Black and white digital prints

I’m not sure why this is such an issue – why does everyone want to “fix” my pics?  My home printer wants to auto-enhance things when it prints them, and my color printer guy’s machine apparently auto-enhances things even when you tell it not to.  Is it so difficult to just print the darn file the way I brought it in?

I spent part of today at the printer trying to get one of my waterfall pics printed in black and white.  It’s a cheap printing lab to be brutally honest, but I’ve had decent luck with the prints that come out of their color machine.  Let’s face it, you really don’t need 4×6 prints to be superbly printed in most cases. 

They have a large Epsom printer that they print anything past 8×10 on.  I tested it with an 11×14 color print (Mother’s Day gift) and it did surprisingly well.  So well at such a low price that I thought I would test a black and white pic on it that was destined for my wall. 

To make a long story short, 3 prints later the tech was out of ideas and I was frustrated beyond belief.  If I, on my simple little desktop printer, can get decent black and white prints (5 color ink set with photo black) then why on earth can’t I get a deep dark black out of their super expensive printer?  The 8×10 print out of their color machine is identical to the file I brought in, but the 16×20 one ranged from green tinted to muddy to barely acceptable.

Time to visit the expensive print lab downtown and try again.  I’ve been meaning to anyway – I need to see if they can print large transparencies for me.  Being stuck with 8×10 cyanotype negatives feels slightly limiting.


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