Lessons Learned

Why Calibrate Your Monitor?

Submitted by Jim Eaton - Sep 22nd, 2005
Learned: While Observing

When I decided to get into digital imaging I missed a few basic steps.

I got all the right equipment.

Got the advice of some amateur astronomy persons having a lot of experence on where to start and what objects to image first.

Read a lot of articles and did my research on the web.

SO WHERE DID I GO WRONG.

The first mistake I made was I did not calibrate my monitor that was being used to process my images. My monitor was set to the dark side. I would process my images to where they looked good on my monitor. Then when I posted them out on the web they looked pretty poor. Processing my images on a monitor not correctly calibrated was causing a problem I could not see.

This problem is hard to detect because when you look at the images they look fine. Now for all those people with their monitors set correctly my images were pretty bad.

You might think some one would have said something, but I find in the astronomy community, no one started at the top. Amateur astronomers try to encourage the new comer not send them away or discourage them.

The second mistake came during my imaging sessions. What I was seeing on my monitor during the observation sessions was not in as good of focus as it could have been. Naturally you get what you see and in my case I was not seeing the entire image due to my monitor settings.

I have fixed both problems by calibrating my monitor.

Image Processed Before Monitor Calibration.



Same Image Processed after I Calibrated my monitor.



You can calibrate your monitor using the scale below.



After you have finished adjusting your brightness and contrast you should be able to see 17 different shades of gray. (Or as many as your monitor will support)

Now that you monitor is set to an average standard, everyone will be able to enjoy your work and imaging efforts.

Now this information was not in any of the research I did when getting into digital imaging. It was not in any of the starter check lists. (Maybe it is just to basic)

I hope my "Lesson Learned" will be helpful to you.

Good Luck, and keep looking up at the Sights Above

Jim

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