How Does A Photo Look On Your Screen?

So, how does a photo look on your screen? And have you ever stopped and compared it to others?
You screen could be ruining the quality of your photo.

Do you see strange colour shifts? make comments about how you look or your skin? it s often down to colour calibration and colour management. And if you have ever noticed it, think how it is for me, who deals with these problems on a daily basis!

Now here in my office, I have several monitors, all side by side, all expensive for the ability to have far more accurate colour representation, which then have to be periodically recalibrated to keep that accuracy. This is obviously important as without this any work I did on a photo, could be detrimental as I am not seeing what is really being done by my actions. But what is an endless source of frustration, is seeing my work on peoples laptops, tablets and phones and seeing all that work thrown out with horrid colour shifts making reds look purple, everything have a blue tinge, skin looking like jaundice and worse.

Its all down to colour calibration (aka accurate representation of colours, be red of blue, light or dark). And very few screens out there come calibrated from the factory, even these monitors that I use were ever so slightly out when I first got them. But what also happens is that they get continually worse as they get older as parts start to wear. When I first fire up the workstation all 3 of my identical monitors, before the calibration kicks in, have different colour tints. #1 has a purple tint, #2 has a blue tint and number 3# has a yellow tint.

Bearing in mind these are all the same age, same manufacturer, done the same number of hours work, you would not think there would be such a notable difference between them, but there is. So apply that factor to every other screen out there. In fact I do get asked why images look funny on clients screens, and this is always why.

But another problem most wont know about is that programs can, and do regularly interfere with this representation of colours and shades, as the video below will show in a round about way. This video is showing 2 “colour profiles” which a simple explanation is like a colour pallet for wall paint. Now anyone who is smart showing their work online, will use sRGB, its more universally used standard. But what this has gone on to show me (as an avid chrome user) is that even between browsers this has considerable effect on the photos, with skin tones always bearing the brunt the negative effects.


So you might ask what the solution is to this? spend £500 on specialist equipment to calibrate your iPad? ermmm, no would not advise it. What I would advise as always is get your photos printed. A quality printing company does all this, and a decent photographer does too so if you want to see your images at their best? this is the route to take.

But another thing to consider about this is that when you look for a photographer, does their work look consistent? If not some of these will be the reason why. Cost cutting or not caring at all.

As you will have gathered by now, I take a great deal of pride in the finished product and getting there. The end results matter to me especially where the way you look is concerned.