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
In the Advanced Color Settings for the Epson Stylus Pro 3880, you can make even finer adjustments to the printer's output, including shadow and highlight rendering and overall brightness and contrast.

Matte and semigloss (luster, pearl, etc.) surfaces generally lend themselves well to black-and-white printing, echoing the restraint and subtlety of monochrome. If the print will be mounted in such a way that the texture of the paper will be evident, consider a cold-press paper that reveals that texture; a deckled edge is another nice touch if you won't be matting the image.

Another key consideration is whiteness. Some papers are very bright white and neutral-toned, while others have a slightly warm or cool cast. This affects the tonality of your final print, and especially influences the highlights and lighter grays.

We recommend trying a variety of papers to discover which work best for your favorite subjects and for your printer and ink combination. It's good to have a few types on hand—glossy, matte, warm, neutral—so you can choose the best fit for your subject and intended use.

Moab by Legion
Red River
Canon's premium Photo Paper Pro Platinum is a high-gloss paper that promises excellent print longevity with ChromaLife 100+ inks. For a semigloss surface, try Canon's Photo Paper Pro Luster. Both papers are excellent choices for use with Canon's PIXMA Pro printers.

Epson's Signature Worthy line of inkjet papers is a natural choice for Epson printers, and is available in a variety of textures and surfaces, including smooth Hot Press Bright and the more textured matte surface of Cold Press Bright.

Epson's Exhibition Fiber Paper is another popular choice among pros for black-and-white printing. A 14-sheet sample pack lets you try each of the Signature Worthy line (two sheets per type).

For photos that you'll mount without matting, you can get the look of a handmade artist's paper with Photo Rag Deckle Edge from Hahnemühle. Also from Hahnemühle is Harman Gloss Baryta, a popular paper choice among black-and-white printers for many years, with a very smooth, high-gloss surface.

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