Jo Avila

What to do?

A Datacolor Spyder5 is a significant investment. Photographers use it to calibrate and profile their computer display monitor. This allows them to get an accurate preview of their digital files during post processing.

Using the Datacolor Spyder5 is simple since its bundled software is wizard type (most of the time you will just click on the Next button) and your monitor is calibrated and the hardware and software create an accurate color profile for your computer display monitor.

Some people wonder what else should they do after the color profile for their computer display monitor is created.

“Is that it? Shouldn’t something else be done? That can’t be all that there is to it? I paid a lot of good money for this product.”

Here is a list of what other photographers have done in a vain and misguided attempt to “get their money’s worth” from the Datacolor Spyder5:

1)      They use the display color profile as their color workspace in Adobe Photoshop. This is wrong on so many levels. A color profile is device dependent. The correct choice for a color workspace is to use color spaces like Adobe RGB, sRGB, ProPhoto RGB. Why? Color spaces are device independent. There’s a reason why Adobe specified that it’s called a color workspace and not a color workprofile.

2)      I met a photographer who will open his digital file in Adobe Photoshop and either convert or assign its embedded color profile to that of the display color profile. Color profiles are device dependent. The color profile created when you use a Datacolor Spyder5 is meant to describe the color behavior of the computer display monitor and not that of the digital images you captured using a digital camera.

3)      The worst mistake that I have come across was to specify the display color profile as the color profile that should be used when printing. Once again, color profiles are device dependent. The display color profile isn’t meant to be substituted for the color profiles you will use for printing. I did ask the person why he was doing this and his reply was to ensure that what he printed on inkjet would match what he saw on his computer display monitor. Sigh…

Let’s cut to the chase. What should we do with display color profile after we use the Datacolor Spyder5?

The short answer, nothing.

Computer software like Adobe Photoshop are color-savvy (they are designed to automatically recognize color profiles). Adobe Photoshop CC will automatically load display color profile when you start it up and will use it when you open, preview and post process your digital files.

What’s the moral of the story? Stop using the display color profile for something else that it wasn’t meant to be used for.

 

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