I know, I know, when you start talking about color management and/or monitor calibration peoples eyes glaze over and they start looking for the nearest exit (or the closest ledge from which to jump).
But it is such an important part of photography workflow that if you ignore it, it will surely come back to bite you in the butt.
So... if you would be happy with Stevie Wonder editing your images you can stop right here, otherwise please read on.
Here are a couple educational/informational resources to check out:
1. Last night Earle Christie did a great presentation/Q&A at the Maine Photographer Coalition and an online article he wrote on the subject "Predictable Color"is a must read.
2. If you want to delve even deeper into the subject then head over to Digital Dog and you'll feed your need to knowledge.
3. Monitor calibration (back to Stevie) - if you are editing your images on an un-calibrated monitor it's like putting on rose colored glasses before you start editing your images, which makes it a huge exercise in futility, because I don't know anybody who can make precise (and accurate) color corrections and adjustments when they're not even looking at the real colors!
There are a handful of really good tools out there to help you calibrate your monitor and after looking at the different options I settled on what I think is the best and easiest calibration tools available, the Spyder3Elite from DataColor.
I could ramble on about why I like this product more than any other, but you can take a quick tour of it here and see how it would fit into your workflow.
If you think I am overstating the importance of monitor calibration then don't take my word for it, take the word of someone many believe to be one of the finest photographers of our day, Vincent Versace.
Below is an audio excerpt from an interview he did with PopPhoto.com, and is his response to the question about the importance of calibrating your monitor (it's only 4 minutes long and worth every second of listening):
Vincent Versace on monitor calibration