Calibrating your Display
When you view pictures on some screen from the internet or elsewhere it is as well important as for editing pictures, that your display is sort of calibrated.
Doing so you ensure that the image is displayed on your screen in the same manner as it was seen by the autor/photographer/editor and vice-versa.
This article describes some basic but easy calibration method to make sure that brightness and contrast are at its best.
Have a look at the grey wedge above. Every shade of grey, although here are just 16 of them, should be clearly distinguished from its siblings to the right and left. Especially the differences between 01 and 02 or 15 and 16 may be difficult to see.
There is a large collection of several test screens available on langom.nl, that are quite useful for your manual calibration.
However, with the following two graphics you can rather fine tune your display. Here we are looking exactly at what is between the fields 15 and 16 or 01 and 02 respectively.
Ideally you can see six times "Hermann" in both graphics.
If you don't see all of the Hermanns then adjust the brightness and contrast settings of your diplay. First adjust the brightness to a level that you can almost see 6 (or as many as possible) Hermanns in the black graphic. Then adjust the contrast so that you can clearly determine all six Hermanns in the white graphic. Now check the black Hermanns again. You may want to fine-tune brightness and contrast a bit.
Depending on the capabilities of your display and the light in your environment (you see them better when it is dark around you) you may not be able to see all of them at once. If so then just go for the best setting possible.