Monitor calibration for website appearance

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by SusanK, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. SusanK

    SusanK Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I could use some help... I need your eyes. I need you folks to pay a visit to my website and tell me if the majority of images look washed out.

    I'm messing around w/ Adobe Gamma and monitor calibration today and can't figure out where my settings should be. However, I have noticed that when my monitor is brighter (brightness display and gamma settings), apug gallery photos show much more detail.... then my website looks washed out. Can you folks tell me what you see on your monitors when visiting my site...?

    Monoco Color came with my scanner and I've tried using that to calibrate the monitor but, when the six black boxes come up and the program requests clicking on the box which shows the first clearly printed letter.... I see nothing. No letters anywhere... just black boxes. Can't figure out what's going on.

    thanks,
    susan
     
  2. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes, the photos appear washed-out to me. Narrow range of tonality - mainly greys.

    The non-photo parts (i.e. text) are fine.
     
  3. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,196
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    North Coast,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Hi Susan,

    Yup, they're washed out. Not even a hint of black to be seen :sad:

    Sorry, but I have no idea how to fix it...

    Murray
     
  4. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,254
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Location:
    Daventry, No
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Depend on what you look at. Some of the landscapes look OK but the sky looks a little washed out. A lot seem to be shots where a range of tones are not likely to be there so it's difficult to judge. I'd want more "bite" but that's just my preference. Your log in water in the gallery is very flat and grey but produces a look that's unusual for water. It suits some subjects and some tastes. I was intrigued by the effect but wouldn't choose it for a print for my wall as it didn't fit my idea of water.

    pentaxuser
     
  5. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I would suggest that you try using a program called Quickgamma. It's free and does a much better job with this sort of problem than Adobe Gamma does.

    - Randy
     
  6. RAP

    RAP Member

    Messages:
    476
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  7. Petzi

    Petzi Member

    Messages:
    857
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Location:
    Europe
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    Many images do not have a full scale. The black point appears to be set incorrectly. Others are OK. You can see it easily in the histogram. You don't need a calibrated monitor for that.
     
  8. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    2,613
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Susan,

    I agree the site looks flat. I tried Randys' "Quickgama" site and it perked up my stuff.

     
  9. SusanK

    SusanK Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    How many people here hate FrontPage as badly as I do ?????? I got 99% of the images switched and uploaded and they look quite a bit better. Feel free to visit the site again but, keep in mind that up to this point, all my web images were scanned on a crappy scanner as prints, not negatives. Thus the increased contrast. Two didn't take the reload after I tweaked everything in PhotoShop. And now....... after saving the web...... it appears that many images are missing ! Little scares w/ red "x's" in them where images used to be.... damn it all to hell.

    I have got to get some sleep. I'll worry about this tomorrow.

    Anyone know how Dreamweaver compares to FrontPage....? Or have a suggestion on a more intuitive website program.... preferably one that doesn't generate multiple thumbnail jpegs (i.e. - small - I, small - II, small - III, etc) seemingly by itself, save those images once in the appropriate image folder and again in the incorrect folder, AND randomly delete images that existed only moments prior ???? Argggggg.

    g-night for now.
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Dear Susan,

    They look great on the monitor I use for the internet, which means they must be washed out on a decent monitor: this monitor is FAR too dark and contrasty, even with the settings at the limits.

    This is a major problem with web-sites: you don't know how anyone else's monitor is set. I use a big calibrated Iiyama to set up the pics, on another computer entirely, then upload/view with an isolated computer -- an admirable way to keep viruses under control.

    Cheers,

    R
     
  11. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As Petzi writes, there is no black in many of the images. Assuming that you want blacks in those images (the one on the front page is an example), no amount of fiddling with monitor gamma etc will change that situation: you need to correct that problem first. If you have the original scans, re-edit them and set the black point appropriately, otherwise you will have to re-scan the images. Luckily this seems to be restricted mostly to your new images: most of the older ones look fine.

    I've attached an image that illustrates the situation: the top one is your image as it is, the bottom one has the black point set at a level to give a good black. It is obviously better if you do this on the original scan or a re-scanned image as it will give better quality - my quick and dirty change has given it a higher contrast than you probably intended.

    Good luck, Bob.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. RAP

    RAP Member

    Messages:
    476
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Proper monitor calibration is very important to those who are trying to sell their work on the internet. Unfortunetly there is no set universal standard for settings and most set their monitors for their comfort levels.

    From my readings, graphics pros set their monitors to match printer output for obvious reasons. I am also seeing more sites with pages for viewers to set their monitors for optimum viewing and I am considering adding one myself.

    Also, try comparing with other sites that require accurate settings like the Ansel Adams Gallery site and see how the images look on your monitor.
     
