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Adobe Gamma with Elements 2
Basically a newbie tutorial to get me going. Richard, I've ordered your book and wish to thank you on your dedication in helping the growing masses of newbies with understanding the ins and outs of photo retouching. Speaking for myself, the full blown version of PS is out of my budget range, but reading your posts here and in other forums, you have shown me that Elements 2 can be a very powerful software with a price point that can be justified for the novice snapper. My only fear is that the book royalties will make you rich enough that you will finally say " I've had it with these Crowbar busting newbies" and buy a Island in the Pacific for your retirement and leave us. Thanks again.
Greg, I am not a PSE user - but Adobe Gamma should not be different for these users...so here goes:
One often assumes consistent lighting and viewing conditions which do not change hour by hour or day to day, when getting serious about the monitor display.
It also helps to clean the monitor now and then too. <g> Seriously!
Here is a link to the offical guide:
And here are my own brief thoughts on the subject:
i) Consider hardware/software spyders if monitor colour display is important or if softproofing is important (your printer profile must be accurate though for softproofing to work, if PSE has softproofing).
If you do go down the visual Adobe Gamma (AG) route instead of hardware readings:
ii) Use the AG assistant/wizard to start with, it is step by step and less confusing than the control panel display when you are new to things.
iii) Using the LOAD button, load in a basic monitor profile which generally describes your monitor (the better the description the better the result of AG). This is VERY CRITICAL for colour display, but not as much for brightness and white/black point display which are later edited by the AG controls (which also affect colour display).
In Photoshop, this may mean making your own fake monitor profile which describes the monitor better than a stock canned profile - which is done using the custom RGB work space option (PSE may not have this ability). Not many folk do this, they usually just run with any profile and then wonder why colour does not match. <g>
iv) Next set the brightness and contrast settings on your monitor as per the instructions - this is hard as the black point also affects the midtone brightness or gamma, so it can take some fine tuning.
v) Then follow the rest of the steps that the assistant/wizard takes you through. If unsure do not change phosphors and other settings from the profile which you loaded in the first step.
You should be changing the gamma slider, but if the profile is accurate you should not need to change the phosphors or white point temp. etc.
TIP: If your monitor can be set by hardware/software controls to display a certian white temp. (say 6500K) - then this value should match the white point value that is being used in AG. I will often set the monitor to display 6500K and then tell AG that the profile is using 6500K (changing the default of 9300K or whatever the loaded profile has to match the current hardware setting).
Not sure what else I can say on AG - the wizard is pretty good at walking one through the steps.
A VERY GOOD page on monitor calibration can be found here:
What I do is download the GAMMA target image from Norman's site,
open this in a web browser (Mac users turn ColorSync display off in their browser if using it) or in a simple non colour managed graphics viewer. I also load up Adobe Gamma. Then I use the target image to help verify the gamma and blackpoint that I am using in Photoshop. Norman's black point and gamma scale are very good at fine tuning the AG settings.
Since this is all a subjective approach, it is common to have a great degree of variation between calibrations - which is where hardware is not subjective and can make unbiased readings and give a more consistent and accurate calibration.
Please post back for discussion of the finer points, but between the built-in assistant/wizard the the above you should have enough to go by until you can ask more specific questions.
Hope this helps.
Just Do It!
I recently went to a friends house with a C.D. full of images to
show off my new shots of a model rocket launch and was surprised how bad they looked on his monitor. We surfed to Stephen's post in this thread and went through the routine on calibration. That made the difference and my friend was shocked at how badly his monitor had been performing. If you are manipulating digital images, take the time to calibrate your monitor if you have not not done so. You will be happily surprised. He later told me he had been printing out some of his images and was ready to try buying another printer due to the poor coloration. His printer is now safe from the dumpster and is going broke buying ink and paper.
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