Accurate Display Color


Today’s Question: Do you have some information as to how to adjust your screen on the computer to the correct color temperature? I remember years ago there was a lot of emphasis on this. What should we use? If you work for the internet, everyone’s computer screen is different. What color profile would you use?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I strongly recommend calibrating your display using a colorimeter device. I personally use the Calibrite ColorChecker Display ( for this purpose. When preparing images to share online, I recommend using the sRGB color space to help ensure better accuracy with uncalibrated displays.

More Detail: As a photographer you should absolutely calibrate your monitor display to ensure the colors you see are an accurate reflection of the colors in your images, so that the adjustments you apply will be based on an accurate view of the image. I use the Calibrite ColorChecker Display (, which was formerly branded as X-Rite Photo. Another excellent option is the Datacolor SpyderX Pro (

Calibrating your display will ensure that images look correct for you, but of course many people who may view your images online are not calibrating their displays. I still recommend optimizing photos based on an accurate calibrated display, recognizing that the photos may not appear completely accurate for users who have not calibrated.

To help ensure accurate color for images shared online even among non-calibrated displays, I recommend using the sRGB color space. That is because the sRGB color space was created to encapsulate the colors of a typical monitor display. Therefore, sRGB pixel values will generally appear relatively accurate even on a non-calibrated display.

In addition to ensuring accurate color, calibrating a display will help ensure optimal brightness levels. I consider this quite important as well considering that most displays with a default configuration will be about a full stop too bright, meaning twice as bright as they should be. Solving for this issue on your display won’t guarantee that all viewers will see an accurate view of your photos, but it will help.