Newbee Paper question

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
NAwlins Contrarian Senior Member • Posts: 2,566
Depends on paper and ink types

Just to add a further noob question based on this.......does white not look odd in B&W prints then?

Or does it just apply to colour?

If so, are you saying no colour print should ever have pure white in it?

What have I obviously misunderstood here?

Sorry for the barrage of questions

Pure white in RGB is 255, 255, 255. For a printer which uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, pure white is produced by laying down no ink (it's not really pure white but the underlying paper's color. The absence of ink on the print will likely be very discernible and have an odd appearance. Thus one typically pulls back the values of white (depending on the printer) to something around say 240, 240, 240. It's still white but the printer lays down some ink and texture.

When you are referring to black and white prints are you referencing analog or inkjet? With analog prints, when the silver halide was exposed to light, the silver was reduced, the halide was liberated and the silver turned black. Then the print was placed in a fixer which removed the rest of the silver halide and left the metalic silver behind. Pure white was no silver and the paper color was what showed through. Typically, papers had a gelatin or other coating on top of the reactive layer and thus the print appeared uniform even though the halide was washed away.

In B&W inkjet printing, depending on what system is used dilutions of black/gray (sometimes colors including yellow, magenta, etc.) are deposited on the receiving layer of the paper. Thus pure white is absence of deposit of ink and it will have an odd appearance.

I think that what you're claiming depends heavily on the paper type and the ink type. What you see in an unprinted area can be very different between the more common case of dye ink on luster, semi-gloss, or glossy paper, and the case of pigment ink on matte paper. Also, silver halide papers differed substantially between the older-type fiber-based papers and the newer-type resin-coated papers.

I would not worry about pure white areas on luster, glossy, and similar papers where the printed areas contain dye ink. AFAIK both pigment inks and matte papers increase the risk of unwanted side-effects of unprinted and very-lightly-printed areas.

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