Colors and brightness on my edits

I think you are running into people’s varying tastes, as well as some people emphasizing the “Play” in “PlayRaw”. Also, people will follow their own impression of the time of day. Sometimes, you will see edits of the same image that look like early afternoon or nearing blue hour.

I went through the entire threads for the first three images, and in the first two you seemed to go for a more dramatic than average sky. In the third one (“Pale Yellow Sunset”), which was really all about the sky, you were a little more restrained than most, and I think your edits were the nicest. I also liked your take on “Groynes at New Brighton”.

Something else I noticed while going through these threads is that many people are ignoring the site’s guideline of uploading small files with their images. I think JPEGs at 95% with the longer dimension 2048 or less will keep the size down. Any admins feel free to correct me if the guidelines are a little different than that.

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I’m on my phone at the moment, however I have viewed most the images on my calibrated PC screen too. Either way, your edits all look quite well balanced to me, both in terms of exposure and colour. @elGordo, I agree that taste can vary a lot! Which includes my own…:wink:

Edit. While I think of it, an interesting excercise is to view a set of images like these on as many different screens and devices as possible. In my limited experience most modern phones are relatively accurate, while at laptop screens can be rather variable. Not to suggest that this should influence the way you edit, as a calibrated screen should obviously be your reference, but I find it interesting :wink:

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We ask for 1080P jpegs with some compression.

The ones on this thread are way too large. We’re trying to keep things long term, but a 30MB jpeg? Come on.


Is there a note to this effect on the introduction to new users? I’m wondering if there might be a way to helpfully point it out to new forum members… I usually use 1-2 MB images online elsewhere anyway, but I don’t remember seeing anything about when I signed up… I may have just forgotten though!

I’ve just globally pinned the topic.


Ah, that makes a lot of sense. I believe I’ve uploaded full-sized files everywhere so far.

I’ll go through my postings and replace the images with smaller versions.


The only way to know for sure is to buy/rent a calibration device and calibrate your monitor. Other than that, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like to everyone else.

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I’ve been looking at calibration devices, but renting one had never occured to me. I’ll be checking out where I can rent one, thanks!

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If you live in South East NSW, Australia, I’d lend you mine… But I suspect you’re a little further away :confused:

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That’s very kind of you, but you’re right, I live on the other side of the planet :sweat_smile:

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Even then I don’t think its that easy. I bought an X-rite display device. I bought the lowest one so the calibrite software doesn’t have many of the options available. It makes a very basic profile and it was okay. Displaycal enabled most of the features but then there were so many… and also the ambient light to consider using or not using. From what I gathered I could make things possibly better for myself but as others would have much different conditions it might actually make it look worse for them. Then came what brightness…most references say 80 or100 but this is quite dark given today’s monitors and means you should edit in a fairly dark setting. Monitors now can easily do 200 or 300 on the low end so I came across some advice to actually do at least 120 and maybe even a bit higher… I went through a ton of variations and settings trying to tweak black point and other settings… In the end I landed on one that was pleasing using 160cd/m2 as I seemed to like the look of things on the display and my edits seemed reasonable… a gray ramp looks okay and the delta E for color were pretty good… But moving along that journey I was all over the place and setting the profile in DT and in the OS for each new updated try…

For sure having your monitor calibrated is going to help and also make you more confident that your exported images will hopefully not be too light or too dark but it’s not or at least if wasn’t for me as simple as just getting the device and running the software to get that magic bullet profile…

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I agree about this…I have a Spyder, and even though I’ve stuck to the stock software, there does seem a fair bit of room for adjustment. I recently discovered that at some time in the last 6 months I had accidentally adjusted the contrast on my monitor’s hardware controls… I reset to default (as instructed by the calibration software) and recalibrated and now I find the screen too bright for comfort, with other settings identical🥴.
I’m thinking I might just go back to a lower contrast setting, as it doesn’t really impact my editing much as far as I can tell. But I’m annoyed that I don’t like the apparently ‘correct’ settings😬

However, in spite of all that, at least with my unit, carefully following the basic procedure will get one very much in the ballpark so as to speak, to the point where differences are fairly subtle to my eyes.

Edit: sorry @Ogven for drifting off topic…

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It still a component of this whole discussion… as hardware and settings can be a big influence… I am also liking a lot of images now if I dial in about 0.005 black compensation in the exposure module… On my screen this just really makes the image pop and I like it


I have a calibrated monitor and your edits do look ever so slightly dark to me, but it could just be a matter of taste. It could also be considered a natural interpretation of the scene, since they are all either overcast, night or sunrise/sunset. In other words, they certainly don’t look way off. The colours look nice - not too much or little saturation, and no color casts.

Unless we all edit on the same monitors, it can be tricky to know exactly where monitor inaccuracies end and taste begins.

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@Ogven Moinchen!

See this old link:

How many patches can you see on your monitor?

Claes in Lund, Schweden

Addendum: Explanations and importance can be found here: Making and evaluating monitor profiles


The further away you move from the specification viewing conditions, the less likely your image is to look correct when printed or when an automated process is applied.

If you have a bright monitor, your shadows and mid tones will look crushed and dark on a reference monitor. If you edit in a bright room, you’ll make adjustments to overcome screen glare which will make the image lack contrast on a reference monitor.

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Thank you for your feedback! Yeah no, you’re right, my edits are probably a tad too dark for print. I know because I’ve had the blue hour cathedral shot printed on canvas. It looks good enough but the printed image looks just slightly too dark and the colors are all a wee bit too “solid”.

I’ll probably also have to learn to subtract the monitor’s luminosity from images in order to properly judge the brightness as it would appear in print.

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I see 20 patches. The top row I can’t see, it disappears into the background.

Also this:

That was the case on my old mac laptop - couldn’t see the deepest black or brightest white. It certainly helps being able to see them when dealing with shadow detail and specular highlights, but often doesn’t make a big impact on images, as those extremes are not the main focus. If you also can’t see the brightest white and are doing a lot of highlight reconstruction it could be a problem - you’ll have to trust the algos more than your eyes. What made a bigger difference was the slightly blue cast a lot of my old edits on that monitor had, which I didn’t realise at the time - but I don’t see any cast on your images.

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My only note would be that tone mapping is a bit pronounced (halos can be visible around mountains & buildings in the second and particularly the last render).

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