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Author Topic: Advanced Black and White "Darker" vs. "Dark" vs. "Normal"  (Read 3069 times)

Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Advanced Black and White "Darker" vs. "Dark" vs. "Normal"
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2017, 05:29:46 PM »

Ferp, I appreciated your expansive reply, which provided a few more ideas and perspectives for me to think about.

I do print a color test file (Bill Atkinson’s) every day, and each week I print a file in matte black to keep the valve working.  Here is a link to a related thread I began last October, when I bought my printer (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=114096.msg939002#msg939002)

Jeffrey
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Jeffrey
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Ferp

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Re: Advanced Black and White "Darker" vs. "Dark" vs. "Normal"
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2017, 09:40:14 PM »

Yes, I remember that thread but hadn't made the connection.  I'm sorry that my reply was so, er, expansive, but when people are coming from quite different perspectives then there's a need to avoid shorthand that may be ambiguous to the other party.

I have just one other suggestion.  As you can tell, my natural inclination is to use the techniques of color management.  But if you decide that's not for you, then what you could do once you've settled on one of the five ABW tone settings as the closest match, is to adjust you monitor to match your reference print as closely as possible.  My recollection is that a MBP has only a brightness adjustment, which doesn't give you a lot to work with but it's better than nothing.
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Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Advanced Black and White "Darker" vs. "Dark" vs. "Normal"
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2017, 03:51:41 PM »

Thank you, Ferp.

Please know that I’ve written what follows in the absence of any argumentative feeling, only to share/clarify my thoughts about our subject and perhaps elicit other replies.

I think I’ve gotten used to working without good screen/print matching:  if something in the print looks like it can be improved upon, I go back to developing the image and work on it a bit more.

I hadn’t thought about trying your suggestion to see if I could get closer (in terms of all-over tonal relationships) right from the first print by changing the ABW setting to approach the appearance of a test target (I always thought it would be merely “different,” not “better”).  That might teach me something I’d value knowing.  Looking back through this thread, I think Mark was suggesting something related to this in his reply #3, where he mentioned Keith Cooper’s BW printer test target.

What you suggest seems to be is a sort of calibration (or perhaps pseudo- or partial calibration?) in the sense of getting the closest screen to print match that is possible with my Macbook Pro.  I think if I was concerned with that match I would invest in whatever hardware and software were necessary to achieve it, although wouldn’t that get into controlled ambient light for working and controlled areas for viewing prints? (Both of which are rather beyond what I can undertake for the foreseeable future.)

I conclude for now from what everyone has written that there is nothing “major” to concern myself about with regard to MBP/P800 system “drift” over a period of, say, a year.  Knowing more about what that drift might be would be nice.

I gather from the thread to this point that aside from screen brightness,  there is nothing I can to do get screen/print appearance closer.

Also (and I think this is just personal workflow preference), keeping my print presets at ABW Normal (rather than work with Dark, etc.) and altering the appearance of a print through Lr or Ps keeps that one variable (i.e., the printer setting) constant, which I find an appealing simplification.

The brightness setting on my MBP (when I work on my images) is 4 clicks from the left; pretty dark, relatively speaking.

With continuing appreciation to everyone who has been expanding my understanding of what factors I can consider...

Jeffrey
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Jeffrey
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Ferp

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Re: Advanced Black and White "Darker" vs. "Dark" vs. "Normal"
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2017, 08:08:54 PM »

Your initial question was "Are there advantages not related to taste or the print’s appearance that come from 'Darker' or Dark' as opposed to 'Normal'? "  The short answer is no.  You'd only switch to 'Darker' if your prints are coming out too light compared to what you were expecting.   If that's not the case and you're happy with your current workflow, then stick with it.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Advanced Black and White "Darker" vs. "Dark" vs. "Normal"
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2017, 08:36:51 PM »

Your initial question was "Are there advantages not related to taste or the print’s appearance that come from 'Darker' or Dark' as opposed to 'Normal'? "  The short answer is no.  You'd only switch to 'Darker' if your prints are coming out too light compared to what you were expecting.   If that's not the case and you're happy with your current workflow, then stick with it.

This is correct.

I'd only amplify by explaining that those ABW settings are simply alternative shapes of an under-the-hood tone curve, giving you these three set tonal appearance options to deploy depending entirely on your taste for the tonal appearance of the photograph, whereas the normal ICC workflow with Application Color Management gives you infinite control over tonality, the effects of which you can easily softproof before printing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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