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.
- Black and white from Colour Large collection of methods and techniques for converting colour images to black and white. Photoshop techniques and references to specialist plugins
- Is your printer OK for black and white photography? Choosing a good printer for black and white photography is nowhere as easy as it is for colour. Keith looks over some of the options, including getting better black and white out of your existing printer.
- Using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for dull colour images Contrast boosting by using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for dull colour images. Using software designed for producing black and white images to adjust image luminosity
- What paper should I use? With a massive range of different papers available, how should you go about seeing which papers work best for your photos. Some of the choices you can consider when looking at paper types and brands for printing your photographs
- 3×3 quick tips for improving your black and white photography A collection of quick tips that can help improve the quality of your black and white photography. Simple steps to better monochrome pictures
- Sea of steps A chance to see how a modern ultra wide shift lens performs on a familiar view of Wells Cathedral. Sea of steps - photography inspired by the work of FH Evans in 1903
- A personal health warning about paper reviews Why you should be wary of paper reviews. Reviews for specialist inkjet photo printing papers may contain lots of measurement data, but paper choice is about so much more than that. There are so many other aspects of your photographic workflow that need looking at too.
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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.
- 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
- 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
- DxO Nik Collection 2- review info. Nik Collection 2 image editing plugins - Updated Nik plugin collection from DxO with improved compatibility for modern apps. Links to Keith's detailed reviews and discussion of new functionality
- 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
- 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.
- Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 paper review Fotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 paper review. Smooth unglazed gloss surface 300gsm natural white paper. Making large exhibition quality prints
- Printing Black and White digital photography Printing Black and White digital photography, is the second part of an interview with Keith Cooper about all aspects of digital monochrome photography
- Epson Stylus Pro 3800 review Review of the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 printer. Desktop printer is 17 inch print width and takes A2 sheets, photo and fine art papers.
- 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
- QTR and PrintFIX PRO to get better black and white prints Using the PrintFIX Pro colorimeter with QTR to make greyscale ICC profiles to improve linearity for black and white printing.
- Why don’t my prints match my screen? Why your prints often don't match your screen very well. Some explanations, solutions and ways of dealing with the problem
- A Black and White test image Special test image designed for black and white print checking. Includes explanation of use for all features of the downloadable image.
- 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
- 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)