Well, actually, a 12 x 18 print is 3.00 US which is cheaper than an inkjet. The progblem may be that the printer itself may not always be consistent. I will look at the coloreyes. thanks.
The [a href=\"http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm]Drycreek.com[/url] site has a review of calibration tools and rates the coloreyes highly. I was dismayed to see that my current tool (the original Spider with Optical) was rated the lowest. Some of your monitor/print matching problems could arise from a bad measurement of the black point of the monitor. In his color management book, Bruce Fraser noted that setting the black point can be problematic. With my current tool and LCD monitor, I can't change the black point but merely take a reading of it for incorporation into the profile. If I take several readings, they do not reproduce well. With CRTs that can adjust the black point, some packages allow a manual setting according to the appearance of an image that is mostly black but with a watermark slightly above black.
Once you get the monitor to match the print, you might find it helpful to remap the quarter tones to get improved shadow detail. The default TRC of most raw converters use an S curve for better mid-tone contrast, at the expense of shadow and highlight contrast.
Although a 12 bit raw file is not HDR, some photographers are converting the image to 32 bit floating point in Photoshop and use the HDR tone mapping tools to map the tones. With the HDR tools, one can use local operators which take into account the pixel's location in the image in order to determine the appropriate scaling for this pixel. So, a pixel of a given intensity will be mapped to a different value depending on whether it is located in a dark or bright area (reference
Sarah Thompson, a rocket scientist with considerable expertise in digital imaging, has developed a Photoshop plugin that uses a convolution kernel for synthetic HDR
. That might be useful for your image. I downloaded your raw file to see how the plugin would work with it, but the rar appeared to be password encrypted.