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Digital Black and White

Our specialist black and white digital photography page


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:

Black & White digital photography – an Introduction

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

specialist monochrome test image for print

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.

Articles

  • Printing low megapixel images at large size test printsPrinting low megapixel images at large size, looking at resizing and image editing techniques that let you make larger prints than you thought possible. Getting good prints at A2 and 17" x 25" sizes
  • Better photography by printing your work BW print of treeBetter Photography from prints. Printing your photos is a useful skill to work on. 5 steps towards getting great prints that will help you improve all of your photography
  • Keith Cooper’s City Light Luminar presets city-light SeattleKeith's 'City Light' presets for MacPhun's Luminar photo editing software. 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.
  • Moving back to film photography OM-2n Zuiko 50mm f/1.2Returning to film? Rediscovering old film equipment offers a simpler more direct world of photography. Is it time for Keith to buy some camera batteries and rolls of film?
  • The art of the big photographic landscape print keith and P7000 borderless printWhat 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 target setup i1iOThe 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 seattle black and whiteKeith'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.

There are around a thousand free articles and reviews on the site - thanks to everyone who helps support it.

If you buy anything whatsoever from Amazon (not just what's listed) via one of our links below, it helps myself and Karen keep the site going. We really do appreciate this - Keith 
Link for: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Reviews

  • Review – Aurora HDR architecture balancedMacphun Aurora HDR. Software plugin and standalone app for building high dynamic range (HDR) images from one or more photos
  • Epson SureColor SC-P800 printer review Epson sc-p800 frontDetailed review of the Epson SureColor P800 printer. A2 sheet paper (17" width) and roll paper support. Tested with a variety of paper types, colour and B&W
  • Review update – Tonality Pro v1.2 tonality-proReview update - Tonality Pro 1.2 Improved functionality and performance for MacPhun's specialist image editing plugin and app for B&W photography
  • Epson SureColor P600 printer review epson sc-p600Detailed 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 review Review 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 review Canon pixma pro-100Detailed 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 review clock tower printed on Silver RagLooking at Museo Silver Rag 300gsm semi-gloss cotton rag paper, tested on a Canon iPF8300. Paper supplied under the Canon Oce brand.

Printing

  • Printing low megapixel images at large size test printsPrinting low megapixel images at large size, looking at resizing and image editing techniques that let you make larger prints than you thought possible. Getting good prints at A2 and 17" x 25" sizes
  • Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 paper review Fotospeed Baryta 300Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 paper review. Smooth unglazed gloss surface 300gsm natural white paper. Making large exhibition quality prints
  • Better photography by printing your work BW print of treeBetter Photography from prints. Printing your photos is a useful skill to work on. 5 steps towards getting great prints that will help you improve all of your photography
  • Fotospeed Metallic Lustre paper review paper testing metallic lustreFotospeed Metallic Lustre 275 gsm paper review. A microporous coated paper with a metallic lustre surface finish, for dye and pigment inks. A4 sheet to 44" roll sizes available
  • Canon imagePROGRAF TX-3000 review Canon TX-3000Testing the Canon TX-3000 36" width printer. Keith Cooper reviews the Canon TX wide format printer and plotter for photo and graphics printing. Also covers the 24" TX-2000 printer and 44" TX-4000
  • Fotospeed Matt art papers review Fotospeed cotton art papersFotospeed Platinum Cotton 305 and Cotton Etching 305 matt art papers review. Cotton acid free fine art paper. Natural white smooth and Etching finish bright white
  • i1Studio calibration and profiling review i1studio and colorchecker cardX-Rite i1Studio calibration and profiling review. Calibrate monitors and projectors. Profile reflection and transmission scanners, and profile papers for colour and black and white printing.

News

  • Keith Cooper’s talks about printmaking The Photography Show 2017Keith 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 logoCanon 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:

More of Keith's articles/reviews (Google's picks to match this page)


Buying anything from Amazon (not just what's listed) via any of the links below helps Keith and Karen keep the site going - thanks if you do! [Amazon UK]