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Hey, this is a post that has to do with my previous "Cinema Display" one. I think my photos look a bit washout and even with saturation on LR4 i cant get deeply saturated but realistic colors. I use to think it was my camera but have just been shooting with my good friend Connor Stefanison in the rockies the last week and was able to use his camera, and while i looked my photos on my pc the colors where still really dull but his looked awesome on his Mac. So i tought it was my pc, and wanted a Cinema Display but turns out i cant use one with my current laptop and i really dont want to buy a new as this one is less than 2 month old. So what should i do? all the best, A
The problem is not your camera. It's probably also not your monitor, in the sense of the monitor being defective, although this is a very remote possibility. It's also not your PC, because Windows has almost nothing to do with how images look. Unlike the Mac OS, Windows does not take an active role in transforming image color or tonality; instead, it just takes image data from an imaging application and dumps the data straight to the video card & monitor.
So almost certainly the problem relates to the whole ball of wax called color management. The root of this is calibrating your monitor, which involves setting it into a known state with respect to some common color & tonality reproduction standards, and producing a profile that applications like Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. can use to render images within calibrated standard. Color management also often involves a bunch of other choices, mostly involved with correctly configuring whatever software you use. But if you're using LR exclusively then you're in luck because it takes away most of these factors and just does the right thing by default once the monitor is calibrated.
Now, even though I said above that the problem is not your monitor in the sense of it being defective, you should be aware that not all monitors reproduce color & tonality the same way. In particular, most laptops have built-in LCD displays that are among the worst you could possibly want for doing color critical work. I'll make a slightly dangerous generalization and say that almost any external monitor will be better than almost any laptop's built-in monitor. Laptop monitors are designed for priorities like weight, power consumption and cheap cost... not for high quality image rendering.
Royce Howland Editorial Staff, NatureScapes.Net Visit my web site for photo galleries, my blog and 2013 photo tours & workshops in Iceland & the Canadian Rockies!
As stated, monitor calibration is imperative, even on the worst displays (most laptops under $2000 have awful displays) you can make significant iprovements with good calibration. The only thing I would add to what Royce and others wrote is to make sure that your Camera Raw Defaults in Lightroom are set properly once your monitor is properly calibrated. Fortunately Adobe has made things easier in this regard in LR4 and ACR7 so that a zero setting for all of the sliders in the Develop module is almost always a good place for the default starting point before you make any changes. Here is a link that tells you how to change the defaults and save them: http://photofocus.com/2010/02/08/customizing-your-camera-raw-defaults-in-lightroom/
Note that for the default position, I would leave Color Temperature and Hue in the "As Shot" mode and zero out all of the other sliders, then save that as your default. This then becomes your starting point for adjustments for every image. You have to set these for every camera you own once.