Page 8 – 19th March 2011
Photography has its roots in Black and White photographs, some photographers define this as the purest form of photography. With a B/W photograph the viewer is drawn in to looking at form, texture, lighting and composition without the distraction of colour. Certainly digital photography and high quality inkjet printers have shut down plenty of darkrooms and labs. But it hasn’t killed off B/W photography, this is now enjoying a comeback with both photographer and customers alike. However, not everything is as it should be. Many B/W prints are still displaying a slight colour cast, especially noticeable in mid-grey tones. This cast is a result of using a mixture of colours to produce the grey tones, (mix an equal amount of RGB and you will produce a grey). This can generally be cured by using a good quality profile, but if the profile is slightly out then you can introduce a colour cast on a B/W print.
Epson have been using the UltraChrome K3 inkset for some time, this uses three black inks to produce the many shades of grey; Photo Black or Matte Black, Light Black and Light, Light Black. Using this combination of the blacks has virtually eliminated any colour cast. But Epson has gone one step further by including an Advanced B/W option in its driver. I will be showing you how to use this as well as looking at how well the R3000 handles B/W printing.
Before we get into how well the printer copes with B/W I just want to quickly tell you how I now make my B/W conversions. All my pictures are shot in colour, I do not shoot using the Monochrome mode on a digital camera, as most don’t do a good job of converting to B/W. Using Photoshop there are a few ways to convert to Monochrome including, Channel mixer, Grayscale, Black and White etc. But one of the best methods that I am now using isa plug-in from NikSoftware called Silver Efex Pro 2. If you are serious about prodicing great looking B/W prints then this is a good place to start.
So now having shared my workflow with you let’s get on with the review again.