  13. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The images are completely washed out on my monitor which is regularly calibrated with the Gretag MacBeth Eye-One. The images on my website are almost identical to the prints I used to make the scans so I know that the monitor is accurate. Please forgive me Susan I am not doubting your print making abilities but I have to ask the question, do the original prints have rich blacks.
     
  14. Lee L

    Lee L Member

    Messages:
    3,247
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Susan,

    The images are still there, just the thumbnails are missing. If you click on the boxes with red X's, you'll still get the linked image.

    I used Dreamweaver MX and hand coding to start a site that doesn't get changed a lot. These days I use linux, hand coding, and the Nvu WYSIWYG HTML editor for the minor text changes I make routinely. Nvu is also available for Windows and OS-X. (So if you do site maintenance from several different machines you should have the same interface for any platform.) I haven't tried using the Nvu site maintenance capacity, as I upload with a SSH2 connection with another program. You might give Nvu a try. It's open source and free, so it won't ever cost you anything other than your time to try it or use it.

    www.nvu.com

    One other concern you might have with FrontPage is that it may produce HTML with Microsoft specific extensions, which are not standard HTML and may not display properly with other browsers. (Perhaps there's a way to turn of MSIE specific extensions in FrontPage, I don't know.) Currently 20% of browsers in use are not MS Internet Explorer.

    Lee
     
  15. Lee L

    Lee L Member

    Messages:
    3,247
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  16. SusanK

    SusanK Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    Wow... uh, hi Les...! I've read a lot of great things about you here. I never expected to meet you "cyber-personally". Thank you for taking the time to post to my thread.

    No offense taken on your question re: rich blacks in the original prints. Yes, the blacks on my prints are "rich" (i.e. ~ zones I, II, & III). Plenty of midtones left before approaching zones VII & VIII. Please know that when I first put the website together, I was scanning prints on really crappy little HP Scanjet and had no knowledge of monitor calibration. Last week I purchased an Epson Perfection V750-M Pro and am attempting to improve the monitor calibration so that I can begin scanning negatives/prints.

    I calibrated my monitor (to the best of my ability) last night, tweaked the histograms of the necessary images Photoshop, replaced the retweaked images in Frontpage, and uploaded to my server. From my monitor, the images look 100 times better. The new monitor calibration makes the image details on your website really stand out, and I can go back to my website without having to change the brightness settings to view my images (which is what I used to do all the time).

    Huge learning curve and so much to remember when trying to put images up on the web. I need to save my pennies and join you for some workshops someday ! :smile:

    Susan
     
  17. troutmask

    troutmask Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    To calibrate your monitor correctly you will need a device such as a Syder Pro and the software that goes with it. You will also need a decent monitor. I use a LaCie electron CRT monitor as LCD monitors that are any good are very expensive.
    Doing it by sight alone nearly always results in to bright a screen which means that B&W images will look washed out on calibrated monitors.
    When you monitor is calibrated you can use PS view function to view your image as it will apear printed or on other monitor using ICC profiles.
    There is no monitor in existence that can show the full range of tones that a B&W darkroom print can show so there will always be some clipping of the tonal range. However a decent monitor can better the range of an Ink Jet print, so it is perhaps better to work on a digital image as if you were going to make an ink jet print rather than a photographic print if you have scanned the negative rather than the print itself.
     
  18. SusanK

    SusanK Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Good heavens, I've farted around w/ my monitor so much today that it's now at a point where it's causing eyestrain. B&W jpegs look great but, the gray/white areas of the browser are blinding ! I tried QuickGamma and got a notice that says it won't work w/ my video card. Tried several other sites mentioned here, as well as the Monaco software that came w/ my scanner and AdobeGamma.

    Now what do I do ???
     
  19. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    2,613
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    PUNT
     
  20. SusanK

    SusanK Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Blue 24... Blue 24.... hut, hut HIKE !!!!

    It's up, and.... IT'S GOOD !!!


    :smile:
     
  21. SusanK

    SusanK Member

    Messages:
    215
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Any better...?

    Okay, I retweaked the histogram of each image in Photoshop.... recalibrated my monitor as best as I am able to... and reloaded thumnails and full-size images to the website. Not all of the thumbnails took but, the full-size images did.

    To me, the site looks better. I don't have to adjust the brightness level when going back and forth between my site and other sites. Just wondering if it looks better to apugers.

    Thanks again,
    Susan
     
  22. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,609
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Northern Eng
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Susan, I've just had a look at the site and the images now have good contrast on my monitor so it looks as though the blood you have sweated has been worth the effort. :tongue:
     
  23. RAP

    RAP Member

    Messages:
    476
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Your images look much better here in NJ. Web sites are a lot of work and need constant care. Just like minding the store.

    Great to have others review and offer help.
     
  24. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

    Messages:
    4,913
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Northern Aqu
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Much more contrasty -- but STILL GOOD on my lousy internet monitor (I must change it). Congratulations!

    Cheers,

    R. (ps -- how does www.rogerandfrances.com look on your monitor?)