Monitor Calibration - Which White Point is Correct?

Q: From the dropdown I chose 6500 for the target White Point. I did this because of moderate, outside ambient light, though in the evening I either have more darkness or incandescent light. Is that setting correct?

A: For most people, 6500 Kelvin is appropriate. It is fairly representative of daylight and is a standard used in photography, television and video. While you could recalibrate to a different white point in the evenings, it would likely be more distracting that using the same setting all the time. Attempting to simulate incandescent light on your monitor would result in an extremely yellow-orange display.

 

Q: When I profile using 6500K vs. monitor native, the 6500K is very blue in comparison to the native profile. Print outs are much more yellow than screen.

A: 6500 Kelvin (a.k.a.D65) is commonly used as a standard illuminant / white point for photography in the US. The graphic arts industry uses 5000 Kelvin (or D50), but the CRT or LCD will appear more yellow when compared to 6500K. What works best also strongly depends on the ambient lighting.  If you are doing a lot of image evaluation, try to match the white point of your display to that of your room lighting to help minimize the discrepancy when switching back and forth. In general, your eye should adapt to the white point of the display fairly quickly, and your impression of "blueness" may be a color memory issue that will diminish with time.

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