I am ready to get into color management and I have a few questions, hopefully the people on this forum will be able to point me in the right direction.
First, my setup:
Operating system: I run Windows 7 Ultimate (32 bits but I am probably going to migrate to 64 bits).
Monitors: I have two Dell 3001WP-HC monitors connected to an ATI HD 4650.
Software: I use mostly Adobe Lightroom (latest version), Photoshop (CS5), Nikon NX-2 and ACDSee Pro for my photo work.
Color calibration device: I have an older X-Rite Optix XR Pro with the latest version (2.3) or their software (which they claim doesn’t work on Windows 7, but see below)
Almost forgot, I am a sports photographer, so color management is important but hasn’t been critical for me yet.
So… I have been trying to calibration / profile my monitors with mixed success so far.
The monitors are great, but they don’t have any controls besides a On/Off switch and brightness control (which has a rather limited range).
I have been able to load and run the X-Rite software on Windows 7 and create profiles for each monitors.
Then I use the Windows 7 color management utility to load the profile, but I really can’t see any difference… So either I am doing something wrong (likely) or my monitors are really close off as is (yeah!).
Anyways, I have a few questions:
The ATI graphic card control software (Catalyst) has the capability of adjusting the brightness / contrast and color (hue, saturation) for each monitor. Can I use this as a substitute for the lack of controls on the monitor? Is this even necessary?
How to I know that once I have created profile that they load correctly? To test that, I was thinking about creating some profile that would be really off (like swap color or really do something in your face obvious) to check that they load. Is that a good approach? How would I do that?
I have read a number of places (including on this board) that Windows 7 color management is a step above XP and Vista, but it still isn’t good (profiles not loading, unloading, etc.). Are there alternatives out there that would replace the Windows 7 built in management?