I've heard this been mentioned a few times to ensure that the picture I see on my monitor is what I get when I send I to a printer......just want to know one thing. How?
Any help is appreciated.
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HI Mark.16 March 2013
Monitor calibration is done with a piece of hardware that will (along with supporting software) project known values of Blacks, whites, and various colours and then prompt you to adjust your Red Green and Blue adjustments as well as brightness and contrast of your monitor. There are many units out there, some more expensive than others and very few that "will" calibrate a LED monitor.
I personally have and use an X-Rite iOne Display 2 which is now a discontinued product but has been replaced with the X-Rite i1Display Pro. (link at end of comment) and have used it for the past 2 years with no problems on either my laptop or my desktop monitors (both LCD).
Depending on how much available cash you have on hand this is a good unit. I have also used the Spyder Pro monitor calibration unit but was less satisfied with the result of its calibration.
Should you not have that kind of cash to fork out may I suggest asking one of the many camera clubs you may have access to. Quite possibly they have one on hand that could be borrowed. You can also ask around to local professional photographers if they would be willing to calibrate your monitor.
Keep in mind this is only half the battle. The person who prints your files should be of a caliber that delivers the utmost best he can from his printer. You don't want someone who just whips things off and says "good enough". His printer should also be calibrated to industry standard. Only way to find out is to get him/her to print a photo (5X7) and then take that back home, hold it next to your monitor and compare the result. Ideally you should not have to make any adjustments to your monitor settings in order to compensate for the printer's profile.
Hope this helps.
I was wondering the same thing some time ago and this pretty much covers it: http://www.imaging-resource.com/ARTS/MONCAL/CALIBRATE.HTM15 March 2013