For my submission for the student art show, I decided to print this black and white photo of Peterson Lake. After a few phone calls, I finally found a place that would print my photo in the wide 16x9 format. However, when I picked up my print, I was slightly appalled at how dark it had printed.
I brought the photo home and compared it to the on screen representation on my macbook. I estimated that the printed photo was 1.5 stops darker than the on screen representation. After some research I have learned that screen calibration is probably the source of my problem. Unfortunately, external hardware is required to accurately calibrate your monitor. However, I suppose that if photography is something I will continue with any sense of seriousness, It may be worth my while. This link describes the steps necessary in using screen calibrating software and hardware.
The calibration package runs used in the description above runs about $180 according to DTGweb.com. This could possibly be a future investment.