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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> LCD screen or ordinary computer monitor?
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09/19/2003 04:41:43 AM · #1
I'm wondering about how people view the images from this site: by LCD or just the normal computer monitor? There is a considerable difference between the two in how they reproduce the same image when both are at factory-default settings; and the most glaring difference I noticed (because of a critique I received about the light level of my Life challenge entry) is in brightness/contrast.

When I work on an image using my laptop (i.e. flat-panel LCD), and then view the final image on a conventional CRT monitor, the image is very dark. On the otherhand, if I use the CRT monitor to work on the image then later view it on an LCD, the image looks over-exposed. For images that are very light-critical (either purposely made darker or lighter than normal), does anyone have a tip on how to minimize the final image's brightness variations between different computer screens? It never occurred to me how significant this issue is until the Life challenge, in which clearly, my submission is not making a connection with the majority. Thanks for any suggestion!
09/19/2003 09:51:09 AM · #2
Originally posted by chalcone:

I'm wondering about how people view the images from this site: by LCD or just the normal computer monitor? There is a considerable difference between the two in how they reproduce the same image when both are at factory-default settings; and the most glaring difference I noticed (because of a critique I received about the light level of my Life challenge entry) is in brightness/contrast.

When I work on an image using my laptop (i.e. flat-panel LCD), and then view the final image on a conventional CRT monitor, the image is very dark. On the otherhand, if I use the CRT monitor to work on the image then later view it on an LCD, the image looks over-exposed. For images that are very light-critical (either purposely made darker or lighter than normal), does anyone have a tip on how to minimize the final image's brightness variations between different computer screens? It never occurred to me how significant this issue is until the Life challenge, in which clearly, my submission is not making a connection with the majority. Thanks for any suggestion!


Should be if you calibrate the screens that they will end up being resonably close in terms of tonal range. Colour can be slightly off and hard to get exact, but if they are both calibrated to the same working colourspace and gamma values, you should see pretty much the same image on both.

//www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration.htm

has links describing the fairly error prone manual calibration, as well as reviews of the various products available to do automatic calibration.
09/20/2003 12:08:28 AM · #3
Thanks Gordon. I appreciate your input. Right now, I don't have problems with color reproducibility (from screen to another screen, and from screen to printer). For print-outs, fidelity is very good, especially if I use Epson foto paper for an Epson printer. The real problem is the reproducibility of brightness levels from one screen to another. There doesn't seem to be enough latitude for manipulating that parameter in a way that would work for majority of screens at default settings.
09/20/2003 12:55:21 AM · #4
While it might not be real clear, a significant part of monitor calibration deals with brightness. Its profiling that deals with matching colors across devices.

Among other things, calibration involves adjusting the brightness on your monitor and adjusting the gamma, which I have to be honest and say I don't really know what that is, technically, but it has to do with how "warm" your monitor display is. (Someone probably can and will explain this better than I can.) The point is, calibration should and probably will fix the issue of your picture looking brighter on one monitor than on another.

As a quick and dirty test, go to one of the challenges that's currently being voted on. Go to one of the photos. At the bottom of the page is a bar that goes from white on the left to black on the right, in about 20 steps. If your monitor is calibrated correction, you should be able to distinguish the changes in brightness across that entire range. You should see blocks of varying shade all the way to the end. If you don't, your monitor probably needs to be calibrated.

Message edited by author 2003-09-20 00:56:46.
09/20/2003 06:39:17 AM · #5
Scott, thanks for the input. There is a need to calibrate the CRT around here in my office, but not much for my laptop's LCD. I see all 29 divisions on my LCD screen, but I only see 27 on the CRT. The two darkest blocks are indistinguishable in the CRT screen at DEFAULT settings. Now I wonder, how many people have actually calibrated their screens well enough to view all 29 blocks in the calibration strip? If my CRT experience here is the norm, then most people are not seeing the subtle gradations in dark areas of pictures that were intentionally under-exposed. The Life challenge is really a lesson for me. Now I know that to be safe, I'll have to play the middle field of the brightness calibration strip rather than the extremes.
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