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Old 25-09-2007, 18:40   #1 (permalink)
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Best set-up for editing

What is the best set-up for your monitor to be in when editing? I noticed in a posting showing peoples rooms that someone (sorry I don't remember whos) had something like blinds on the sides and top. Do these side blinds really work good and if so where do you get them?

My computer sits under a light (lamp) and has a 3M filter on it, which I take off when editing. Its an LCD monitor. I notice on the LCD monitor that its darker on the top and gets lighter in the middle then just a little darker on the bottom. Probably not good sitting under the lamp for editing.

Anyway I have noticed that my pictures are dark after editing which I'm sure is from the lamp above me. Also I have a large window to my right that lets in light. I can reach out and touch the window. I'm wondering if the computer should be moved to under the window.

I have heard that some sit in a dark room to do editing. I have tried that. I wish I had my old big monitor that took up my whole work space still with me, but I was nice and lent it out. Also my monitor sits in a computer hutch not on a desk top. I do have the monitor pulled to the front edge of the hutch.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 25-09-2007, 18:53   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best set-up for editing

Well, I have my monitors with their backs to the window (so no reflections). Window has a blind, so can be closed on bright sunny days (or opened if I want to daydream - I look out into a square, which is grass and trees! )

Most important thing is that my graphics monitor is calibrated, so hopefully what I see is what it is!
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Old 25-09-2007, 18:59   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best set-up for editing

It sounds as if your monitor may not have an even backlight, which is going to give you a few problems unfortunately.

The subject of monitor setup and calibration is a thorny one, but the idea is that black should appear as true black and white as true white, and that you should be able to see all the scales of grey in between. One way to do this without spending on hardware calibration tools is by means of 'greyscale ramps' or 'test wedges'.

Here are a couple of links to useful tests which should help...

Photo Friday: Monitor Calibration Tool
Monitor Calibration Tests

The idea of the hood around the monitor is to stop light from reflecting off the screen. As far as I know these hoods are available for high-end monitors but not generally for the ones most of us use. It's best to avoid having a strong light that can cause reflections and also affect the apparent contrast, but general ambient lighting is usually OK.

One problem I find with many modern LCD screens is that they are too bright by default. That may be very impressive for watching DVDs, but can be too intense for photos, and certainly much brighter than you would get by viewing a paper print in good light. You should be able to tame this by using the backlight and contrast controls on the monitor.

In general (although not always) the brightness control alters the Black Point and the Contrast alters the White Point. In other words, if the darkest black your monitor can display is still dark grey rather than true black, you can try turning down the Brightness. If the brightest white is too bright, try turning down the Contrast. If everything is too bright, there may be a Backlight control which affects the lot.

I suggest making a note of the default settings and then tweaking them to get the best results you can with the calibration charts linked to above. That will get you most of the way there.

Good luck!
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Old 26-09-2007, 04:40   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best set-up for editing

Thanks for the information I will checking out the links you passed on. Then probably playing with my monitor and moving my room around so the monitor has its back to the window.
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