Printing Black and White on Fine Art Rag?

Started Jul 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
JayMitch Senior Member • Posts: 1,515
Re: Printing Black and White on Fine Art Rag?

I would offer a couple of recommendations...

First, manage your expectations. If you arecomingfrom luster or glossy papers accept that you'll never get the same pop from matte. Granted, you no longer have to fight glare. The relatively limited range of matte will suit some images better than others.

Second, you'll need to treat the image differently on matte. I have yet to successfully figure this out so take with a grain of salt (I only use baryta and coated fiber papers). Try bringing up the output level to remap your blacks to a higher zone. The mud you're seeing is because you have levels in your image that are below the paper's maximum black. So instead of deep shadow detail it's all printing to black (ex. if your paper can only print to 5/5/5 RGB and you have blacks down to 0/0/0 all those levels will just get crushed to 5/5/5). By bringing your image's black point up to that of the paper you should be able to discern detail above. Yes, you make the image lighter, but you can't print blacker than the paper will allow anyway. Add some extra contrast to the quarter tones with a curves adjustment layer to improve the separation in the shadows. A bump to the highlight contrast should help restore some pop.

Then make test prints. Lots of 'em. Judge the merits of the print, not the screen or how it compares to the screen, and adjust accordingly. Once ink hits paper it's all about the print so don't worry how whack your image looks on the monitor.

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