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Display Brightness


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Hello Friends,

Next question, how do you handle display brightness when photo editing.  I edit at full brightness because that is how I like to look at my monitor.  Surely this is causing me to edit photos in a way that is causing them to look dark on other displays.

How do we set display brightness?  I am working on a Macbook Air.

I see different resources on the internet referencing gamma levels and cd/m2 numbers.  I don't know what this means and don't see how to tell what my computer display is showing relative to these numbers.

Any and all help on the topic greatly appreciated.

Big thanks to the community here for being so helpful and informative in response to my questions thus far.

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3 hours ago, CharlesG said:

I edit at full brightness because that is how I like to look at my monitor.  Surely this is causing me to edit photos in a way that is causing them to look dark on other displays.

If you are editing images solely for your own "enjoyment" do as you like

But if you are editing images for others to view then you need to calibrate your monitor so it shows what a "normally" calibrated monitor would show.

Not sure why you need "full brightness" when editing images but if that is a must for you then invest in two monitors (one calibrated) so you can easily switch your image between the 2 monitors, so you can check how others will be viewing your images

PS I don't have a Mac so can't advise how to calibrate them or if there is an easy way to switch a single monitor from "full brightness" to a standard/calibrated level (e.g. via a keystroke)

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There's a  bit of leeway. From a course I did there is a standard,

ISO 3664:2009 Graphic technology and photography - viewing conditions (P2) recommends calibrating monitors to a white point of CIE D65 and luminance between 80cd/m2 and 160cd/m2 in a neutral ambient environment less than 32 lux.

I think a lot of photo editors are between 100 and 120 cd/m2. But people viewing your images on the web will have random brightness.

If you don't have a calibrator you can use your camera's light meter.

First convert to EV here

https://www.translatorscafe.com/unit-converter/en-US/luminance/6-1/

so 120cd/m2 is 10 EV. From the table on this one

https://www.scantips.com/lights/evchart.html

we then get 10EV is 1/60 at f/4 and ISO 100 (looking at white eg blank Word page)

 

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15 hours ago, CharlesG said:

Next question, how do you handle display brightness when photo editing.  I edit at full brightness because that is how I like to look at my monitor.  Surely this is causing me to edit photos in a way that is causing them to look dark on other displays.

At full brightness you'll see more detail in the dark shadows than me viewing your finished work if I have my monitor at a dim setting. Settings will vary, no one is going to see your image under the same conditions you see it while editing.

Myself I use Full Brightness for editing because of the aforementioned 'detail in dark shadows'. I don't want to lose that detail. Also I don't care if most people won't see it because they have their monitor set on dim, I include the detail because I can and also because I should include it.

15 hours ago, CharlesG said:

How do we set display brightness?  I am working on a Macbook Air.

The two keys next to the esc key, top left corner of your keyboard. Unless you have one of those horrid 'Touch Strip' keyboards with no function keys. You'll have to check the Apple website for help there.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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18 hours ago, CharlesG said:

How do we set display brightness?

I don't have a MAcBook Air to test with but I think you can set it in the Display tab of System Preferences > Displays even if your keyboard does not have brightness function keys.

https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/change-your-displays-brightness-mchlp2704/mac

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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I understand the how to change the brightness of the display, I suppose what I am asking how to find the gamma rating or the luminance (cd/m2) numbers that are referenced in several blog posts on the topic.  RichardMH gives a range in a response above.

Does anyone know how to find out the cd/m2 in relation to the display brightness on a Mac?

Thanks again to all for responses.

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4 hours ago, CharlesG said:

Does anyone know how to find out the cd/m2 in relation to the display brightness on a Mac?

AFAIK you need a calibrator or a light meter. Can use your camera or download a phone app but will need to do some conversions (and I'm not convinced the apps are reliable).

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On 9/16/2022 at 4:26 AM, CharlesG said:

I edit at full brightness because that is how I like to look at my monitor.

You can do whatever you want on your screen, of course. Just don't expect the whole world to follow you around and ruin their eyes just to see a picture exactly the way you do.

So that you get an idea of the "quality" of your screen:

Panel test image / traffic light (Source)

This article has been written with the kind assistance of DeepL.

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At least if you want to give your work to a print shop, you should be aware that they can only print what they get from you. If they print images that look very well on your bright display, they will of course not look as well in print. They will look darker. Parts of your images will possibly sink in black. So you should better calibrate your Hardware as good as possible to get good results. Think of that printing is expensive and can't be reverted.

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15 hours ago, CharlesG said:

I am asking how to find the gamma rating or the luminance (cd/m2) numbers

Gamma and Luminance are two different and rather independent settings. For the brightness (luminance) it may help to understand how a "standard" range between the mentioned e.g. 80 – 120 cd/m2 got decided: One goal was to achieve a brightness of a white area on screen which corresponds with the brightness of a white sheet of paper viewed near the monitor. This also indicates that the ambient light matters for a "correct" monitor brightness and that this decision also had printed matters in mind: a corresponding brightness of screen + paper makes it a lot easier to set a possibly required adjustment in the layout (> their print data).

Simply spoken: While Gamma rather influences the contrast within an image the Luminance rather influences the entire image: increasing brightness does increase black + grays + white all together while increasing gamma rather shifts the grays (midtones). Since white and black can not exceed certain values (respectively visual impression) the risk of a too bright monitor is that light grays can get displayed as white already (and black as dark gray) and thus a user's image adjustment maybe done erroneously.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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14 hours ago, CharlesG said:

... I suppose what I am asking how to find the gamma rating or the luminance (cd/m2) numbers that are referenced in several blog posts on the topic. 

Why do you want to do that? As has been mentioned several times, you have no control over what settings someone viewing a web page will use, which may be very different than recommended 'reference' values.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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18 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Why do you want to do that? As has been mentioned several times, you have no control over what settings someone viewing a web page will use, which may be very different than recommended 'reference' values.

Especially if I have no control or knowledge what brightness is set by various viewers of a document I create in my settings it appears useful to use a 'standard' setting. Even a kind of possible average can be more useful than any brightness setting. And vice versa my setting also influences the appearance when viewing images created by others (as we notice occasionally in forum topics where some forum members did see a certain colour difference in an uploaded image while others did not).

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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10 hours ago, Palatino said:

So that you get an idea of the "quality" of your screen:

Panel test image / traffic light (Source)

Do you have an idea why the "basICColor_Gamutindikator.tif" for a gamut check http://colormanagement.org/de/monitortest.html shows the blue stripes to me in macOS Preview.app only while it does not in Affinity? To make the blue stripes occur in Affinity I need to assign any different profile (which all display the image brighter with reduced contrast and saturation).

Because I am not sure what you see in my screenshot below:
• Only the Preview ('Vorschau') app shows the blue 'hidden' stripes in the blue background behind the person (no difference to me in my screenshot).
• Preview displays white + grays in the file with an obvious yellowish tint while APhoto shows neutral white + grays.
• Both apps show the horizontal stripes correctly not as vertical RGB stripes but rather as grays only (while I see massive RGB stripes in my screenshot taken of the Retina screen.

2044492974_screenshotcomparegamuttif.thumb.jpg.0b229815855dc46fdd9e19e444de7895.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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