I've been asked to provide 30 pieces for a show. This is all very new and exciting to me, but the printing angle is making my head hurt. I've decided on Bay Photo's print on aluminum product. In preparation I took advantage of Bay Photo's evaluation print offering and found all my prints were really quite dark -- color was fine, just unexpectedly dark. I had previously ordered an aluminum print that also was returned darker than expected, but I wrote it off due to my having chosen the "sheer" finish that allows the aluminum texture to present in highlights, normally covered by a white base, figuring that would have the effect of darkening the print. That photo had no external processing and was straight out of camera. Today I am not running a calibrated screen, but rather a late 2012 27'' iMac with I'd guess about a 20% screen brightness setting. It seems to me I should be in the ballpark at least. So, a couple of questions: I've noticed that Lightroom has export workflow option that allow for things like sharpening for print surfaces, and the Print module in Lightroom has an output brightness control -- is usage of these features typical, and what settings do you folks who use these features tend towards? Given my system and experience described above, how critical is screen calibration? Is it just to be expected that print output will be darker than screen, and thus compensation is often called for?