Many artists today rely on their computers as part of their studio practice. Whether this be Photoshop, video-editing or some other practice, there is a heavy reliance (and trust) of color on our own computer screens. The problem resides in not knowing how the monitors of others will see the work. I have already written about color on the Internet , but in this post I want to address your basic monitor calibration.
The new operating system for Mac was just released (Snow Leopard), and there was a very big change to how color is managed. Mac monitors have always been calibrated for a Gamma of 1.8. This is different from PC’s which have been calibrated at 2.2 (darker and more saturated). Well, Mac is now shifting to a Gamma of 2.2 as well.
Not only are PC users still in the majority, but this monitor calibration will soon become Universal, now that Apple is switching over. This means, if you are an artist using a mac (without the latest upgrade) you are not seeing your color the way most of the world is. So, I highly suggest going into your system preferences, and changing your screen settings to have a color profile of 2.2. Below is a screenshot of what this will look like. In other words, 2.2 is the new standard.
When you first make the change, you will notice all your images look darker. This will be highly frustrating, however, it has to be done. It is easier to deal with reality now rather than later. This way, PC users and Mac users will see the same thing (or at least much more so than in the past).
If you are interested in the technical details of monitor calibration, and why Mac is shifting to PC standards, here is an excellent article by John Nack (Adobe Spokesperson).