On my calibrated Cinema display, the images look properly color-balanced, though I find some of them a bit dark for my taste. A few of them also look oversharpened. These last two observations are a matter of taste, of course. No really overwhelming technical problems I can see.
I was shocked when I looked at my website (link from my signature) on the piece-of-sh-t ancient LCD screen at the computer where I work. They are waaaay too bright, with whites uniformly blown across the board. It is tough to think that, with all the effort you put into images--which look great one's own monitor--the vast majority of web visitors, including many in the image business who should know better, are viewing them on appallingly atrocious monitors.
Life had to have been much easier when you could just show them prints or trannies.
Although bad monitors definitely exist, the most common cause of what you describe is not a bad monitor, but a bad monitor setting.
Originally Posted by MikeSeb
Almost all computer monitors have an "on-screen-display-menu" (OSD).
This is NOT a windows setting / menu!!!!
You usually have to press a button at the front or sides of the monitor itself (maybe with "OK" or "Menu" on it) to access this factory monitor menu.
Now find a menu option or setting like "Color" or "Color temperature". Quite often, it turns out that this setting is set to "9300K" (Kelvin) instead of the required "6500K" that is needed for viewing photo's and doing a monitor calibration.
Reset it to 6500K and your monitor will most likely no longer show "blown out" highlights and have a more natural color appearance, with warmer colors as they should be.
The 9300K was added by manufacturers for more easy / higher contrast viewing of screens under bad lighting conditions with for example direct sunlight hitting the screen, but is unsuited for viewing of photos.
"The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true.
" - William M. Ivins Jr.
"I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White.
" - David Burnett in 1978
"Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?
The B/W look pretty good to me. Did someone say "harsh?" Yes. A trifle. But that makes some of them spectacular to look at on my el cheapo monitor---like the image, Traintracks, Aurora, IL.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
Tom: I just browsed through your black and white landscape portfolio. You noted that you are not asking for a critique of the photographs, but I need to say that they are very nice anyway.
Now to your question: on my iMac, I would judge the pictures to be bright enough, but some of them seem to lack enough contrast. For example, "Ironton, CO" there is some contrast in the foreground foliage and front of the barn. But since the photograph was taken on a sunny day, I would also expect to see some contrast in the trees and the side of the mountain behind the barn.
Thank you very much! That's a big help especially since you monitor is calibrated properly. Some of my pictures don't look optimal on my monitor either and I think the Prince Edward Island picture is one that looks off on mine too. There are a few that I have been meaning to re-scan and re-adjust and if I remember correctly, that's one of them. There are others too. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me with this.
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Thanks much! What you are saying is consistent with what I am seeing too because some of them are a bit harsh on my monitor too. The Redwood picture, for example, looks too harsh. But I feel more confident now that, in general, they look fairly good. This thing has had me concerned.
That's a HUGE help! Thanks for the tips. I thought I was scanning my images in sRGB but I don't really understand that stuff very well. I'll check out the links you mentioned and I'll try to set my colorspace to sRGB even though I thought that's what they were. I don't print my photographs with a printer. I print my own b&w in a darkroom and I have West Coast Imaging do my printing after they make drum scans. And you are absolutely right that I have no excuse for not having a calibration tool and I'm gong to get one soon. I should have had one all along. But until recently, this wasn't an issue for me but now that potential buyers will see my pictures online, I have to deal with it. Thanks again.
Some them look too dark and over-sharpened to me too so that's actually good news because we are seeing the same thing. I had been meaning to re-work some of the pictures but hadn't got around to it yet. I really appreciate your feedback and it's very helpful. Thanks much!
I ordered a Spyder 3 Elite. I should have had a calibration tool all along but I just kept putting it off. I wasn't sure which Spyder to get but I elminated the Spyder 2 because I see it's older technology than the Spyder 3 models. It appears that the Spyder 3 Pro and Spyder 3 Elite use the same calibration tool but the Elite just has more elaborate software. I probably won't need those extra features and I don't even understand them but I figured I may find them useful at some point in the future and the $50 or so difference in price is not that big.
After placing the order, I realized a couple advantages I will have once I have the tool and learn how to use it. For one thing, I can now upload my files to my lab (West Coast Imaging) and have prints made with confidence. I have WCI drum scan my film and make exhibition prints but now I can upload less critical images that I have scanned myself and know that what I see on my monitor will be close to what the print will be. I'm in the dark when it comes to all this calibration stuff so I have a lot to learn. For example, I'll have to find out how to use the profiles provided by WCI. I have no idea how to do that now but I'm at least aware of it.
Another benefit will be that I will now be able to have WCI drum scan my film and send the scan to me and then I can do the PS work rather than having WCI do that. I'm glad that I was encouraged here to finally get a calibration tool because that suggestion was what finally got me off my butt to get one.