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Black and White


{Photography.47.1}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 25 Dec 2003 23:13:13 CST (HTML)

{Photography.14.386}: Scott Butki {scoop} Tue, 23 Dec 2003

is there a b&w topic?


{Photography.14.393}: Dana Davis {ecarone} Thu, 25 Dec 2003

Scott, I would be very interested in a B&W Topic. That's primarily the kind of photos I'd like to start taking and I could use some good advice about the best camera to buy to take B&W pictures.


{Photography.47.2}: {tj2} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 14:03:54 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:36:22 CDT}


{Photography.47.3}: Amanda Peck {amanda615} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 18:12:32 CST (27 lines)

TJ is right.  You won't ever run out of material to read on b&w
photography.  Won't ever run out of things to look at, either.  The
classic photographs are works of wonder.  Are they "too old-
fashioned" now?  No.  Just in a slightly different medium, IMHO. (OK,

It once was thought that the ONLY way to do art photography was a) in
Black and White and b) with a view camera.

With Platinum prints?

And now real B&W processing is so hard to find that Kodak, at least,
now sells a "black and white" film that can be processed in C-41 (the
standard color print film processing).  I was enough of a snob at the
time that I processed--was it  double x?--in acufine to get a nice
combination of sharpness and speed. (I was a hand-held freak even
then. The professor really preferred pan-x in acufine)

There MIGHT be some reason to set your digital camera to the b & W
setting, but I can't think of one off-hand, except that it does use
less memory.

"Hmm, I wonder if this would look better if it were totally
desaturated?  Yes, I think it does." (click of mouse)

I can see more reason to get the printer that will take the special
inks so that the black and white image glows.


{Photography.47.4}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 18:48:08 CST (3 lines)

Wouldn't you want to take a B&W photo to Kinko's or a print shop?
Somewhere with a really good printer? You could print out drafts at
home and it wouldn't cost much.


{Photography.47.5}: {tj2} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 19:59:29 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:36:46 CDT}


{Photography.47.6}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 20:00:49 CST (1 line)

I was talking about a computer printer. Sorry.


{Photography.47.7}: {tj2} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 20:10:58 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:36:55 CDT}


{Photography.47.8}: Scott Butki {scoop} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 20:24:36 CST (2 lines)

Are there some subjects which lend themselves better to b&w
than to color?


{Photography.47.9}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 20:31:20 CST (3 lines)

I have an Epson. It works great *if* all conditions are perfect.
Electronically, it's a wondrous thing, but mechanically, it's a
piece of crap.


{Photography.47.10}: {tj2} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 20:56:50 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:37:19 CDT}


{Photography.47.11}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Fri, 26 Dec 2003 23:06:07 CST (21 lines)

I used to have an HP laser printer. It was solid and heavy and it
always printed. Even if it was almost out of ink, it printed

Now I have two Epson ink jets, and if the color cartridges are
empty, they don't print. So I can't print. I don't think the machine
should decide whether or not to print - I think I should! ;-)

And the newer one... if the paper is misaligned, it prints for about
5 minutes, one line of symbols per sheet. The last time this
happened, it printed 55 pages! It's insane.

Like I said, the photo prints are fine, if I make the right
adjustments to the software AND put in the right paper AND make sure
there are two sheets of paper in the tray at any given time so the
printer doesn't go insane. I printed out 50 color photo covers on
glossy paper for my poetry chapbook with that printer, and they're
beautiful. I think it took me 3 days and 2 color cartridges.

I could have used Kinko's color laser printer and done the job in an
hour or so, for about the same price.


{Photography.47.12}: {tj2} Sat, 27 Dec 2003 10:45:16 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:37:44 CDT}


{Photography.47.13}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Sat, 27 Dec 2003 11:50:24 CST (9 lines)

Sorry to moan about my little printing troubles ;-) I would like to
be able to print B&W when the color cartridge is out, and I'll look
for that in my next printer.

I shouldn't really complain, though, because they are so very

I'll move my thoughts to another topic so people can talk about B&W
here. Thanks for listening!


{Photography.47.14}: Ed Hawco {ed1} Sat, 27 Dec 2003 14:02:05 CST (22 lines)

I have seen some unbelievable results with color inkject printing, but
I haven't seen much B&W. That is to say, I haven't seen much B&W
inkjet printing *period.*

I'm trying to be open-minded about it, but I don't seen how it could
be as elegant as chemical-based B&W printing, simply because the
latter provides so much room for variations of tone and seemingly
unlimited shades of grey (or whatever your monochrome of choice is).

