Calibration Calamity

June 5, 2007 at 7:12 am (Digital Art) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I made this one using a digital photo I took of my daughter

Students Were Dismayed

At school, an instructor had marked last week’s exam and handed them back to students. To our dismay, marks had been severely reduced for questions based on images that were entirely subjective and arbitrary. Although the class was about Color Correction, the course did not include computer monitor calibration, so each student’s monitor had its own color cast. Mine was casting a muddy hue, the student’s next to mine appeared mauve. Despite this serious handicap, students were expected to color correct images using steps that would afterwards be repeated on the Instructor’s monitor (which I suspect was also uncalibrated). And if that weren’t enough, the classroom’s overhead lights were harsh and depending where a student was sitting, they were casting glaring light and shadows across the desks. In addition, context regarding each image’s output purpose had not been provided, so students understandably interpreted to their best judgement.

When the test results were received, lively discussion ensued, a mini mutiny. Students defended their answers. Each argument sounded logical. Yet the instructor persisted on a specific series of steps. Blunt steps with blunt explanations. No consideration for an image’s mood or intent. Just an assembly line of steps. I felt as though I had tumbled down the proverbial rabbit hole where logic and good sense are turned upside down. The situation would have been comical had not each of us been playing for real marks that impact our real future.

I felt sad to see Photoshop used this way

For a moment I began to doubt my own judgement. I wondered whether I will come through this course with my creative spirit intact. I have always approached Photoshop with joy and a measure of reverence. I pick up the tools the way a painter might pick up their faithful paint brushes. They respond to a gentle touch, subtle nuances, loving strokes. Blunt commands result in inferior results.

When I got home, although it was late at night, I couldn’t go to bed without first opening Photoshop, taking time to reaffirm an old and faithful friendship. I took a few images and began playing with light, shadows, hues. Colors once again became spectacular, dynamic, and stimulating, instead of numeric values on a histogram. Color casts reclaimed their welcome role as purveyors of mood and ambience, instead of enemies to be irradicated. After some time had passed, the loud and regimented din began to fade from inside my head. The claustrophobic sensation of being squeezed down a rabbit hole receded, restoring a small measure of peace to my weary brain.

Visit my website: The Graphic Groove
Or my gallery on Flickr

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  1. Donncha said,

    You should set a Title for your blog – go to Options->General where you’ll be able to set it.

  2. Hemali Tanna said,

    Haha Gale! This was amusing!

  3. galefraney said,

    Thank you Donncha, I set the title.

    Hi Hemali, it was so frustrating doing color correction exams without our monitors calibrated, so we were each doing different things to the images. It seems funny now, but when it was happening it was so frustrating. 🙂

  4. Joni Solis said,

    >I felt as though I had tumbled down the proverbial rabbit hole where logic and good sense are turned upside down. The situation would have been comical had not each of us been playing for real marks that impact our real future.

    Dear Gale,

    Lighten up and take what you can from your classes, but never believe that these teachers can hold you a prisoner. You don’t need school to succeed in life as most of the richest business people never finish collage. Follow your heart always! Love you work – so much feeling in every piece!

  5. Joni Solis said,

    Your daughter, Priya is so lovely!

  6. earthdreamer said,

    Hi Gale. I am at Flickr as Amberwaves one of your contacts. It’s so healing for me to come and immerse myself in your magic art. To me you bring the ‘little people’ to life. The inner children of nature. I hope your creative spirit is safe in your course. I would love to buy a copy of your book. If you ever wish to collaborate on one, I am a school teacher who works with the youngies. And I’m shamanic as well so feel nature beings as friends and family. At times they speak through me to help the human world to remember our unity and beauty. They feel validated by your work as if they have a voice in the human world. Always be true to your voice! (they say to tell you). Thankyou sister.

  7. galefraney said,

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment. Although I was commissioned to make the digital illustrations for the children’s book, the book is owned by the company that bought the images. I do not receive any commissions from sales of the books and those images now belong to the comany who is selling the book, along with others which were done by other artists.

    The one I did the digital illustrations for is called “The Tuesday Mushroom King”. The company selling the books is

    One day I would love to do some books of my own. At the moment I have a full course load at college, taking Web Development, New Media and Design.

    – Gale Franey

  8. Flashing Beacon · said,

    msot computer monitors these days are already using LCD technology and some are LED-LCD .~`

  9. Dry Scalp Treatment said,

    ‘`- I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information .*~

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