Saturday, December 16, 2017

Getting true color in editing images

It has been three months since I received my ViewSonic VP2468 monitor designed especially for photographers like me. It has now become permanent part of my editing process. I used to edit a lot on my laptops which provides the flexibility of editing during spare time on my travels. These editing were mostly for social media posting, and hence used to be in small resolutions, typically around 1200px on longer side at 100dpi. Small sizes allow you to get away with many flaws. But whenever the images were to be sent for printing, or to some competition in large sizes, then the flaws of laptop editing became obvious. Believe me, when you blow up, the colours that looked OK in your FB or Instagram post, may look terrible. Colour is one of the factors that can make or kill your image.

A typical LED monitor we use in desktop generally produces about 60-70% of sRGB colour space. Laptops fares worse. This means, despite shooting in Adobe RGB, we were losing 30-40% of colours in editing, which is substantial for quality print. As a nature photographer, the variations in shades of green and greys are very important in my images. If you are not able to see the grade variations, then at time you lose on impact the image could have made. In my next upgrade, I wanted a monitor that can match my output requirement, preferably one made for photographer.

On exploring market, most of the monitors targeted at photographers were found to be exorbitantly priced. Often as a photographer you feel like spending that kind of money on things like upgrading your on accessories or save for your next lens. The monitor, despite being of such importance is forced to take a back seat. We tend to forget that monitor is that key link that is going to reproduce what one had seen and captured in camera. Once you understand the gravity of this, you are bound to go for a photographer’s monitor. And there sits the ViewSonic VP2468. A very affordable monitor meant for photographers that produces nearly 100% of sRGB colour space, and comes factory colour calibrated along with test reports.

When I got the opportunity to work on the ViewSonic VP2468 monitor, my first reaction was wow. Images were just popping up. Colours are so vibrant as if it enthuses a new life into images. My immediate reaction was to reopen some of my earlier edited images. I started hating some of them as colours were way off. I started re-editing them on the VP2468. Here is an example.

Difference in colours editing in ViewSonic VP2468 vs Laptop

The VP2468 has many functionalities which I am yet to explore. The basic controls are enough for me as a photographer. Let the monitor take away many of my worries and concentrate on getting that perfect moment. VP2468 comes with a host of ports on its back. I have connected it to my Dell workstation with a HDMI cable. Another outstanding feature is the Auto Pivot where you can rotate the monitor to view vertical frames in full screen. There is an auto pilot software to facilitate this rotation. Despite some great feature, few ergonomics are missing in the design. You can expect small flaws at this price point. If I am missing something as of now is an inbuilt speaker. But it does what it is meant to deliver – true colour. The VP2468 is going to stay put in my table for a long time.

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