Details in dark areas with Ilford Gold Cotton Smooth: howto?

Started Nov 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Details in dark areas with Ilford Gold Cotton Smooth: howto?
Nov 18, 2013

Dear all,

after thinking about it for a while (you may remember my first post here about printing quality compared to silver gelatin prints), I finally went for an Epson R3000 and I, therefore, entered the magic world of digital photo printing. I have never printed seriously my own photos, but I have quite some knowledge about color management and, loving printouts, about printing processes and how the printed image should look like (i.e., I think I can discern a "good" print from a "bad" one).

After 1 week with my new R3000 and after having tested some papers I should say that I am pretty happy with my new purchase and that I have already obtained some pretty good printouts. I will be less happy when in need to buy new ink cartridges, but that's another story

After this long introduction, let's now come to my question: I have tried printing black and white images (see the example below) on Ilford Gold Cotton Smooth (using the correct color profile and all). Results are pretty OK, even though very dark areas tend to loose detail (becoming solid black). I suspect this has something to do with the fact that the paper cannot handle that. I am not complaining about this, I just have a question: how do you handle this? Do you "simply" use a curve to lighten up the too dark areas? Any link on this topic?

Sample image:

On Ilford Gold Cotton Smooth the rocks in the dark areas near the head of the dancer are printed as solid black; same happens to the dresses of the dancer. On Ilford Gold Mono Silk all details are rendered perfectly.



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