions from light to dark and variations of color that were there but unseen. While I am not unhappy with the photo, it is different from my original intention, which is exactly why calibration is important. If you spend any time investing in the post processing of your photographs, then display calibration is the minimal investment required to avoid wasting your energy in getting things just right. Unfortunately, only color corrected systems get to see what I see, but that is okay because what you cannot see is your unknown problem. Web browsers are in general color limited, but when I make a print it will be closer to what I know to be true.

Color swatches and profile from laptop