Really basic B&W inkets have only one type of black in, and the shades
of grey come from making dots of different sizes and spacings. That is
SO unlike how light-based printing works! I know there are some
high-end printers that use six or seven differnt ink colors, including
"grey" to go with the black, but in monochrome that still only gives
you grey and black to work with. That seems awfully limited,
considering the vast palette of shades that light-based printing has
at its disposal.

There's also the tone thing. With chemical-based printing you can
change the hue and tone of prints by using different papers and
chemicals -- you still get "B&W" but it can be more like "steely-blue
& white" or "deep brown and white," or whatever you prefer.


{Photography.47.15}: Rich Mason {richpix} Sat, 27 Dec 2003 16:32:58 CST (8 lines)

I think most who are serious about printing B&W from a digital source have a separate
printer dedicated to that purpose.  I haven't heard of anyone getting acceptable and
consistent results printing B&W with the color ink sets installed.

There is a Yahoo Group dedicated to B&W printing from digital sources here:
I've been a member for quite a while, but haven't kept up with postings for a long
time, so things may have changed.


{Photography.47.16}: {tj2} Sat, 27 Dec 2003 17:00:50 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:38:37 CDT}


{Photography.47.17}: Amanda Peck {amanda615} Sat, 27 Dec 2003 20:25:37 CST (9 lines)

There is an Epson (and, from the second link, Canon) printer that can
be retrofitted with inks to produce super b&w prints.

This is a .pdf file

and there's this


{Photography.47.18}: {tj2} Sun, 28 Dec 2003 11:25:45 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:38:52 CDT}


{Photography.47.19}: Mapei {mapei} Sun, 28 Dec 2003 16:12:38 CST (17 lines)

>Are there some subjects which lend themselves better to b&w
than to color?

The easy answer, for me, is "well, that depends."  ;)

But some of the most memorable b&w pictures I have seen have involved
architecture, particularly when the composition is about texture,
shape, and light/shadow, all of which are captured well and without
distraction in b&w images.  (Even Ansel Adams's great b&w landscapes
frequently have an "architectural" character, I think.)  I also like
close-up portraits in b&w: there's something about the formality of
it that, for me, can make the shot really striking.

I love b&w photography as a consumer, but I've never been too
successful at it, other than for portraits.  A couple of months ago I
posted an architectural interior in here that started out in color
but looked even better to me when I took the color out of it.


{Photography.47.20}: Ray Jeffrey {rj222} Sun, 28 Dec 2003 16:33:46 CST (10 lines)

I do digital b&w by scanning negatives with a polaroid film scanner.
I convert the image to grayscale if it's color and then go to duotone
options in photoshop 6.
You can use duotone, tritone or quadtone options.
The image gets richer the more layers you add, but contrast control
can be tricky.
I usually use one or two layers of black and then add brown for a
warm tone print.
I print using an Epson C-80. (now called C-84)
It's a four color printer that works on matt surface paper only.


{Photography.47.21}: Kai Hagen {kai} Sun, 28 Dec 2003 19:17:37 CST (HTML)

Some of my favorite photography is black and white, including two on the wall right here.

But I haven't taken any black and white photos for twenty years.


{Photography.47.22}: Amanda Peck {amanda615} Sun, 28 Dec 2003 19:28:27 CST (9 lines)

No experience.

Somebody mentioned it in the Arts Photography section, oh, maybe a
year ago.

I found those links with a quick search. There seemed to be some more
interesting stuff on the subject around.

I think I used {black white photography digital}.


{Photography.47.23}: Dana Davis {ecarone} Thu, 01 Jan 2004 18:59:46 CST (16 lines)

Sorry to get into the conversation so late--and after asking for the
new topic even!

>I could use some good advice about the best camera to buy to take
B&W pictures.<

I did mean a digital camera but Amanda's info about Kodak's C-41
processing and B&W film is something I'm going to try first.

I love the way B&W looks especially for people pictures.  A friend
of mine takes particularly wonderful self-portraits in B&W.  I also
love B&W architecture.  I just bought a print of the Flatiron
Building in NYC and it's a wonderful image.

But I can see the problem in home printing (even though I only really
understand about 40% of the above conversation about those problems!)


{Photography.47.24}: Kai Hagen {kai} Thu, 01 Jan 2004 19:20:59 CST (8 lines)

Some photos and/or posters of the Flatiron Building:



{Photography.47.25}: Dana Davis {ecarone} Mon, 05 Jan 2004 15:45:28 CST (1 line)

I love that building.  Thank you!


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