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Please Help (colour Settings)

Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 3:51 AM

I have just recalibrated my monitor and I am not sure the Spyder is giving me the correct settings. Please would people tell me if this file looks right:

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Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/07/2012 - 2:37 PM

Thanks, Jeffrey, that's worth knowing.

These days I do most of my colour adjustments using Nik filters. I guess these will automatically use the right blending mode but I'll try to remember your advice when I'm making alterations "by hand", as it were.

I'd have saved myself a lot of pain down the years if I had actually read, and understood, the gazillion-page Photoshop instruction manual that I bought donkey's years ago (and made a lot more money, too).


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 10/07/2012 - 11:38 AM


Generally speaking, in determining middle grey you should take the middle values for RGB, i.e, R=G=B=128, or 256/2. In your image the jacket might be a good starting point, or the sack by the burro's rear side. I think the street payment might be a bit too light for middle grey. Hover the eye dropper over what you perceive middle grey to be and read the RGB values on the "info" tab.

Keep in mind, though, that by drastically changing the colour in RGB you're also affecting contrast. The way to avoid this is by changing the blending mode of any colour corrections layer to "colour." This will process the colour portions of the layer only and not affect contrast. If you want to affect contrast only (and not disturb colour,) change the blending mode layer to "luminosity."


Posted by: Amy Weiss on 10/07/2012 - 5:32 AM

Sorry, Paul... just now back to the Forum, so I didn't have a chance to respond. Looks like you're covered! :)


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/07/2012 - 3:54 AM

OK, thanks guys. I guess it's about nailed, then.

Jeffrey, how can you identify what is meant to be middle grey on the picture? Is there an objective test or is it a judgement based on experience?

Rich, I never made the connection with Don Quixote but Cervantes must have seen dozens of people just like this every day (and this IS Sancho, the Don had a horse!). There were quite a lot of old guys still using donkeys every day when we first went to Crete 15 years ago. Today they are almost all gone and with them a way of life that stretches back probably thousands of years. This guy is one of the last, unless the economic crisis does end up pushing the Greeks back to the 1950s, the way the prime minister warned, in which case maybe donkeys will start to make a comeback.


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 10/06/2012 - 8:26 PM


Here's a histogram of your test that I pulled, at least the way my Photoshop sees it. Middle grey is about a 1-2 stop of light to the right of centre, or slightly overexposed.



Posted by: Rich Franco on 10/06/2012 - 6:32 PM


Looks good to me. I looked on the desktop and the laptop. Don't see any color caste at all, very clean. Where's Don Quixote de La Mancha, in the front? I'd send Sancho Panza an 8x10!



Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 5:17 PM

Here's one, Rich. The road in the bottom right corner looks like a medium to light grey and the guy's coat, around the shoulder area, a medium dark grey. Overall, the image looks just about perfectly exposed on my monitor.

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Posted by: Rich Franco on 10/06/2012 - 3:33 PM


Yes I do see the white blob that's blown out in the corner. And I think it has a tiny cast of cyan overall, as does your "woodpill" image. My image may also be a third under exposed.

I wasn't suggesting this is a perfect color corrected image, just that you should post something with a neutral gray in it, get it perfect on your laptop and then post it and I and others can look and see if we see any color in the grays.

If my color chart looks a little cyanish and a bit underexposed, I think your monitor is very close. I didn't color correct the color chart, just copied it and then used this as an example for my "How to Copy Artwork" instructions.



Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 3:29 PM

Thanks Johnny. I think you are right about the eyedropper in PS. If the channels match in things that are meant to be grey then I should be OK for everything except, possibly, brightness. It's no good PMing me anything because I would just look at it on this screen and see what I saw to start with.


Posted by: Johnny Trippick on 10/06/2012 - 2:14 PM

Those look first class to me.


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 1:33 PM

This one should look quite normal, albeit I've pushed the blue sky a bit

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And I've also done these since calibrating the moniter, they don't really say a lot about true colours but if they look sexy then I am probably OK

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Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 1:08 PM

It could just be my eyes messing the colours. I'm on a laptop at the moment because my tower died and the colours it comes up with often look bizarre, that's why I broke out the old Spyder. I'll put up a common or garden (or agricultural) landscape I'm working on to see if that looks more normal.


Posted by: Johnny Trippick on 10/06/2012 - 1:01 PM

Driving myself ever so slightly beresk trying to work out some empirical way to convey what we're seeing. Ie - if we took a screen grab (with your permission) and PMd it back to you through FAA (if that's possible) would that help? Alternatively what about taking a screen grab and using the Photoshop eyedropper for RGB values on selected points?


Posted by: Mike Savad on 10/06/2012 - 12:42 PM

it looks dull. spyder has some issues on some machines and doesn't give you the right results, often it's more blue. if you set you settings to native color, it will give you more proper results.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Jeffrey Campbell on 10/06/2012 - 12:18 PM


My machine is colour calibrated and it looks descent - perhaps the blues are a bit saturated, but not too overly done. Additionally, it does look about 1/2 stop or so over exposed overall.


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 11:54 AM

Amy, do you think my picture is over-exposed? The reflections on the apples are just out in some channels, I think, but the rest doesn't look too bright to me and I see detail in it, so I'm inclined to think the calibration is probably OK.


Posted by: Amy Weiss on 10/06/2012 - 11:39 AM

I see it as a sunlit blob as you mentioned, Paul...


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 10:52 AM

Rich, are you seeing the blob of sunlight on the top left side of your card, with the rest of the white parts of the card looking grey, or do you see the card as having a white background without a sunlit blob?


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 10:41 AM

I made this before the latest colour calibration. Now it looks to me as if it has a greenish cast to it...

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The colour card looks OK to me, maybe a slight blue tinge to the grey at the bottom right, but it's hard to say (just checked the card with the PS colour picker and it is 211 229 243 in the RGB channels, so I guess I am seeing it right.


Posted by: Rich Franco on 10/06/2012 - 10:24 AM


It's a bit too bright and may have a warm/yellow tone to it. But can't tell with this image. Do you have another image that has grey in it and we can look at it. It's almost impossible to judge color without a standard grey.

How does this look on your monitor?

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Looks good on my monitor,



Posted by: Robert Woodward on 10/06/2012 - 10:07 AM

Looks a little over exposed to me as well. Color looks ok, but perhaps tweaking the whiite balance toward the warmer side might be worth a try.


Posted by: Paul Cowan on 10/06/2012 - 10:06 AM

Thanks. So the colour balance looks all right then? That's my biggest concern. I can check whether the whites are blown easily enough, though I was able to see all the blocks on a 16 level greyscale chart. The front of the stall should be a natural colour while there is a slight warmth to the stuff at the back from light reflecting from a red awning.


Posted by: Johnny Trippick on 10/06/2012 - 9:18 AM

Paul... Not sure if this is helpful. Viewing on iMac with default calibration and there is a slight over-exposed look to me. The whites and specular highlights on the apples are blown out on my screen.


Posted by: Amy Weiss on 10/06/2012 - 6:53 AM

Now sure how to answer this, Paul, tho I would like to help. Is there a certain way you want it to look as far as white balance, etc.?


This discussion is closed.