Friday, November 14, 2008

... and along came a Spyder

For the amateur photographer, the art and science of correlating your monitor with your printer is plunge into the depths of the arcane. There are many variables: monitor, printer, and paper. And once you have those ducks all lined up, you have to figure out how to tell them to quack on cue.

In case you are wondering, all our monitors are different, and everyone sees everyone's pictures somewhat differently. I have no idea how you see my photos, for example. I can only hope for the best. When I print my own photos, however, I'd like to have some assurance that they will come out more or less the way that I want them too.

So it was that I finally fell off my wallet and ordered a Spyder. At $200 smackers, it's a little pricey, but if you share the cost with another photographic pilgrim, it becomes somewhat bearable.

Once you install the software, you hang the device on your monitor as shown below, and ...

... you run the program which flashes various whites, blacks, grays and reds, greens and blue (monitors interpret red, green and blue, which is why they are sometimes called RGB monitors). The device reads what shades your monitor flashes as opposed to what it's supposed to flash and then calibrates the appropriate corrections and loads them every time you start your computer.

In my case, among other parameters (I suppose), the corrected view is much less bright. Which makes sense because, I usually had to brighten my photos before printing as they would print duller than what I saw on the screen (before adjusting brightness for printer).

While I have yet to work my way through configuring Photoshop, paper and printer to take advantage of my newly calibrated monitor, I feel as though I have taken an important first step.


Mary said...

The wedding photos are fantastic from my view. They are crisp, clear and the colors are wonderful. However, I'm glad you were able to get this little tool. It sounds like a handy one.

Have a great weekend.

Janet said...

I've never had trouble with your photos. Or most other people's for that matter.
The line "fell off my wallet" made me laugh out loud.
I'm saving my pennies for Photoshop. I'm technologically behind.

Jules said...

What will they think of next??

Mary said...

Thank you so much for your comments about Aunt May. Your caring attitude is very much appreciated.


Amanda said...

Your pictures are always great AC, with or without the Spyder ~ have fun with your new toy!

Anonymous said...

Boys Toys? :o)
You are so clever with techie know-how! Enjoy!

Donna said...

OhNo...a techi toy...I WILL RESIST...the force is WITH me...Your pictures are Always Wonderful! The wedding photos are Beautiful! You don't need that toy....My mailing address is...HAhahahaa....Have fun with it!!hughugs

karla said...

I've pondered these nifty gadgets myself. I can't even count how often I've been frustrated with prints....and have currently resigned to burning my photos on a CD and hand delivering them to a print lab that uses the same colour profiles as I do.

But THIS. NOW THIS sounds useful.

PBS said...

Your pictures have always looked good to me!

womaninawindow said...

My husband has done this for us. I wouldn't have ever figured it all out but he assures me it is well worth all the money. (He does update the monitor every couple weeks.)