Printing Monochrome - Opinions and hints

Hello everyone,

I’m really struggling with creating nice monochome prints that really look the way I want. My goal is to get a pigment print that somehow resembles a slightly selenium toned (e.g. 1:19)print with those rich deep and structured blacks and this “sheen” that you get from Selenium toning before the drown staining starts to appear.

Issue is, at least my screen simply does not reproduce this effects at all. Does anyone here has an idea how to get to prints like that by software? I’ve experimented with mixing very light colours into the monochrome pictures but my results are less than ideal…

I’m really interested what others think about black and white / monochrome printing? Has anyone tried or succeeded with something similar?

I recently found a print shop that does some type of lambda like print from digital onto Ilford photopaper and they offer Selenium toning as an addon, but I haven’t checked their pricing yet. Guess this could be a workable solution if it is not to expensive…

What are your opinions?

I think black and white is where silver paper can’t be beat. There are services that’ll print your digital file on silver based paper. The ones here in the states are pricey, but worth it if that is the look you want.

I’m eager to try out this service:

I guess I will just try the digital silver print than. The local shop that offers it doesn’t publish prices for the silver print on their webpage (although they do for other types of prints).

Let’s see, I’ll report back on how the prints compare to darkroom prints

I’ve only played with half the equation, that is, tinting and toning a grayscaled image. I haven’t printed any such renditions, but you might consider a cheaper approach:

First, I’ve had great satisfaction using per-channel curves to re-introduce color into grayscaled images. In rawproc, my hack software, when I grayscale I essentially keep the three color channels, just make each pixel R=G=B. This then allows me to insert a per-channel curve with which I can re-introduce color, e.g., R>B=G or similar. I do just this to introduce a sepia tone with a control point curve that looks like this:


Note the little upward ‘scooch’ of the left-hand control point; this introduces some red into the shadows that tapers off back to R=G=B in the highlights. Simple way to make a nice sepia…

Now I haven’t done this part, so YMMV, but if I were to print such an image, I’d then look for a paper with a particular surface finish, probably matte. That i think would get me close to my beloved Agfa Portriga prints from the olden days. :smiley: