This photograph of international supermodel Devra was
made on a movie set in Phoenix using a Canon EOS 10D
camera and printed using black ink "only"
on an Epson Stylus Photo 1280 printer.
Photos © 2002, Joe Farace, All Rights
worse in black and white..."--Paul Simon's
I think Paul Simon is wrong,
but getting a true monochrome print out of a color ink jet printer can
be a challenge. To me, the trick in making a real black and white print
is not to use any color ink! Seems obvious doesn't it? But that's
not what many of us are doing; instead we're trying to make the
best out of a bad situation by making color inks think they're
makes archival monochrome ink jet printing supplies for fine art photographers
and recently I've had some hands-on experience setting up an Epson
Photo 1280 to use their Continuous Ink Systems (CIS). The CIS uses 125ml
(4.23 oz) bottles that hold the equivalent of 10 ink cartridges, which
brings down the cost/droplet considerably. The CIS is also available
for the Epson 870, 890, 1160, 1270, and 2000P. Inks can be purchased
in individual 125ml bottles ready for installation in four- or six-color
sets, depending on the printer.
This photo was taken about three years ago on Ilford Delta
100, a film I love for its very long tonal scale. I used
a Canon 20mm wide angle lens because I could not get back
farther from the doorway, which is on a busy street.
For my initial tests, I selected
Lyson's Small Gamut Toneable Monochrome inks because they combine
the flexibility of the company's full-gamut ink sets for color printing
with gray scale reproduction throughout a tonal scale that's produced
with their "zero-gamut" monochrome ink sets. Like Lyson's
quadtone, tritone, and duotone ink sets, the Small Gamut Toneable Monochrome
inks combine black with a set of gray inks. One of the things that I like
about the Small Gamut ink set is that it avoids the non-linearity--red
highlights with green mid tones and off-color shadows--that create
problems when printing black and white images with color ink.
You can also switch papers with consistent color expectations or use effects
such as selenium-toned silver; black and warm gray duotone; warm tone;
cool tone; split-toned; or even localized color effects! Lyson claims
that prints made with its Small Gamut ink sets exhibit superior light
fading resistance, similar to that which can be obtained with high-stability
zero-gamut monochrome ink sets. If archival stability is critical to your
own image making, visit Henry Wilhelm's web site (www.wilhelmimaging.com)
and do some research on the various inks and papers that he's tested.
gradually going back through my 30+ years of black and white
negatives and picking out some of the best for traditional
printing. This one is only about 10 years old.
The first thing you need to do with any new ink jet printer is clean the
heads. Epson photo printers have transportation fluid in the heads to
keep them from clogging during shipment. You can get rid of that stuff
with Lyson's Head Cleaning fluid or by installing the ink cartridges
that Epson packs with the printer. Just use the Print Head Alignment,
Nozzle Check, Head Cleaning utilities to pump ink through the heads. For
some reason, Apple hides these under the Printers>Configure Printer
menu in Mac OS X, not the driver like in the good ole days of Mac OS 9.
Windows users will find these utilities in the usual places.
Free Utility Of The
TinkerTool is a Control Panel for Mac OS X's System Preferences
that lets users access more operating system settings than are usually
available. TinkerTool can also change the start up and login panel language
of the operating system without having to reinstall Mac OS X. Despite
its freebie price tag, TinkerTool does lots of cool tweaks, including
disabling the annoying "zooming rectangle" animation effect
when opening files in the Finder. Dock fans will like the ability to put
the Dock to the top screen position; at the beginning or end of any screen
border. Also, you can use transparent Dock icons that show hidden applications.
TinkerTool lets you set the maximum number of label lines in the Finder's
icon view; place both scroll arrow buttons of any scroll bar at both ends
of the bar; and switch font-smoothing off or on in applications that use
QuickDraw. There's lots more to TinkerTool. Check it out and download
a quick contact sheet on traditional photo paper is still
the best way to evaluate black and white negatives, in my
opinion. It's much faster than any digital scanning
I know of. Although I have often been told to take the negatives
out of the archival sheets before making contact sheets,
I usually leave them in since tonality and exposure is primarily
what I am looking at. I'll evaluate sharpness by putting
the negative on a light box and using a loupe.
