Need to Calibrate and Profile your Monitor? Here’s how to do it correctly – WITH VIDEO


Update 03/01/22:  See even more on this subject in my post: Color Management 101 for Photographers”:



There are 3 steps necessary to successful color management – Profiling your Monitor is “Step #1”.

A properly calibrated & profiled monitor will closely match the output of your photo printer or favorite custom print lab.  It’s crucial even if you don’t want to print your images, as it will allow you to see your image as accurately as possible – and in accordance with photo industry standards. Think of your monitor as your photographic “Window to the World”.


But let’s face it:  the main reasons most people avoid profiling their monitor are because they’ve got to buy something, and/or they think it’s too complicated.


The truth is, it can be quite simple.  All you need are the right tools, the main one being a Monitor Profiling package, which consists of a piece of hardware called a colorimeter, and the software to go with it.


Here are the two best packages available:


1)  X-Rite i1 Display Pro  (Now called “Calibrite”) – I love X Rite products, and this is the one I use.  It costs around $250 street price, and is available from Amazon, B&H Photo, etc.  Click here for more from X-rite.


2) Datacolor SpyderX Elite – Around $250 street price – Although the package does an excellent job, I personally don’t think the software is as user-friendly as the X-Rite product.  Click here for more from Datacolor.


The following 4 videos (split into 4 parts for ease of viewing) are specific to the X-Rite i1 Display Pro, but the procedure should be similar for the Datacolor Spyder.  Watch all four videos sequentially – these take about 15 minutes (or less) total to watch – Best viewed in HD – Enjoy!



By the way, here’s a link to my Photoshop YouTube Channel
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Here are some subjects mentioned in the Videos:


•  Calibration Starting Point: In the “Advanced Mode” of your software I would suggest setting a calibration “starting point” of:


•    5500°K (Kelvin)
•   2.2 Gamma
•   110 Lumens (CD/M2).


•  Here’s the procedure for “zero-ing” in your optimal monitor settings: you may need to “zero-in” your optimal monitor settings – but generally I’ve found that the above values are correct 90+% of the time.


If, after calibrating and profiling your monitor, you see a trend of your prints coming out consistently dark, then you need to recalibrate and re-profile and lower your lumens value to, say, 100 lumens.


Or, if your prints tend to be consistently warmer (reddish-yellowish) overall, change your color temperature to 5000°K.  Conversely if they are consistently  cooler (blue-ish, cyan-ish), change your color temperature to 6000°K.  A note of caution: Before you make these adjustments, all other aspects of your Color Management must be in order.


•  FYI, if you’re new to Color Management, here’s a link to my FREE PDF, “The 3 Steps to Successful Color Management” –   Click here




•  AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE – for more on my free live & online Photoshop Meetups, click here:


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•  By the way, all of this is part of my Photoshop book designed for photographers, “Not just another Photoshop Book”, available exclusively on Amazon:




Questions? Please contact me – also, feel free to comment and tell your photography friends!


Thx again, and cheers,


John Watts 🙂



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