I have Photoshop Elements 6.0 and wanted to calibrate my monitor using Adobe Gamma which I understand comes with Photoshop. When I search for Adobe Gamma, I can't find the application. Any suggestions on how to find this, does the program have to be re-installed?
Adobe gamma was never meant to be used for LCD monitors, only for the old fashioned CRT monitors (the ones that look like old-style televisions) and it won't work at all in Vista or Windows 7, so adobe has stopped including it. I can't remember offhand but it may be on the PSE 6 install disc as an extra (it was either PSE 5 or 6 where they included it but stopped installing it automatically), but in any case you would be better off checking to see if your video driver includes a calibration utility (most do) and using that instead, unless you are running XP or earlier on a CRT monitor.
Despite what you may hear or read it is impossible to calibrate and profile a screen by software means only. All these programs rely on you 'eye-balling' the screen to assess when its set correctly - which can be hit or miss. None of them produce a profile which is also needed.
If you are serious enough to want to ensure that your screen is accurately rendering images then you need to purchase a hardware colourimeter like a Huey, Eye-one or Spyder - there are others as well.
Please note though that these will only ensure that your screen is showing your images correctly. It will not guarantee that prints will match the screen because a whole new set of rules apply to printing. It's not too difficult once you understand the basics and find a formula that works for you.
It's true that these devices can cost a few pounds/dollars but I've seen too many cases where people have tried to eyeball the results and made matters worse, in the end becoming frustrated and wasting money on paper and ink.
Pays your money and/or takes your choice
Basically the hitch is that people need to be trained to recognize color variations. You know, this was the reason for the sequences of photos that appeared in the, "Kodak Color Darkroom Guide". They showed you directly from a reference print,the effects color shift. Also included in KDG, were sets of viewing filters so you could see which direction a print needed to go.
Learning these lessons is just as valuable in the digital age as it was in the old, "slop your photos around in tomorrow's hazardous waste days".
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