The Importance of Calibrating Your Monitor

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Author: Cecile Dreyer

Melting into the desk chair after hours of editing, I am satisfied and anticipate feedback on the beautiful gallery sent off to my client. Her response was fast and not the reaction I had hoped. My stomach turned inside out and panic mode took over.

Photographers spend an outrageous amount of time in front of monitors and laptops editing photos. Oftentimes, what looked perfect on the monitor can look significantly different when viewed on a smartphone or on a client’s own laptop at home.

I never thought about calibrating monitors, laptops or smartphones until I began to learn about photography. My first indication was after downloading a photo to my smartphone and realizing my older laptop definitely needed some attention.

netbook and computer placed on desk in office
Photo by Kate Trifo on

Upon doing some research, I understood how important it was to calibrate all of my devices. The settings on devices can undoubtedly affect the colors seen while viewing photos. After my old laptop bit the dust, I was ecstatic to set up my new computer and calibrate the monitor. Happily, when I compared it with my smartphone, both devices looked very similar.

On my smartphone I could choose a basic color, adaptive display, or an AMOLED setting. I left mine on an adaptive display but I have looked at each one and there is a difference depending on which one is selected. Windows and Apple have their own websites that give directions on where to go and how to calibrate devices. Truly a useful tool from professional photography to grandma perusing the abundance of photos of grandchildren. 

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