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  • Brightness and contrast issues after calibration

    Hello all. I just calibrated my monitor with the Spyder4 Pro. This image looks extremely dark now. I have tons of images to go through for print and need my brightness and contrast levels to be accurate.

    Before calibration, I had my brightness levels set on the higher end. The software prompted me to set my brightness to 50% (smack in the middle). The default contrast is set to 75%, which seems way too high, to me. I called the company and they said for best results, one should edit in low light. I closed my curtains and did what was suggested. All images (even other people's on the web) appear to be on the dark end on my screen. What do you suggest I do? If my brightness is set too high on my screen, they will print too dark. I get that. But now, they seem way too dark and I'll have to increase the brightness for each one.

    What does this image look like on your monitor? Dark and contrasty? Loss of shadows and detail, or does it look like the correct amt. of brightness? BTW, this image looks "normal" and accurate on my iphone, which obviously has a brighter screen. I'd love some feedback before I get back to editing. TIA!
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  • #2
    Re: Brightness and contrast issues after calibrati

    It is really difficult to give an accurate assessment of your screen set up.

    Higher, lower values 50%, 75% are pretty meaningless. You would normally calibrate to a standard condition e.g. WP D65, Luminence 110 cd/m2, Gamma(TRC) 2.2 etc. BUT not necessarily THESE!

    Even then these figures will not guarantee a match print to screen. Your print viewing conditions have a huge impact i.e. how are your prints illuminated when doing comparisons.

    You may want to have a look at the test here http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/gradient.php which give you some clues of what to look for in a correctly set up monitor.

    You really should also consider some test printing of your subject matter before committing to print many

    Your image looks ok on my monitor regarding brightness and I would say contrast is about right for the lighting conditions. Shadow detail in this case I would say perfectly acceptable for subject matter

    If you are getting prints too dark this should help
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS6sjZmxjY4

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    • #3
      Re: Brightness and contrast issues after calibrati

      What do you mean contrast? That shouldn't even be a setting in creating a display profile. It is correct that you're likely to make an image too dark if your display is set too bright.

      Have you compared against your prints? Calibration should be done with respect to a given workflow where you would view prints under known lighting conditions. Those conditions would produce a reasonable match against the display. In practice you don't need fully controlled conditions for a sanity check. If you look at the printed image and it appears much darker than intended, something is probably off.

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      • #4
        Re: Brightness and contrast issues after calibrati

        Thank you both for your help! So, it appears that my monitor is definitely showing the image to be darker with a great deal of contrast.

        Tony, the link that you gave me is excellent. I've used it in the past. It appears that everything is working well, however, images still appear dark on my end. Most likely, it's because I've been so used to the brighter monitor. I will do some test prints to make sure that it's calibrated correctly. That's what counts, right?

        @ klev, my monitor has setting for brightness, sharpness, and contrast. I see that the default for contrast is very high. After calibration, the settings did not change on my monitor, which also confuses me. Thanks again.

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        • #5
          Re: Brightness and contrast issues after calibrati

          Originally posted by groovigyrl View Post
          Hello all. I just calibrated my monitor with the Spyder4 Pro. This image looks extremely dark now. I have tons of images to go through for print and need my brightness and contrast levels to be accurate.
          Accurate for what goal? The cd/m^2 value is only correct if it produces a visual match to whatever you are attempting to match (usually a print). FWIW, the Spyder isn't a very good device; see: http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/...5726#msg845726

          This video might help:

          Why are my prints too dark?
          A video update to a written piece on subject from 2013

          In this 24 minute video, I'll cover:

          Are your prints really too dark?
          Display calibration and WYSIWYG
          Proper print viewing conditions
          Trouble shooting to get a match
          Avoiding kludges that don't solve the problem

          High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/Why_are_...s_too_dark.mp4
          Low resolution: https://youtu.be/iS6sjZmxjY4

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Brightness and contrast issues after calibrati

            Originally posted by groovigyrl View Post
            Thank you both for your help! So, it appears that my monitor is definitely showing the image to be darker with a great deal of contrast.
            You're welcome. It's typical to adjust things to be too dark and too high in contrast if your display is set too bright.

            Originally posted by groovigyrl View Post
            @ klev, my monitor has setting for brightness, sharpness, and contrast. I see that the default for contrast is very high. After calibration, the settings did not change on my monitor, which also confuses me. Thanks again.
            Ugh. On an lcd display, contrast and brightness should be basically factory set and left as is. User controls on those items rarely (if ever) result in any kind of improvement.

            Most displays can't communicate with your software. The software just builds a profile based on measured output. Some displays are more sophisticated in this regard, but they are quite expensive. In your case I suspect it just constructed a profile. My current preferred device is an i1display pro. x-rite makes them. Their software is also better, but whether it's worthwhile depends on your requirements. I've never liked Spyders.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Brightness and contrast issues after calibrati

              I have to be less scientific, as usual, but... If you haven't calibrated your monitor for a while(or ever) it's pretty normal to be shocked by the difference. What the company representative has told you is correct, we all work in white or gray rooms with little light. Setting your brightness to almost it's maximum setting will definitely fool you, and may even result in you missing some issues within the image as everything pass the certain point gets blown out.

              The image you have posted looks good. You can also check your work by glancing at the histogram as well as the eyedropper tool, just to make sure. Redeeming thing about setting the brightness to your personal preference, rather than the one calibrator sets for you is that you can always reference your previous, or other work that you like, meaning that if you are following a sample, and if your work looks like the sample, it doesn't really mater(it does, but you get what I'm saying) what your monitor settings were.
              Last edited by skoobey; 03-05-2016, 12:17 AM.

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