Monitor Calibration for Improved colour accuracy

Are you frustrated by the way your images look when displayed by the projector at the photo club meetings?
Do the colours and contrast level of your photos consistently look all wacky when printed or viewed anywhere other than on your own monitor?

It might be time to calibrate your computer monitor.

We want to make sure that your images are displayed as accurately as possible during the photo club meetings so that everyone can enjoy them as you intended. Just over a year ago we purchased a new projector that can display higher resolution images with greater brightness, contrast and range of colours. But, this upgrade in technology would be a big disappointment if your images didn’t look as your expect them to. So, we calibrate the projector with the computer and lighting conditions that are used during our photo shows. We use a Datacolor Spyder monitor calibration device following these steps.

Using a colorimeter device and software is the most reliable method for producing accurate colour and contrast on your display and the club’s projector.

If you do not have monitor calibration hardware, you can try to improve quality of your display output using only software or test images and the monitor calibration features that are built in to Mac OSX and Windows. Although this involves some subjective adjustments, you may see an improvement.

Check out these helpful instructions and give it a try.

Although monitor calibration if often a neglected topic, it can be one of the most useful methods for improving the consistency and quality of your images.

More Resources:

  • This excellent article from Photography Life gives a thorough explanation of the theory and process of monitor calibration.
  • An article on monitor calibration, specific to Apple computers running OSX. Or, you may prefer to watch how it’s done with this video.
  • Information specific for Windows 7 & 8 computers, and a step-by-step video guide for Windows users.

Come out to April’s photo club meeting (Thursday, April 16/15) to hear about another method you can use to ensure the accuracy of the colours in your photos, no matter the lighting conditions you’re shooting in.

Monthly Theme – March 2015 – Purely Abstract

For March’s theme of ‘Purely Abstract’ we saw a total of 16 submissions. The images shown below are from those Club Members who have chosen to share their images online. Clicking an image will show a larger version of the image and EXIF information (if available). ‘Purely Abstract’ is a theme that is fairly open to interpretation, but a good general explanation could be:

Abstract photography concentrates on shape, form, colour, pattern and texture. The viewer is often unable to see the whole object. The subject of the photo is often only a small part of the idea of the image. Viewers may only know the essence of the image subject or understand it by what is implied.

You can read more about abstract photo in a short article over at Photokonnexion. Comments from the evaluation group that were read aloud at the March meeting will be added just as soon as they become available.

Monthly Theme – February 2015 – Fire

For February’s theme of ‘Fire’ we saw a total of 14 submissions. The images shown below are from those Club Members who have chosen to share their images online. Clicking an image will show a larger version along with the comments from the evaluation group that were read aloud at the February meeting, as well as comments from the photographer and EXIF information (if available).

Who Still Uses Film? Ilford Study Has Answers

Iford Films and Papers
Some of Ilford’s current film products

In late 2014 Harmon Technology, maker of Ilford brand film and papers, commissioned a study that surveyed thousands of film users in 70 countries. Some findings:

  • 30% were under 35 years old
  • 60% had used film for less than five years
  • 98% shoot Black and White film
  • 86% use roll film, mostly for Lomo and Holga cameras
  • 84% taught themselves about film
  • 49% develop their own film in a darkroom
  • eBay is a popular source for used film cameras

How to Submit Images for the Monthly Theme

Every regular monthly meeting held by the Lethbridge Photography Club has a theme that paid members are invited to submit one image for (with the exception of June). These images are then evaluated by other members in advance of the regular meeting and their comments and critiques of the submitted images are then read aloud to the membership. Discussion is welcomed and encouraged as the images are presented to the membership at the monthly meetings.

Images are to be submitted via email to typically by 11pm on the Sunday before the next regular meeting.

Image Size

For optimal presentation as our meetings, we ask that images be sized to be no smaller than 1200-pixels on the smallest side. Compose your your image as you wish, but do ensure that the overall size is large enough.

Our digital projector has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Images that are smaller than that projector’s resolution will be enlarged when displayed and the image quality will not be optimal.


After images have been submitted, an evaluation meeting is then held the day after the deadline, typically on the Monday before the regular meeting.

We encourage members to attend these evaluation meetings as a way of learning how to critique images and further discussion of photographic technique and vision. Each image submitted is discussed and constructively critiqued. Comments are noted and will be read aloud at the regular meeting when the images are presented to the membership.

Print Themes

While the majority of our monthly themes are digital, we feel that the print is still an important part of photography. We typically have three to four print themes each year.

To participate in our print themes, we have a few guidelines:

  • Be a paid member in good standing.
  • Prints can be any size you like. Bear in mind that larger prints may present better than a smaller print.
  • Prints do not need to be framed. If they are framed, please remove the glass.
  • Whether your print is matted is up to you.
  • Unframed prints should be firmly mounted on a stiff backer board so they can stand upright.

Prints need to be brought to the meeting before 6:15pm so we can get them organized for judging.

Club Year-end – June

Our annual theme for June is an open theme where you may submit images as you please.  For our year-end meetings, we deviate from our usual and accept both digital and print submissions. All submissions will be evaluated by the membership as a whole at the June meeting, with discussion about the images.

We invite you to submit images in any of the four following categories:

  • Print:  Single image
  • Print:  Series-of-Three
  • Digital:  Single image
  • Digital:  Series-of-Three

For the Series-of-Three, the images should belong together. By this we mean belong in the sense that they are of the same subject, subjects that balance, contract, or complement each other.

Print Submissions should be brought to the regular meeting on the third Thursday in June by 6:15pm.

The deadline for digital submissions will be the night before the regular meeting.

Themes for the 2015-2016 Club Year

September 17 – ’Open’
October 15 – Three
November 19 – Memories (prints)
December 17 – Glass
January 21 – Food
February 18 – Old
March 17 – Blue
April 21 – Dreams (prints)
May 19 – Sign of the times
June 16 – ’Open’ (print and digital)

July – no monthly meeting during summer break
August – no monthly meet during summer break

Past Themes

2015 – February – Fire (digital)

2015 – March – Purely Abstract (digital)

2015 – April – Textures (prints)

2015 – May – 10 Second Exposure