Traditional artist might use a palette to mix their colours while the digital artist will turn to their monitor to achieve the same effect. However, it would be unthinkable for the former to do so while wearing coloured sunglasses – yet unless your monitor is correctly calibrated this is exactly the kind of effect that digital artists risk when they do this.
Over time, CRT monitor colours fade and LCD screens have a tendency to shift while you remain blissfully unaware unless, of course, you regularly calibrate your monitor. Photoshop provides the Adobe Gamma tool and dedicated applications such as ColorJinn Calibrize (see page 105) exist but these are software methods that can only respond to your fallible interpretation of colour. Hardware calibration is much more reliable then this but such tools have traditionally been expensive and pretty difficult to use, but all is set to change thanks to the Pantone huey, a tiny USB device that takes all the guesswork out of calibration.
The software then presents a sequence of colours for the calibrator to read and, after a few minutes, your revised profile is automatically created with a before and after comparison available. Once complete you can then leave the huey sitting on your desktop constantly monitoring ambient lighting and making real-time changes to your display reflecting the differences in colour temperature experienced throughout the day.
More expensive calibrators may be more reliable but for price, ease of use and peace of mind, the huey is in a class of its own.