September 16th, 2014
We have been having issues with a particular team of agents (too many hands in the pot), but I feel it has raised a good question. When processing photos in LR, how important is the monitor that you are processing on? Are there any “standards” or suggestions that can make things pretty uniformed for the consumers in comparison to what we are seeing on our screens? I understand that every monitor is different, but I am starting to question if MY monitor is appropriate or if there are certain settings that I am not aware of to make things better so I do not hear my clients telling me the photos are too light on their screen, another agent feels they are too dark, etc. Any suggestions?
My answer: Yes, monitors vary quite a lot. Picky agents or home owners will complain if they think the colors in property photos don’t look “right.” You can adjust colors so they look good on your monitor but if your monitor is not calibrated and your clients monitors aren’t calibrated the image will look different to them.
As someone supplying images to others it is imperative that you calibrate your system to a standard. For images used on the web the standard is sRGB. Of course, calibration of your monitor won’t eliminate color arguments if your clients don’t also calibrate, but at least your images will be created according to the standard. It’s not likely that most of your clients will go to the trouble to calibrate their monitors but at least you know that your system is not causing the problem. If your monitor is calibrated you could suggest to picky clients that they also calibrate their monitors. More and more real estate images are viewed on tablets and smartphones (these can’t be calibrated but are fairly consistent among the same manufacturer) so these make a good reference. You should occasionally see what your images look like on the more popular tablets that you know your clients use.
Resources for calibrating your monitor:
- Matt Granger’s YouTube tutorial on calibrating your monitor
- Tom Niemann’s monitor calibration explanation.
- A relatively recent discussion in the PFRE flickr group on monitor calibration.
The above resources make several suggestions for hardware and software for monitor calibration. Here is a summary of some popular monitor calibration products that are suggested in the above references:
- X-Rite CMUNDIS ColorMunki Tom Niemann’s, also suggested by several in the flickr group.
- Datacolor Spyder4Elite Matt Granger’s, also suggested by Iran Watson in the flickr group.
- X-Rite i1 Display pro, suggested by David Eichler in the flickr group.
Feel free to add your experiences with monitor calibration.