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We’ve lots of articles on this site covering black and white digital photography and other monochrome issues.
If you are just starting out with digital black and white, then this particular article may be of interest. It’s a 2020 version of the original I wrote in 2004.
This page is the reference point for all our digital black and white photography related articles and reviews.
It covers all aspects from taking photos for black and white use, processing and editing them (converting colour to b&w) and producing black and white prints.
Articles listed here are those with significant sections dealing with aspects of black and white photography. There are also some of my older Black and White Photos in the Gallery
Why Black and White
Black and white photography still inspires me.
I’m reminded of this quote from someone who’s original work, and ability to explore new techniques I admire:
“I eagerly await new concepts and processes. I believe that the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them.”
– Ansel Adams
forward to his book “the Negative”, published January, 1980
Black and White Photography
The image to the right is a special black and white printer test image.
Keith Cooper has created it to test the quality of black and white printing.
This is the current version of our standard black and white printer test image, first published in 2005.
The test image incorporates a number of features designed to make it useful in testing and then improving monochrome print output.
Many features are also directly copied from the old version so as to maintain compatibility with existing test prints.
It’s quite a harsh test, but covers most areas where printers have difficulties, such as shadow detail, colour casts, and linearity.
All the various parts are explained and an A4 300ppi sized version is freely available for download. There are versions with a 51 and 21 step greyscale ramp available for creating QTR ‘correction’ profiles. There are also numerous articles that include its use.
Black and White photography articles on this site
The articles and reviews are grouped into different categories. You can look through all the articles via the categories selection at there right, or use the search box.
- Video: Are third party inks worth it?Keith Cooper looks at ink choices for inkjet printers and asks if third party or 'compatible' inks are really worth trying, or are they a false economy if print quality and consistency matters? (7m 30s)
- Video: Starting to print your own photosKeith Cooper looks at starting to print your own photos your new inkjet photo printer. How to make some initial paper choices and what image types are good to start with (16m 10s)
- Video: Your first prints with a new printerKeith Cooper looks at what should be your first images to have a go at printing after setting up your new inkjet photo printer. Includes links to test images (9m 20s)
- Video: Choosing between the PRO-200 and PRO-300Keith Cooper looks at the differences between the similar looking Canon PRO-200 and PRO-300 inkjet photo printers. Which works best for particular photographic needs(13m 15s)
- Video: Dye or pigment ink printer choicesKeith Cooper looks at the differences between dye based and pigment based inks for inkjet photo printers. What works best? Is one type a better fit for some photographers (12m 40s)
- Black and White, the digital wayAn introduction to black and white photography in the digital age. An extended version of an article Keith Cooper wrote for Canon.
- A Digital only trip to ColoradoA look at some of the changes when moving from film photography to digital photography after a trip to Colorado by Keith Cooper. The same, but different and better...
- Better Digital Black and White printing on your Inkjet printerSimple technique to make linearising curves for black and white photo prints. Measuring test prints with flatbed scanner provide data for curve construction
- A 35mm black and white landscape photographer goes digitalLooking at what changed and what didn't when a film based landscape photographer decided to make the switch to an all digital workflow.
There are over 1100 free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it.
We appreciate any purchases you make through our partners such as B&H which help us sustain the site.
There are over 1100 free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it. We appreciate any purchases you make through our partners such as B&H which help us sustain the site.
- Epson SureColor P600 printer reviewDetailed Epson SureColor P600 review. The SC-P600 is an A3 plus (13" width) pigment ink printer tested with different papers for colour and black & white. It supports borderless printing, roll paper and CD/DVD printing
- Epson V850 film scanner reviewReview of the Epson Perfection V850 flatbed scanner. 6400dpi scanning for transparencies, 4800 dpi for photographs. Film and slide holders included
- Canon Pixma PRO-100 printer reviewDetailed review of the Canon Pixma PRO-100 printer. A 13" width (A3+ paper size) dye ink based printer for colour and black and white.
- Museo Silver Rag reviewLooking at Museo Silver Rag 300gsm semi-gloss cotton rag paper, tested on a Canon iPF8300. Paper supplied under the Canon Oce brand.
- Museo Max 250 cotton rag paperTesting Museo Max 250, a cotton OBA free smoothish ('velina') matt art paper on the Canon iPF8300. Includes print set-up details
- Review of Tonality Pro Review of Tonality Pro Software from Macphun to create black and white images from colour photographs. Plugin Version 1. Apple Mac software
- Review of Intensify ProReview of the MacPhun image editing plugin, Intensify Pro. Also available as standalone app. Edit with layers in Lightroom, tested with Photoshop.
- Review of DxO FilmPack V4.5DxO FilmPack Version 4.5 review. Accurate simulation of the look (grain colour and tonality) of a wide collection of film makes and types
- Black and white printing with the PRO-200Printing black and white on the Canon PRO-200 A3+ dye based ink printer. Addressing the problem of colour tints under different lighting. Different types of paper and optimising the reproduction of your photos.
- Epson SC-P900 printer reviewDetailed review of the Epson SC-P900 17" (A2) pigment ink printer with sheet feed and optional powered roll paper holder. It has 10 inks and no matte/photo black ink switching
- Video: The black and white printer test imageKeith Cooper looks at the basics of using his specialist black and white printer test image to evaluate black and white printing (6mins)
- Black and White printing with the P700/P900Black and white printing on the Epson SC-P700 A3+ pigment ink printer. Different types of paper and optimising the reproduction of your monochrome photos
- Epson SC-P700 printer reviewDetailed review of the Epson SC-P700 13" (A3+) pigment ink printer with sheet feed and roll paper holder. 10 inks and no matte/photo black ink switching
- Video: B&W printing on the Canon PRO-300Black and white photo printing on the Canon PRO-300 A3+ (13") printer by Keith Cooper. Why the B&W print mode is the best approach (8 mins)
- Custom media for the PRO-300Creating custom media settings for the Canon PRO-300 printer with the MCT software. Using the free Media Configuration Tool software for the PRO300 A3+ (13")printer
- Canon PRO-300 printer reviewDetailed Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 printer review. Keith tests the PRO-300 pigment ink printer with a range of glossy and fine-art media, including panoramic prints up to 990mm (~39") long
- Epson SureColor SC-P5000 STD Printer announcedLatest information about the new SureColor P5000 17" large format printer from Epson. The replacement for the SP4900 A2 sized desktop printer.
- Keith Cooper’s talks about printmakingKeith Cooper talks about making large prints at The Photography Show 2017 - Getting great looking big prints from your work. From camera to print, the complete workflow
- New Canon papers announcedCanon USA announce three new Premium Fine Art papers — Premium Fine Art Smooth, Premium Fine Art Bright White and Premium Polished Rag. Designed to produce, rich-color reproduction, and detailed expression of gradation. Keith has a roll of the Fine Art Smooth for an upcoming paper review
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More print related information
For information about other printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main Articles and Reviews page, or use the search box at the top of any page. There are also specific index pages for any articles connected with the following topics:
- Digital Black and White
- Tutorials and 'How to' articles
- Colour Management
- Printer test images
- Why do your prints look wrong?
More of Keith's articles/reviews (Google's picks to match this page)
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