Coloring Monochrome Images Digitally

written by: Tony Worobiec

One of the possible drawbacks of abandoning the darkroom is the danger that some of the more quirky techniques risk being lost, and the hand-coloring of black-and-white photographs is a good case in point. Before the advent of color film, if a photographer wanted to present his work in color, he was required to apply subtle dyes to a silver gelatin print. This technique has enjoyed a revival in recent years, but it is a time-consuming exercise requiring a fair measure of skill. In order to recreate the delicate colors one associates with this technique, the pigments need to be Read more »


The Dye-Transfer Process Done Digitally

Layer of transparencies can give images more depth and saturation
written by: Gary Doyle Thomas

Digital printing has matured.With the latest generation of pigment inks and printers, it is possible to produce a print whose quality can approach that of, dare I say it, dye transfer. However, the digital work flow, starting with the digital capture or scan, continuing through manipulation and color management, leaves few choices when ready to print. Aside from print size, the only other real choice is what to print on. There are many papers to chose from, but for the most part, the differences are subtle. You can select a glossy, satin, or matte finishes, smooth or textured. There also Read more »

Figure 1. a) heoriginalcolorcaptureof Castelluccio, Italy. b) The straight conversion from RGB to grayscale results in drab tones. c) Using Photoshop’s Channel Mixer and curves results in a much-improved image.

A Transition from Darkroom to Digital

A photographer's experience offers insights for both silver and silicon users
written by: Dan Anderson

I think my darkroom credentials are pretty solid: I have been making traditional black-and-white prints to the highest standards that I am capable of producing from my large-format negatives for more than 25 years. I taught darkroom workshops for many years, demonstrating the numerous techniques and processes I have learned that enable me to get the look and feel I desire in my work. Yet some years ago, when a friend showed me some early digital prints, they impressed me greatly with their crisp detail and resolution, qualities that I have always valued highly in my work. He also showed Read more »


Measuring Digital Dynamic Range

Knowing your camera's range helps you make crucial exposure decisions
written by: Timothy Edberg

Do you know the dynamic range of your digital camera—the tonal range of lights to darks it can usefully capture? It can guide the way you shoot; the smaller the dynamic range (DR), the more careful you must be that exposures don’t blow out highlights or fill in shadows. I’ve heard “experts” make conflicting blanket claims of anywhere from a four-stop to 12-stop DR for digital cameras, and manufacturer’s specs might be marketing hype—so why not just measure your DR for yourself? It’s easy to do; I’ll show you how. In the process you’ll learn at what exposure highlights saturate Read more »


Surpass the Darkroom?

create prints that rival – and perhaps surpass – the darkroom
written by: Mark Dubovoy

I believe that this is the beginning of a new era in inkjet printing, one in which print quality is finally equaling, if not surpassing, that of traditional prints. Part of this increase in print quality is due to a recent generation of printers with corresponding new ink sets. Equally responsible, however, is the latest generation of fine-art papers offering unprecedented levels of Dmax and dynamic range. While you need to buy an updated printer to benefit from their increased quality, you can probably use the new papers with your existing printer, so I’m going to focus on the new Read more »