Much of my work is in black and white. I studied the problem of printing black and white images to get prepared for a print competition. What I found is that printing black and white images on an ink jet printer is a problem.
Ink jet printers do not print true grey or true white. Those colors are printed with a magenta cast. There are drivers and special ink cartridges available for some printers to be able to more accurately portray the grey scale. I wasn’t willing to invest time or money into what I consider to be a long shot, potentially getting results that did not have the quality that I expect.
In the northeast I found Digital Silver Imaging, a lab that specializes in the use of technology that produces excellent black and white prints. Their web site explains this technology better than I can. The technology mimics the process that is used to develop black and white film. The result is true black and true white and all of the shades of grey in between.
I just received three competition prints from DSI, two 12 x 16 and one 12 x 18. The tonality and contrast of the images in these prints were reproduced faithfully. My expectation was that the prints would appear as they did on my monitor. That expectation was met and the images are sharper than I expected.
Upload your images to the DSI site and you receive a quote within 24 hours. After you call to pay for the quoted processing, the turnaround in my experience is seven to ten days. The prints arrive safely packaged in flat packs.
I recommend taking advantage of the DSI introductory offer. The offer is for two 8 x 10 prints of an image, one on each of their papers: Ilford Gallerie Digital Silver FB and Ilford Gallerie Digital Silver RC. This is a good opportunity to try the process and to determine your preference for paper. I did my competition prints on Digital Silver FB paper because I like the sheen and the weight of the paper.
My black and white competition prints are very high quality. I matted and framed them using materials from American Frame. I’m excited to find out how good my images are and whether or not my work is good enough to be accepted for the exhibition.