I spend a lot of time editing photos and video using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro on both PC and Mac (I far prefer PC but that's another blog post).

www.adobe.com

For years I relied heavily on professional photo labs to colour correct my edited images and in most cases the prints I received never accurately matched what I was seeing on my screens, but the colour range was acceptable most f the time. Occasionally I'd have to ask for further adjustments.

When I first started my career as a photographer my early years were spent colour and black and white printing, my first job was printing images for estate agents printing on Buick print machines (I think they were called Buick but if anybody can correct me on that..). It was my introduction to colour adjustment; Magenta, Cyan, Yellow etc I learned to identify colour casts and then moved in to the darkroom to learn hand printing from negatives where colour adjustments were made on enlargers.

Over the years I've become pretty good at colour correcting but we all see colour differently, some people are colour blind whilst others can't identify faint colour casts in images. 

 

Move forward to the digital age and colour correcting has become quicker and more accurate but the variations are much wider due to different screens, papers, inks and printers. But what is 'accurate' how do we know something is 'bang-on' correct for colour? Experts will tell you there is 'true accurate colour' but we all see colour differently, we know blue is blue but there's many different shades/hues of the colour blue. My take on it is that there is an 'acceptable range'. We can correct for skin tone, but what if a correct skin tone changes the cast of a grey jacket. If we correct the grey jacket the skin tone may be wrong. So in the real world there has to be an 'acceptable range' where the skin and grey jacket are acceptable but not perfect. The most important thing for my business is when we correct an image on screen in our office I need to be sure the final print will look the same or incredibly close to the file we send for printing.

Marketing has changed, even weddings where we find a lot of couples don't actually print anything, a high percentage of the work we now do is never actually printed as it's used on websites and other digital viewing platforms, because of this I need to ensure digital files I send to a client have been colour corrected, the problem here is that the client is going to look at the images on a completely different screen.

If the original images are correctly adjusted and then sent to the client that's the best we can do, but to do this we need to be using the best screens we possibly can...better screens than the client has.

For many years our work was corrected on a 27" iMac, a beautiful and awesome screen with lovely colour and vibrancy, our PC monitors were generally cheap monitors ideal for general computer work, not for colour accuracy.

However over the years the Mac like any other computer has gradually slowed down, doesn't perform as well as it used to and as I prefer PC over Mac I decided to invest in a couple of high end colour monitors made by Eizo so contacted them and Victor Aberdeen kindly bought one over for me to have a look at. We corrected a few images and sent them off to the lab and they came back looking much more vibrant than before, so I invested in 2 CS230 monitors at just over £400.00 each and don't think I'll ever change.

www.eizocolour.com

Both screens work great straight out of the box although I should be using a colour correcting 'Spider' to match the screens but they are working so well that I'll look at this more closely if I notice any variations. Until then, straight out of the box is great and so it should be when you spend £400+ on a monitor!

Victor had emailed over the settings we should start with for both photo and video and we were on our way, the prints coming back from the lab looked so much better and accurate than before. 

Our colours for video looked great and when playing them back on any Samsung, LG, Sony and other TV's the colours look natural and correct, exactly how they should be. 

I don't really care about the technical aspect of the screens (or any equipment for that matter), so I don't talk about it here because you can find endless technical information online about these screens, as busy working professional all I want is something that works, is reliable and does what it's supposed to do. That's all I need to know, if it does all of that then I'm happy and so are my clients!