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How can I create my own digital darkroom?

What is a digital darkroom? Digital cameras have allowed photographers to move from a traditional photographic darkroom, but they still need to have an environment that is conducive to editing and color correction. A digital darkroom requires consistent, controlled light to help precieve color correctly. The room's light should be lower the monitor's brightness, and should be day-light balanced.

1. Cover or block windows. Use roller shades from hardware store to prevent light from leaking into the room. However, it's not critical that a digital darkroom is completely black like a film darkroom.

2. Use ambient daylight balanced lighting (D50 or 5,000º K) fluorescent or halogen is the best. Avoid tungsten lighting.

3. Walls and ceiling should be neutral (light grey or white). Remove distracting posters, or other things which take away your focus (ie. take down posters). Monitor's desktop pattern should be a simple grey without any design, again to prevent distraction.

4. Monitor placement is important. Avoid placing the monitor in front or behind a window; if possible place the monitor at right angles to the window.

5. Calibrate your monitor. Invest in a color calibration device. They range in price from $60 - $350. Calibrate your monitor at least monthly. Color temperature: D65 or 6,500K; gamma should be 1.8. Let your monitor warm up 45-60 minutes before beginning a calibration.

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