Friday, December 13, 2013

The Black & White Print

Making a great black-and-white print starts with a good subject and composition, spot-on exposure and skillful postprocessing, but it doesn't stop there.
By Wes Pitts Published in Printing
The Black & White Print


No matter what printer you're using, dig into its driver settings. At a minimum, you'll be able to select the general type of paper you're using and print quality (draft, normal, best quality, etc.). Choose the highest-quality setting and select a paper type that most closely matches the paper you're using.

More advanced drivers will give you the option of installing ICC profiles for your specific paper selection. These profiles are available for download from your paper maker's website and will help ensure that your printer's output is optimized for the characteristics of the specific paper you're using. If profiles are available for your paper selection, it's definitely worth the effort to install them.

The Basic driver settings for Epson's Stylus Pro 3880 includes the ability to easily adjust color toning for refined monochrome styles.

Switching the paper type on the Stylus Pro 3880 automatically switches the primary black ink to match the paper.

Driver software for premium inkjet printers will offer other customization options, as well. For example, Epson's Stylus Pro 3880 driver features an Advanced Black-and-White Photo Mode, which lets you select options like neutral, cool, warm or sepia toning, and offers an advanced mode for fine-tuning brightness, contrast, highlight and shadow tonality, and more. Although you may not need to make adjustments to these settings, it's good to know they're there if your output needs small tweaks to match your vision.


There's no "best" paper for printing in black-and-white. Your choice of paper might be influenced by a variety of factors: the subject of the photo, how and where the print will be displayed, and your personal preferences.
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