• Tom Dodd FRPS, FIPF, DPAGB

The Best Paper for Monochrome

Image © Tom Dodd

The art of B&W printing is a challenge requiring dedication and skill, with the aim of achieving the best print possible.

Traditionally this is in the darkroom using the process of enlarging and chemical processing, often until the early hours! The discerning and passionate printer will never be satisfied with anything less than a print displaying a quality appropriate to the subject and on a suitable baryta paper.

For a number of years it was impossible to achieve the same darkroom quality when printing B&W with inkjet printers. However, printers, and particularly papers, progressed rapidly. We are now spoiled for choice, particularly with the availability of a great selection of PermaJet Baryta papers.


Image © Tom Dodd
Image © Tom Dodd

I have always been a bit fastidious when it comes to making a B&W print, and for some years I have been more than happy that the same quality of inkjet print can be achieved as that in the darkroom; it does, however, as in the darkroom, require careful selection of paper.

Most baryta papers will print B&W images very well and I have used most of the PermaJet range with a great deal of success. The one outstanding paper which I have used though, is FB Mono Gloss Baryta, which has been formulated very much with B&W in mind.

Generally, the two areas that cause most problems in a B&W print are shadow and highlight detail. Control can be a nightmare but this is where the Mono Gloss comes into it’s own, regardless of the subject – whether landscape, people, street scenes or whatever.


Image © Tom Dodd
Image © Tom Dodd

I have discovered that with careful control prior to printing, white areas, especially snow, are very well displayed and not ‘blown’ {ie not overexposed}, and shadows show excellent detail where needed.

The paper is neutral in tone, being neither too cool nor too warm. The heavy weight and gloss finish give the paper a more than adequate ‘darkroom’ print feel. This paper is currently my choice for all my B&W printing, especially A3 exhibition work.

It is worth noting that should an image need to be warmer or cooler this can easily be applied in Photoshop and will not adversely affect the final quality when printed on PermaJet FB Mono Gloss Baryta.



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