Monitor - Eye Adaptation

Louis Dina

I have a question about eye adaptation (not sure if that is the correct term). When editing an image in Photoshop, the longer I spend staring at the monitor, the more my eye adapts to what I am viewing, and the more normal it begins to appear. Sometimes, after 45 minutes working on an image, my wife will walk up and immediately say, "That's too green, contrasty, saturated, flat, or whatever." And, if I walk away from the computer for 5 minutes and come back, it becomes glaringly obvious to me too. The eye's ability to adapt to different lighting conditions is great for daily living, but it makes editing images difficult at times. I work visually and also use numbers (RGB, CMYK and Lab) as guides for white, neutrals, blacks, skin, sky, grass, etc, but still visual adaptation creeps in and messes me up. I know most people struggle with this issue to some extent. One thing I like about LightRoom is the ability to adjust images very quickly, so my visual system doesn't have as much time to "normalize" and play tricks on me. Unfortunately, LightRoom has many limitations, so most of my important images go to Photoshop. I know I can get up and walk away to 'recalibrate', but I prefer to stay put and just work on an image until it's done.

Does anyone have any suggestions, tips or solutions to help solve this human visual adaptation problem? Any links or articles that address it, and offer helpful suggestions? I'm curious what others do.


Lou Dina

Join to automatically receive all group messages.