The wide format opportunity is as simple as black and white

B+W

The wide format opportunity is as simple as black and white

Whether you consider the work of Robert Capa, the striking landscapes of Ansel Adams or the candid photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, there is no doubt that black and white images elicit an emotional response.

Some argue that this stems from the timelessness they convey, while others point to their monochrome simplicity. Yet others attribute the power of black and white photography to the dramatic effects that can be achieved through the use of light, shadow and contrast.

Whatever the reason, the ability of black and white photography to stir emotion means many professional photographers opt for it, particularly in areas such as wedding and landscape photography.

The importance of output

Image capture and post-production are vital in black and white photography, but the quality of image output is just as important. Print quality can make or break an image, which makes it essential for the process used to faithfully reproduce the tonal relationships captured by the photographer.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s best wedding photographers, Jeff Ascough is known for his black and white photojournalistic style. After a number of years of outsourcing his photographic prints due to the cost of in-house dark room developing, he brought the work back into his studio with the installation of a 12-colour Canon imagePROGRAF printer.

According to Ascough, one of the greatest advantages of this move has been that ‘black and white prints come off as pure black and white’ and give him ‘the tonal range that I want’. This is in contrast to the colour cast he would get on outsourced prints that had been printed on colour paper using a colour process. He adds that ‘the black and multiple grey ink cartridges produce fantastic tonal gradation, making prints as good as those produced in a dark room’.

Opening up opportunities

Introducing the wide format imagePROGRAF printer has not only enabled the production of better black and white prints for Ascough’s studio, but opened up new revenue streams too. He now produces his own exhibition materials and a line of fine art black and white landscape prints, as well as printing canvasses, panoramic, metallic and other prints for customers.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or a print service provider, expanding into wide format print could offer similar opportunities to expand your service offering, meet customer demand and take advantage of market trends.

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