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Old May 1, 2005, 11:08 AM   #1
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I'm interested in exploring the world of digital B&W and want to pick the brains of the fine photogs here on their tips, Web site resources, etc. I use Photo Elements 3 for post processing. I know that it's not always a matter of simply converting the color image. Thanks for your input.
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Old May 1, 2005, 11:51 AM   #2
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Virtual Photographer is a free plug in that works in Elements, a lot of folks here use it. It's easy to use and has a lot of possible effects. Link:arrow:

http://www.optikvervelabs.com/
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Old May 1, 2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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If you have Photoshop or Elements, for B&W conversion I would highly recommend the following FREE plug in buy OptikVerv called Virtual Photographer. It does as nice a job as anything else out there, and it's free. It also has a nice array of color filter effects. Download it here: http://www.optikvervelabs.com/

For printing, you don't really have to convert to black and white. I love making black and white prints, and have a dedicated printer just for black and white (It also does double duty as a text printer). I would HIGHLY recommend this. You simply CAN NOT print black and white on a color inkjet (believe me, I tried). They always wind up with a horrible color cast that ruins the print.

Here's the simplest and most cost-effective solution. For around $80, get yourself an Epson C86 printer (which is also an outstanding text printer..., these inks also work with the C84 and C82), go to MIS Inks, and pick yourself up some EZ B&W ULTRATONE ink cartridges (around $11 dollars apiece...). These are grayscale cartridges that are calibrated to replace the color positions on these printers. They are high-quality archival pigment-based inks, which means they will last for 100 years. http://www.inksupply.com/utez.cfm They will NOT mess up your printer. I'm on my 3rd set. They also sell the ink in bulk along with a re-fill kit (very, very low "per-print" costs), I intend to do that on my next purchase. I've also seen some continuous flow systems, thinking about that too. Make sure you know if you intend to print on matte or glossy paper, as there are two types of blacks for this. (I swapped out the "photoblack" with the "matte black" and it clogged the print head... not terribly, but I don't think you're supposed to do this without flushing the system...)

MIS INK's site is a mess imo, here's a link. There's a lot of info out there in the site about B&W printing, you just have to find it.

I use the "neutral" ink set. The results are nothing short of spectacular. http://www.inksupply.com/utez.cfm



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Old May 1, 2005, 1:16 PM   #4
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Thanks. I have the plug in but haven't used it much. The printer recommendation is a good one. For now I intend mostly to post photos to Web sites.
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Old May 1, 2005, 2:51 PM   #5
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BW - Virtual Photo -smac's pic:arrow:
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