The Importance of Monitor Calibration for Photographers

I own a nice, large LED monitor that displays the full range of sRGB and a wide gamut of DCI P3 colors. Overall I’m extremely happy with it, but a huge part of why it works so well for me is because I have it carefully hardware calibrated!


Several years ago, my friend Jason came over and showed me the calibration process in full. We used an X-Rite ColorMunki Display colorimeter and DisplayCal software to calibrate my system. I was very, very skeptical at first because I figured LG calibrated it at the factory and this process was just going to show how great the monitor was. Well… I was off.


When he showed me how bright the monitor should be (100-120cd/m² for photographers), I was freaking out at how dim it appeared and was not a fan of it at all.

Luckily, my friend patiently explained that yes, it is darker than what I was used to, but that’s what a calibrated monitor looks like. 


After a few days of trusting the [calibration] process and getting used to my new settings, I was sold.


Now, when I color correct a photo, it looks great in print, on tablets, on social media, etc. I found photos don’t “pop” on my display right out of the camera (I shoot in RAW mode), but they do after a careful post-production workflow!