The Digital Case For
Tucked away in a corner of Phase One's PMA trade show booth was
a prototype of Lightware's (www.lightwareinc.com)
newest product. The Digital Location Station (DLS) is a portable platform
that holds your laptop computer while it's tethered to a digital
camera--or not. The DLS attaches to a tripod, and the interior is
covered in "dead black" material to eliminate ambient reflections.
The computer is held in place by a powerful suction cup thatallows it
to float, so there's room to use a mouse while providing ventilation
and access to ports, connections, and drive bays. The DLS doubles as a
lid for one of Lightware's
Multi Format camera cases.
Plug-In Of The Month
iCorrect EditLab 4.0 Photoshop compatible plug-in automatically analyzes
an image and sequentially sets each of its four-color control areas (gray
balance, white/black point, brightness/contrast/saturation, and hue selective
editing) at an optimum starting point. All that's left to do is
the simpler job of making small tweaks. New features in 4.0 include the
ability to save color corrections and edits as an International Color
profile and apply it to other images; edit ICC Input profiles created
by any digital camera or scanner profile software; and create and add
custom "memory" or reference colors. The color transform and
ICC profiles created by iCorrect EditLab are linked to Photoshop's
RGB color space, so corrections are made within a profiled, device-independent,
reference color space.
This new version of iCorrect EditLab is Photoshop Action Enabled for automatic
batch processing. It is compatible with Photoshop 5, 6, and 7 and Photoshop
Elements, along with Mac OS 8.6, 9.2, and 10.1 and 10.2 in Native and
Classic modes, and Windows 98, Me, 2000, and XP. This plug-in is available
for $99.95 from Pictographics' web site or your friendly local or
mail-order photo retailer.
real stars of the film "2 Fast 2 Furious"
at the International Auto Salon in Los Angeles, photographed
with a Canon EOS D60 and Sigma 15mm lens with special
care taken not to create identical image folder numbers
to the 10D that had another lens mounted.
Labels, Labels, Labels
When I need to make labels, it takes a lot of time (and ink) to set up
my ink jet printer to make them. The DYMO (www.dymo.com)
LabelWriter 330 Turbo costs less than $200 and spits out a finished label
in 2 seconds. Initial setup time is fast, too. The 330 Turbo connects
to your computer with a serial (Windows only) or USB (Mac OS and Windows)
connection and sets up in less than 5 minutes. Since DYMO uses thermal
print technology, you don't need ribbons, toner, or ink cartridges
and the LabelWriter 300dpi output is crisp. You can add postal bar codes
(or not, it's optional) for shipping labels that should help speed
mail delivery--if only a bit.
The little printer has a smaller desktop footprint than a 4x5 Wacom tablet
and can use more than 40 different label sizes up to 2.3" (56mm)
wide, including address, shipping, file folder, disk, CD/DVD video, name
badge, cassette, ZIP disk, and others. Swapping different kinds of labels
in and out of the LabelWriter is a snap and is aided by a lever that takes
pressure off the tape. It's one of just two controls on the printer.
Software is easy to use, integrates with Microsoft Word or Outlook, and
is compatible with Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, XP, and Me along with Macintosh
OS 8.6 and X.
Folders, Folders Everywhere
But Where You Need Them
I have a new Canon EOS 10D and love it. This past weekend, I was photographing
the 2003 International Auto Salon using both my 10D and EOS D60 and found
that sometimes the cameras created folders with identical numbers. When
transferring the CompactFlash cards to my laptop, I was careful not to
accidentally erase files but still worried about erasures. I asked ace
Canon guru Rudy Winston if he had any tips on how to set each camera up
for unique folder numbers and here's what he told me: Unlike the
EOS-1D and 1Ds, 10D and D60 provide almost no user control over creating
folders. With any two cameras that essentially work the same way, Canon
or not, Winston suggests you set one body on its "Continuous"
file numbering system and set the other to "Auto Reset." This
isn't a sure-fire way to eliminate the possibility of duplicate
file numbers, but when a large (my tip) card is installed into the latter
camera, it should start with folder 100, and image 0001 to minimize the
possibility of duplication.