Post processing and ambient light

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Klorenzo, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    What ambient light do you use when you post process an image?

    It's common for me to PP an image in the evening, in a mildly dark room, then look at it in the morning and say: wow, this is too dark! And fix the exposure. And so on.

    Can you relate? Any advice?
  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I have LED backlights behind my monitors so that the wall is always bright and the contrast between monitor and background is low (however the rest of the room is darker so that there's no glare on the screens). This allows me to run a normal brightness on the screens at night without them feeling too bright, during the day the room is darkened using blinds (no light falls directly on the screens). Both monitors are colour calibrated.
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  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'll add further, the backlights are not daylight balanced (they're about 4000k rather than 5600k). In theory this is bad for colour balance however I've found that in practice the warmer light causes less eye strain which is more comfortable and results in better working conditions for me. The lights are 12v and on a PWM dimmer allowing me to vary the brightness (The PWM runs at about 10k hz to not cause eye strain). I generally have the image being edited on my left screen and a gallery/image on my right screen which gives my eyes a neutral target re: colour balance and brightness. I always calibrate both screens before starting work with a Spyder (Spyder or expert? I forget their nomenclature, it's an oldie but still works well).

    I've found being comfortable is important so I generally have music going (Sennheiser headphones which don't touch my ears for night, speakers during the day when noise isn't a problem), also TV instead of a stock image... scented candles (vanilla scented ikea tealight candles currently...), it's important to relax and be comfortable as eye strain or tiredness will change results.

    All that said having a calibrated screen completely changes what you're aiming towards regardless of how you feel and is the most important part (No matter how good you are if it's not calibrated you can never be entirely sure what you're aiming towards).
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Calibrated AdobeRGB IPS monitor. If all you will edit for is the internet or casual printing then a calibrated sRGB monitor will do. Got my Dell UP2415Q on eBay for $350.
  5. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    I have a dimmable white LED lamp near my computer which I usually turn on. It also helps when viewing prints and comparing then to what's on the screen since it doesn't skew things like normal light bulbs do.
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I have a good factory calibrated IPS sRGB panel. It's two years old, so recalibration could be due, anyway calibration does not change from morning to evening so the problem is different.
    I'll try to add some good LED lights to balance the monitor output.

    @eteless@eteless What do you mean with "also TV instead of a stock image"?
  7. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Real Name:
    I use dual 24" IPS fully calibrated screens, white and black points as well as full colour.

    It is vital that the lighting conditions that are used when calibrating are consistent with what you use when editing.

    By the description the room is darker than it should be leading your eyes to perceive the image(monitor) being brighter than it actually is, thus leading to the darker looking image in the light of day so to speak.
  8. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Sorry, I didn't get an alert or missed it.

    I run two screens with my work on the left and bridge on the right with images I can refer to for colour balance or the look and feel I'm working towards. I often use TV instead of using a stock image as it can give the same feedback (daylit scenes or what have you, ideal colour balance) while also giving a distraction (I find it helps me focus if I have something playing, music + static picture, or TV). I don't work as well in silence.