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Category: All About Photography : Digital Photographic Discussions - Imaging Basics : Printing Digital Pictures

Photography Question 
Beth Verser
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/14/2007

Desktop Vs. Laptop Monitors

I have both a desktop and laptop I have been doing a lot of my work on the go I have noticed that pictures done on my lap top seem darker on my desk top which I have never had any problem with. I called my photo lab, and they said the desktop is more dependable and that it is hard to calibrate the laptop. Any ideas for using my laptop? I need to be able work on the run. Thanks!

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4/20/2010 11:51:23 AM

Claud B. Yeiser
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2010
  Have you calibrated your monitors to ensure that you're using a good color profile? I use the Datacolor Spyder3Pro to calibrate all my monitors, and it keeps all my images looking the same no matter where I display them.
You should try and calibrate your monitors in the same lighting that you use when editing and viewing. This helps to ensure that you are seeing what you think you should be.

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4/21/2010 4:18:24 AM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2005
  If you are using PHOTOSHOP software, go into the PREFERENCES on your Laptop and increase or decrease your DOT GAIN value (trial and error) and edit your pics until they start to look the same on both monitors).

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4/27/2010 12:30:27 PM

Dan W. Dooley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2005
  Beth, I have a similar situation in that much of my editing is done on my laptop (Lenovo ThinkPad with ATI graphics and 1680x1050 resolution). Same resolution as my desktop Samsung 22".

Both Claud and Roy have offered good suggestions. You are not going to be able to make all things exactly equal but if you can get close by tinkering with the laptop settings, it will at least be easier to judge that what you see on the laptop screen will be as close as possible to what you see on the desktop screen.

For example, though I have tried everything possible to match what I see between the two screens, there are slight differences in some colors. The same thing would apply somewhat if using two different desktop monitors from two different makers. Though not as much of a difference as with a laptop screen. Anyhow, I find that red and yellow tend to want to look blown out just a little in highlights on the laptop screen. With practice I have been able to learn to judge that what looks like a small blown out area on the laptop screen will not look that way on my Samsung screen. Some colors are just as bright on both screens while others are not exactly the same. Learning what is what will let you adjust a picture on the laptop and have a better feel for what it will end up looking like on the desktop screen. It's not a perfect science but for those of us who must (due to travels or other reasons) rely on a laptop, it's the best we can do.

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4/27/2010 1:25:46 PM

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