kernow astronomers
Adjusting Monitor Gamma for Optimum Image Viewing


Greyscale Adjustments

The key to seeing the maximum detail in astronomical images is to have your monitor adjusted so that it displays all the possible shades of gray in a balanced way.

The image above shows various shades of gray, ranging from pure black to pure white. There are small tick marks at the bottom, showing the point where each shade begins and ends.

Adjust your monitor's brightness and contrast controls until you can see every shade of gray between the black and white extremes.

Greyscale Adjustments

Here is a version of the same image against a black background. The image border is a neutral 50% gray. The smaller divisions represent 5% changes in black level, while the squares are 10% differences.

From left to right, the brightness values are:

0 - 5 - 10 - 15 - 20 - 30 - 40 - 50 - 60 - 70 - 80 - 85 - 90 - 95 - 100

Sample Image



Here is a test image that has a full range of grays in it, including lots of subtle details. It provides a good test for your adjustments. Compare how it looks before, and after, you have made brightness and contrast adjustments to your monitor.