4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2012 1:30 AM by sunbeam127
AssociatesofDan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Long time listener, first time caller-


New apeture user here wondering if there is a proper, or exact, monitor brightness setting on my macbook pro I should be using when viewing and adjusting images?



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • 1. Re: Macbook Pro Brightness Setting
    Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (23,830 points)



    I don't believe you can state what the brightness level should be for all monitors in all lighting situations way to many variables.


    If you're not calibrating your monitor then I suggest setting it to what is comfortable given your lighting conditions. If you're doing very specific adjusting of images, say for printing I would recommend you try to do it under the same lighting conditions each time for consistency.


    good luck with Aperture



  • 2. Re: Macbook Pro Brightness Setting
    Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,945 points)

    Adding to Frank's reply:


    • The only way to get consistent color is to use a hardware calibrator.
    • Even with hardware calibration, the MBP screens are not good enough for exacting color work.
    • If you use a hardware calibrator, you must turn off "→System Preferences→Displays→Display→Automatically adjust brightness ... ".  I recommend Aperture users turn this off even without hardware calibration.
    • Also turn off "→System Preferences→Energy Saver→Battery→Slightly dim the display ... ".
    • If you want to match display and printer outputs, calibrate the monitor brightness to 100 cd/m^2 or less.  I use 85, as that gives me the best match with my printer (Epson 3880), my studio, and my eyes.
    • The environment in which you edit your images is probably as important as your monitor.  Things to be aware of are: overall luminance, glare, color of ambient light, intrusion of direct light, contrast between display and surround.
    • Aperture allows you to set the background luminance of the Browser and the Viewer.  Set them to 18% unless you have reason to do otherwise.  "Aperture→Preferences→Appearance→Viewer {Browser} Brightness".


    There are many sources on the Web -- search for "color calibration OS X" or "Color calibrated workflow" -- but no one place that I know of that spells it out. 


    The quick answer -- now that you've got this far  -- is set the brightness to something that appears gray rather than light.  This is probably close to the middle of the available range, and two or three steps lower than you might chose for comfortable viewing.  Implicit in that is that what is best for editing photos is often different from what is best for doing other work on a computer.

  • 3. Re: Macbook Pro Brightness Setting
    AssociatesofDan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, guys.

  • 4. Re: Macbook Pro Brightness Setting
    sunbeam127 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you so much for all your help Kirby.  I'm so glad I joined this Group!