See the post on Gamma on my painting blog for more information and a disclaimer.
Have you ever looked at your blog or website on a computer other than your own? You might be in for quite a surprise. It's probably NOT going to look the same on another computer as it does on the one you have at home (or office). Especially try and get a look on the platform you don't have-- such as view your blog on a Mac if you own a PC, or on a laptop or flat screen if you're using a CRT old style monitor. Because we edit mostly on one given computer, that is the one that is 'True' to our eyes. But it's a partial truth, at best.
"The gamma value of a computer monitor affects how light or dark an image looks in a web browser. Because Windows systems use a gamma of 2.2, images look darker on Windows than on Mac OS systems, which are normally set to a gamma of 1.8."
- So if you're viewing other peoples blogs and websites from a Mac, it might seem that a lot of other people's images are washed out looking.
- Conversely, if viewing from a PC, there might be some other's images that are so dark you can barely make them out.
Well, we can't do anything for most of these images, but we can be aware of the impact of our own images. Luckily there's a pretty simple way to make this adjustment. First, a visual example of what we're talking about:
Gamma 1.8 example (as might be created on a Mac, but as seen on a PC)
The same image, but as a Gamma 2.2 example (as might be created on a PC, but as viewed on a Mac)
You might be thinking, why should I care? And maybe you don't need to. I do think most of want our images show up as true to life as possible; however given the millions of monitor variations (and the fact that almost no one calibrates their monitors the suggested once a month), I'd only be concerned if I was consistently getting messages from others that my images were showing up too dark or too light. Mac users won't like this one bit, but because of the predominance of PC's, Mac users might be the ones to find this information most helpful.
To adjust your gamma settings, you'll need to open your image in Image Ready (this comes bundled with Photoshop); one way, if you were making edits in Photoshop, is to click on your 'File/Save for web' option; the dialog box that opens witll have an option at the lower right corner: "Edit in Image Ready".From there, choose Image/Adjustments/Gamma as shown below.
The gamma dialog box will pop up and offer 2 basic buttons: click the one appropriate to your situation (example: choose Windows to Mac if you to email a photo to a client who has a Mac, but you have a PC). The image will automatically adjuct; then you just need to save it.