Did you know that even the wall color near your editing station can effect your edits? The environment in which you edit is just as important as regularly calibrating your monitor. Have you ever heard that editing in the dark gives you the best preview? Let’s bust this myth! While this might be working for some, is the eyestrain really worth it? Editing in a well lit room with the proper type of light is the most accurate editing strategy. Your eyes will thank you for it! We recommend a good amount of natural daylight, true daylight bulbs, and a room with neutral wall colors. Believe it or not, your editing wardrobe should also be kept neutral.

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The images above were edited in three different lighting situations. These were quick & simple color adjustments (nothing fancy) but each is different. The differences can best be noticed when focusing on the brides neck & shoulder line, plus there is a overall shift in the yellow values.

a) This is the original raw file straight out of the camera.  b) This version was edited with the lights off and the only present light was from the monitor.  c) This version was edited with no natural light and under ordinary household lighting (typical light bulbs that normally cast a yellow/warm tone).  d) This version was edited in a room lit with true natural daylight bulbs, next to an open window during the day, and in a room with neutral cream colored walls.

Tips & Recommendations

Calibration

Investing in a reliable and accurate device is very important. Colorvision Spyder devices and the X-Rite i1 Display Pro are great choices. Re-calibrate your monitor about every two weeks and keep your eye out for new technology and developments in color management. A great resource for how-to and how-come questions is www.colorwiki.com.

Environment

We’re not saying that you have to repaint your office or go shopping for a new wardrobe in order to match your prints. However, the colors that are bouncing around the room during the editing process can sometimes have a significant effect (depending on how strong the color is). If you decide to revamp your workspace walls we recommend munsell gray because it is the most neutral color for editing. Keep to neutral colored furniture and décor – even wood finishes will create warm casts! For lighting, bulbs manufactured by Solux provide consistent and reliable lighting at the ideal 5000 Kelvin. Beware of bargain bulbs labeled “daylight”. If you edit at night, having a few true daylight fixtures around should be sufficient as long as the room is well lit.

Soft Proofing

ProDPI offers ICC Soft Proofing profiles for the following photographic papers: Fuji Luster, Fuji Pearl, and Kodak Metallic. We also offer ICC Soft Proofing Profiles for all three of our Fine Art papers. Once installed in Photoshop these profiles will give you a preview of how the colors in your image will reproduce on that particular paper. To utilize the ICC Soft Proofing profiles all you need is Photoshop and a calibrated monitor. You do not need to use our soft proofing profiles on every image that you edit, but they are highly recommended if you’re concerned with a particular color.

Test Printing

Whether you’ve purchased a new calibration device, you’re calibrating for the first time, or you’ve purchased a new monitor or computer; it is very important to send in test prints if something has changed within your editing environment. We WANT your prints to match. ProDPI offers FREE calibration test printing through the Get Started Here catalog in ProDPI Roes. We even have a guide that shows you how to order!

Roes Guide: How to order calibration prints

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