We’ve lots of articles on this site covering black and white digital photography and other monochrome issues. There are also many Black and White Photos in the Gallery
If you are just starting out with digital black and white, then this particular article may be of interest:
This page is a reference point for all our digital black and white photography related articles and reviews.
It covers all aspects from taking photos for b&w 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.
Why Black and White
There is a resurgence in interest in black and white photography.
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 latest (2014) version of our standard black and white printer test image, first published in 2005
The new test image incorprates a number of features designed to make it more 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 exisiting 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.
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.
- The art of the big photographic landscape print What makes for a great looking large 'fine art' print? What differences do you need to consider when deciding to make larger prints (A2 and above). Larger prints are that work are far more than just more megapixels, sharper lenses and big printers.
- X-Rite i1iO and a B&W test image The X-Rite i1iO table and i1Pro2 spectrophotometer are used with a modified version of Keith's black and white test print (8 & 16 bit versions downloadable). Quick and easy check for monochrome print linearity includes chart averaging.
- Keith Cooper’s City Light Tonality Presets Keith's 'City Light' presets for the MacPhun Tonality Pro plugin. Developed for architectural images when converting from colour to B&W. Before and after examples, and how they differ from 'straight' B&W conversions. Also using them as a luminance adjustment for colour images.
- Multiple Scans of Black and White film compared After reviewing the Epson Perfection V850 film scanner, Keith Cooper looks at the same piece of film scanned in several different scanners, including drum scanning
- Print setup for a new fine art paper Setup and profiling an unknown new paper for colour and Black & White printing. Looking at the whole process including media settings and types, and creating icc printer profiles.
- Test image for black and white printing Test image for testing performance and quality of black and white (monochrome) printing. Article explains functionality of parts of the image
- Using Silver Efex Pro for colour prints Using software to create monochrome images that are blended with colour images using luminosity blending to give more punch to dull photos
There are around a thousand 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 around a thousand 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.
- Power Retouch Black White Studio 1.3 pro review Power Retouch Black White Studio 1.3 pro photoshop plugin for converting colour images to black and white using film simulations and filtering
- Paper review Permajet Fibre Base Gloss Testing Permajet Fibre Base Gloss, a 'Darkroom feel' gloss or semi-gloss lightly textured paper. Tested on an Epson SP2400
- Software review Convert to BW Pro 3 Review of the Convert to B/W Pro V3 plugin from 'Theimagingfactory' for converting colour images to black and white.
- MonoChromePro pigment inks for black and white printing Review of the MonoChromePro pigment ink set for black and white printing. Includes custom profile curve creation procedures for using QuadToneRIP (QTR). Making use of black and diluted black (grey) ink sets for monochrome photo printing
- X-Rite i1Photo Pro 3 plus review Review of the X-Rite i1Photo Pro 3 Plus monitor, scanner and printer profiling package using the i1Pro 3 Plus spectrophotometer. Backlit printed materials can now be profiled, and the spectrophotometer has an M3 option for polarised measurements
- Printer Test Images Collection of printer test images - colour and monochrome (black and white). Test photos for printer and monitor checking.
- Panoramic printing review using Fotospeed paper Wide prints and panoramic photo composition. Review of Fotospeed panoramic paper (210mm x 594mm) for wide prints colour and black and white. Some thoughts about making wide prints work.
- SpyderX Studio review Review of the Spyder X Studio kit from Datacolor. Includes the Spyder X Elite monitor calibrator, SpyderCube white balance and exposure tool and SpyderPrint printer profiling kit for creating ICC printer profiles
- Fotospeed Fotospeed Smooth Cotton 300 paper review Fotospeed Smooth cotton 300 paper review. Smooth matte surface surface, Cotton based 300gsm white paper. Takes a good ink load and for a matte paper gives solid colour and B&W tonality
- Keith Cooper’s paper reviews Keith's photo paper reviews - collected data from all the papers for printing photos that we've tested over the years. Helpful if you can't get them where you live. Matt, satin, lustre and glossy
- Fotospeed Legacy Gloss 325 paper review Fotospeed Legacy Gloss 325 paper review. Smooth unglazed gloss surface, Cotton based 325gsm natural warm white paper. OBA free. Making large exhibition quality prints.
- Epson SureColor SC-P5000 STD Printer announced Latest 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 printmaking Keith 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 announced Canon 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
Useful B&W resources
Useful Black and White related resources
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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)