...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not subscribe to Keith's YouTube Channel
...Keith's book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.
Our site contains affiliate links - these help support the site. See our Advertising policies for more
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.
- Better black and white profiling with the ColorMunkiUsing the Colormunki to create QuadToneRIP (QTR) linearising icc profiles for black and white printmaking. Smoother gradations and unblocked shadows
- Printing Black and White digital photographyPrinting Black and White digital photography, is the second part of an interview with Keith Cooper about all aspects of digital monochrome photography
- Black and white digital photography with Keith CooperAn extended version of a magazine interview with Keith Cooper, discussing different aspects of digital black and white photography. B&W photography tips and advice
- Digital Black and White – working in 16 bitHow converting 8 bit colour JPEG images images to 16 bit before converting to black and white gives up to 10 bit greyscale (B&W) images.
- QTR and PrintFIX PRO to get better black and white printsUsing 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
- Digital photography – two years onSome thoughts about aspects of digital photography - revisiting the issues and ideas, some two years after deciding to ditch film. A decision I've never remotely had second thoughts about
- A Black and White test imageSpecial test image designed for black and white print checking. Includes explanation of use for all features of the downloadable image.
- X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2 reviewReview of the X-Rite i1Photo Pro 2. Printer profiling as part of the 'i1Photo' package, including OBA compensation
- Canon iPF5100 printer reviewDetailed review testing the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF5100 17 inch width large format printer. Sheet and roll paper, looking at colour and black and white pigment ink based printing a range of paper types.
- Epson Stylus Pro SP4900 reviewReview of the Stylus Pro SP4900 11 colour 17 inch (A2) printer from Epson. Setup and printing. Includes fitting and use of the optional Spectroproofer unit.
- Epson Stylus Photo R3000 reviewDetailed Epson Stylus Photo R3000 review. Using the SP R3000 A3+ printer for colour and black and white photo printing
- Book Review B&W printing by George DeWolfeKeith Cooper reviews B&W printing by George DeWolfe - part of the Digital masters series. A 'guide to producing exhibition quality black and white prints'
- Paper review Innova FibaPrint Warm Cotton GlossIFA-45 fine art paper review. Innova FibaPrint Warm / Exhibition Cotton Gloss 335gsm paper tested for colour and black and white printing. Includes information about linearising B&W print output
- Nik Silver Efex Pro V2 reviewReview of Nik Silver Efex Pro version 2. Plugin converts colour images to black and white, with many adjustment options and preset conversions (Now part of the DxO Nik Collection)
- Review of Nik HDR Efex Pro pluginReview of the Nik (Google/DxO) plugin for creating high dynamic range (HDR) images from multiple exposure images of the same scene. Works with aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop.
- Fotospeed Fotospeed Smooth Cotton 300 paper reviewFotospeed 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 reviewFotospeed Legacy Gloss 325 paper review. Smooth unglazed gloss surface, Cotton based 325gsm natural warm white paper. OBA free. Making large exhibition quality prints.
- Printing low megapixel images at large sizePrinting 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 reviewFotospeed Platinum Baryta 300 paper review. Smooth unglazed gloss surface 300gsm natural white paper. Making large exhibition quality prints
- Better photography by printing your workBetter 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 reviewFotospeed 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 reviewTesting 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 reviewFotospeed 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
- 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
Never miss a new article or review - Sign up for our Newsletter (2-4 a month max.)
Enjoyed this article?
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)
We're an Amazon.com affiliate, so receive payment if you buy via Amazon US