This is a MUSEUM WEB by Terje Enge. Online in 1996, last revision was 1998. Please treat as history.
    Other parts:
 
  Black and White printing was a superior form of craftsmanship...
The myths on
Color vs. Black-and-White Printing
   

The making of photographic Black and White prints
has always been regarded as a superior form of craftsmanship.
It has, however, been possible to manage the process with enough experience.
This is so because the black and white printing process is very intuitive in several ways:
  • A minimum of calculations is required. There are no filter-factors and no color shifts. The paper reciprocity is easy to adjust for.
  • The chemical process is very fast and is done in open trays under normal safelight. In many ways you may say that What You See Is What You Get .
  • The required materials are (relatively) cheap. If you don`t like what you see, it is no big expense to make another try.


Not so with COLOR Printing:

Done properly the maths can be prohibitive. And they are always time consuming. There are filter factors. There is the enlarger light color, the color sensitivity of the paper. And - most important - there is the Reciprocity: To make things still more complicated this reciprocity varies with the different light sensitive layers of the paper

These problems are amplified through the use of different enlargers, different papers, and different films. Most of these have different color and reciprocity characteristics.The chemical process is often slow. Once started it is not possible to modify the result. You are not able to see (and correct) anything until the process is finished.

The materials are (relatively) expensive. The best materials very much so. This makes it imperative both to obtain a high first-time hit-rate  and, if the first print fails, to have complete control thereafter.

The Features:
What AnotherLAB
is all about
  The effects of these difficulties (and the unavoidable associated myths) have been manifold:
  • While Black and White printing has continued to be regarded as a natural part of the creative process, Color Printing has been looked upon as something that is better sent out of house.
  • While a Black and White print may greatly enhance or distort the original, a Color Print is (wrongly) perceived in another way. There is only one correct  print - and this print matches the original.

This has led to the misconception that a Color Print is a mass-produced commodity, while the Black and White print is the result of pure craftsmanship.Photographers, printers and manufacturers, have all tried to solve these problems. With widely differing methods and still more different results. These methods typically belong to one of two camps:

  1. The Spontaneous Style: Only lots of patience, experience and papers.
  2. The Electronic Avenue: With lots of special equipment and calibrations.
    Enter the First Expert System:
    Both ways of course, have their advantages and disadvantages... To solve the disadvantages and retain the advantages, AnotherLAB takes another and completely NEW road: AnotherLAB is the first Darkroom Expert System: A Complete Computer Model of the dryside in any lab. A brief encounter with the program will convince even a skeptic that this approach also opens new and hitherto unavailable creative possibilities:
The History of
AnotherLAB
  This approach Demystifies the process of photographic color printing. No more myths about the Correct Color Print. No more myths about the Non-Creativeness of Color Prints. Through removal of the purely technical/mathematical hassles it opens for Creative Color Printing.
  • Through the entirely new concept of Print Styles it opens new creative possibilities: Any discovered special effect may be stored and repeated with any equipment, with any paper.
  • An automatically updated Image- and Print-Database is unique to this approach. Add dynamically linked Business Clients and the program is unbeatable for any professional lab.
  • Difficult to use? - Not at all: AnotherLAB runs under MicroSoft Windows with a very comprehensive Help System. Any darkroom is easily described through a set of very simple dialog boxes. Once set up - and you do this only once - the perfect print is only two mouse clicks away
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