The latest edition of Outdoor Photographer is dedicated to Black and White. It occurred to us while reviewing an article by photographer and technician Ming Tshing that given the majority of prints today are based on a digital workflow, it behooves the serious contemporary fine art photography collector to understand what now is required for creation of a quality print.
Having worked with Nash Editions, one of the “founding father ” organizations of digital printing, Tshing offers some worthy insight into how a quality “perfect print” is made today. For example:
At Nash Editions, Mac Holbert and I have worked on countless images over the years. One common issue we find is a lack of contrast in the midtones. In the beginning, we added contrast to these areas by using a basic curve, locking down the lighter and darker tones and targeting additional contrast to the midtones. Although this worked to increase the contrast in the midtones, we knew there was a better, more direct way of accomplishing this. True story: As Mac was sleeping one night, he came up with what would later become called the Midtone Contrast layer.
For a complete step by step breakdown of the file preparation technique Ming Tshing uses: