Not to brag, but our monitors are awesome! We have invested thousands in the highest quality computer monitors and calibration tools. Of course, we don't expect you to go to that length, but if you're wanting to see our photos as close to professional quality as possible, follow these simple calibration techniques.
1) Do the patches marked 0 and 10 in the grayscale appear to be the same? If they do then you need to calibrate your monitor's black point. Do the patches marked 95 and 100 appear to be the same? If they do then you need to calibrate your monitor's white point. You can calibrate black and white points without any special software by adjusting your brightness and contrast.
Also, if any color or tinting is visible, adjust your RGB settings as best you can so that they are as white/gray/black as possible. We'll address color further in step 3.
2) Stand ten feet from your monitor and examine the above figure. If the smooth patch is darker or lighter than the background then you need to calibrate monitor gamma.
Click Here for more information on how to do this manually, but if your monitor doesn't have a Gamma setting you may need special software such as QuickGamma. QuickGamma is free software based on Norman Koren's gamma and black level chart.
3) For color calibration, it may be wise to invest in a good colorimeter dongle so that your monitor is adjusted according to the lighting in your office. Incandescent, florescent, and sun light all create different effects on how your images will look to you. We love the DataColor Spyder series, but anything that can help your monitor adjust to your particular lighting settings should suffice. A neat trick that you can utilize in the meantime is to have a photograph professionally printed on a color calibrated printer, and then manually adjust your monitor's RGB settings while holding the image up to your screen. Be sure that your monitor is in the sRGB setting!
If you'd like to perform more in depth calibration, go through the steps on This Site for things you can do for free without a calibrator or software.