Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Yellow? Green? Or...?

I bought a new monitor. It was about time; I'd been using the old one for going on 10 years. I noticed the difference immediately; this one is much clearer, even when the brightness is set to match. But I'm not so sure of the colours: at first, everything was tinted yellow, especially all the greens. I've calibrated the colours, but now I need your help. What colours do you see in these photos?

The hermit should be in shades of brown, the eelgrass in greens from dark to lemon-skin bright. And the background in shades of burgundy.

Catchin' a few rays. Lemon green, and warm browns. Pale orange eyestalks and flags, with blue trim.
Some older photos, just to check the colours:

Black, grey, white,and orange-brown, on washed-out green. A sort of cream of broccoli soup green. With plenty of cream.

The berries should be blue-black, with a hint of purple. The dark part of the leaves should be a bluish green. Or greenish blue.

There should be almost no colour here but greys.

No yellow. The grass is brown; there's a hint of orange on the tree.

Do you see the colours I see? Or should I re-calibrate my monitor again?

(I took this last photo on Christmas Day last year, sitting on a bench with Laurie on Blackie Spit, while he gathered his strength for the walk back to the car. It was our last outing. Ah, memories!)


  1. Now I'm thinking I should recalibrate my monitor! I'm getting very bright greens in the first pic, but the burgundy is diluted. Perhaps more rose than burgundy.

  2. Hmmm. I wonder about those very bright greens. The burgundy does go from old rose on the left to almost black in the lower right corner. Is that what you see?

  3. In the first picture the eel grass is almost fluorescent; extremely bright. The hermit definitely has some green to its shell and eye stalks, and bright blue knees. I don't see burgundy, but shades of rose, and the bottom right is green above the light substrate, but there is a patch of what I'd call more orange than burgundy which the antenna passes through.

    On picture two I'd agree with most of your colors, though I'd say the shell was less lemon and more straight green. the blue in the eye stalks looks like a grey to me.

    Spider picture background is bluer than most of the cream of broccoli I've seen, but close.

    Berry picture matches what I see, so do boats.

    On the tree there's orange on the left trunk, definite green tinge on the main trunk.

  4. Thanks, Sara. I processed the first two photos on the new monitor; the others were older photos. So it looks like I'll have to tone down the greens in my photo editing program now.

  5. Good morning. I'm seeing pretty much what you describe on the iPad retina. The second hermit shell has some light blue spots at the top. The problem with this, of course, is whether our monitors are rendering properly. I see differences between my Windows desktop monitor (where I edit photos) and my laptop. I usually check my photos on the iPad after editing. If they look off there, I go back and re-edit accordingly.

  6. Colours look accurate on my ipad.

  7. Thank you! This is very helpful!

  8. Anonymous5:21 pm

    How do you calibrate on Windows? Within your photo editor?

    Everything looks to me like you you describe it (within the limits of words). My monitor is sort-of* calibrated wide gamut (HP), and I'm using OS X, so the calibration is system-wide, including any browsers that knows about colorsync (apple's deeply embedded color system) I've heard that calibration for Windows is application by application, not system wide, unless you get into some hairy hacks, but maybe with 8 up it's better.

    For people reporting with ipads, newer (retina) ipads are supposed to be quite good; old non-retina ones varied quite a bit more, but probably less than the average inexpensive monitor.

    There's basically nothing that can be done about visitors with uncalibrated monitors/software other than recommend that they take care of it. One thing that pretty much everyone should do is turn down the brightness significantly from the default. People are impressed by bright monitors so that's the way they ship, but that not only warps color perception, it's unhealthy for eyes and sleep quality. Turn down the brightness until you don't like it, like with it for a day or so, then you can probably turn it down quite a bit more. The rule of thumb is that if you print, and the print is darker than you expect, the monitor is too bright.

    * I have an old data color spyder, and since it's always insisted that I should turn UP the brightness way more than my over bright monitor is capable of, I tend not to trust it completely, though it's obviously better than the monitor defaults. Plus my room lighting is a mix of daylight (sometimes) with unmatched compact fluorescents, and though the spyder is supposed to take that into account, I doubt my brain properly takes it into account...


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