I’m a Mac. I was a PC. I switched about a year ago because I finally succumbed to all the marketing hype that Mac’s are just…better. Now that I’ve been using my iMac for a year for all my digital darkroom needs I can say that I am genuinely pleased with the machine. But I’m not one of those weird Mac freaks who wears all black and wells up with anger at the mere suggestion that PC’s deliver daily beatdowns to dainty Macs. Nope. I like my iMac, I like my MacBook and I love my iPhone. I’m also rational enough to realize that you might just prefer a PC and that’s perfectly fine with me. If that’s you this article isn’t for you. Not because I don’t like you. You just won’t learn anything since today we’re discussing how to properly calibrate the monitor on an iMac. Check back tomorrow and all this Mac stuff will be in the past.
First, A Bold Statement
Post-processing your images on an uncalibrated monitor is a complete waste of time. To put it simply, just don’t be that guy. Spend a little extra dough for monitor calibration hardware/software, learn how to use it and then keep your monitor calibrated.
The iMac Calibration Conundrum
I’ve operated on a calibrated monitor for the better part of a decade. I bought my 24″ iMac in March, 2009 and didn’t bother to research potential monitor issues prior to swiping the Visa. Why would I do such a stupid thing? I listened to the hype. “Oh, Macs are made for image editing. All the best pro’s are using them.” That’s pretty much what the MacVangelists will tell you. To their credit, they’re not that far off-base. What they don’t tell you is that the super glossy and radioactively bright iMac screen is not easily calibrated using standard calibration hardware.
After much research, a lot of trial and error and more than my fair share of temper tantrums I finally got it all figured out. I am now happily working on a perfectly calibrated iMac monitor. The glossy screen is still annoying in all but the perfect conditions but at least I know the color I see on-screen is the color I will see in print.
How I Found My Happy Place
This blog has moved. To read how I resolved the calibration issue and regained my sanity you can read the rest of the article on my new & improved blog.
Got questions about calibrating your iMac? Don’t post ‘em here – go to my new blog, post your comment or question and I’ll respond promptly.