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Printing Black and White/Monochrome... Do you and how do you go about it.
When I first started working with B&W in digital, I'd not really thought about the difficulties of printing, but I still like to have that final beautiful print of some of my favourite pictures.
Colour management seems to be more of a problem than with colour, although the range of papers available now is improving all the time. Whether it's getting pure B&W or the right tone it's not easy.
How do you manage your printing of B&W images?
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Short answer....badly. I reckon half my problem is not being able to afford a printer that will print true black and white. That's my excuse anyway. There is no way I can get pure B&W and I suppose a cop-out would be to tone the image slightly. However Brett, if you or anyone else have some brilliant ideas I'm listening
I use an Epson A3 printer (Photo R1900) and for B&W I generally use Epson Archival Matte paper as this gives a textured print not unlike those I used to produce in a darkroom many moons ago. I sometimes use Semi-Gloss but never full glossy papers. I calibrate my monitor regularly and as with my colour prints I do not get too many issues with reproduction - when I'm next at home I'll try to remember to post the printer settings I use if that would be of use to anyone.
Printing, especially at A3+ is a great way of seeing how good your technique is!
Quote: a cop-out would be to tone the image slightly
I have used a warming tone quite often, but if the whole process is not right it can still come out a slightly odd colour.
Quote: Printing, especially at A3+ is a great way of seeing how good your technique is!
I've only got an A4, but was considering an A3 with grey cartridges for pure B&W.
Quote: Printing Black and White/Monochrome... Do you and how do you go about it
Yes, it is simple if you have a correct colour management set up for all of your printing then print to a printer that has dedicated B&W capability, such as the HP B9180.
My B&W prints are reproduced perfectly as are my colour ones.
If you have a correct colour management, calibrated monitor, good quality profiled printer, paper and inks then there should be no reason why B&W is any different from colour printing.
Whether it's getting pure B&W or the right tone it's not easy.
You seem to be resigned to defeat but I don't think you need to be.
Quote: You seem to be resigned to defeat but I don't think you need to be.
I didn't mean to give that impression - as I have got prints I am happy with, but I wouldn't say it was 100% reliable, but I am determined to do it. Maybe one issue is:
Quote: a printer that has dedicated B&W capability
which mine doesn't (Canon i965).
I calibrate the monitor and use dedicated printer profiles. I have done best with Perma Jet and the profiles they do based on your own printer (free).
I have noticed though, that with B&W particularly the appearance does vary considerably under different lights (or at leat the differences are more obvious), and that the prints do need time to 'settle'.
I'm in a similar position. I have a Canon ip4600 which is fine for a4 colour. Again, calibrated monitor and printer profiles for the paper I use, Canon Photo Paper Pro II. It's possible the paper doesn't help, being glossy, but I get a sort of coppery sheen to it. Not unpleasant, but not black!
The other option is to get them printed for you.
Black & White Photography magazine did a review of The Printspace. A reliable print is not going to work out significantly more expensive than printing your own - taking into account the cost of the printer, ink, paper - and even if you don't include time there's the cost of any mistakes you make, and when setting up for a new paper and profile they can be expensive too.
There is something though, about wanting to have control of the whole process. I think if I went for getting them done for me I would probably print far less.
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