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Locked Black and white photography

Dear Blurb community: 

I like what Blurb has to offer.  I have printed three books and the quality is good.  However, there is a problem I have that before giving up Blurb I wanted to explore all possibilities.  For whatever reason (well, color management issues, icc issues, etc), I am not able to get pure black and white images on my books.  I have tried a number of variations on photoshop, and nothing seems to work.  I get magenta cast, blue, cast, green cast, and a variety of different casts depending the light I using to look at my book.

 This is very frustrating to say the least.  If there is anybody in blurb (unfortunately the have not answer my questions) or a photographer that has a solution for this problem, I will very much appreciate your help.  

It will be so nice to be able to have a high quality print, black and white, in a book form.  I do not expect to get the quality I get on my gelatin silver or even the inkjet prints.  But I would like to get a appropriate tonality in my prints.  I guess, I am not the only one that has had this problem, but certainly Blurb will benefit significantly if they can help people like me to get it right once and for all.

 Thank you, this is my last chance.

 

Edgar Angelone 

Posted by
edgarangelon
May 6, 2008 9:50pm PDT
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edgarangelon
 

I am second to this. I printed 2 books so far —its not photobooks but they contain hundreds of BW images (8×10 softcover has to be Indigo). The tonality is not neutral. It is somewhat greenish or blueish, depending on the light. While it is ok for the blog book I would think twice before using blurb to print my photo work. I hate to upload grayscales since grayscale images tend to look dull when printed on Indigo but that’s what I am going to try. Grayscale fixed my printing issues at lulu, not sure it will help with blurb.

Cheers!

Emir

Posted by
amirko
May 7, 2008 8:36am PDT
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amirko
 

Hi Emir;

Uploading a greyscale image won’t work!  Images MUST be sRGB for Blurb…

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
May 7, 2008 8:44am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Emir,

When you say, ”...I hate to upload grayscales since grayscale images tend to look dull when printed on Indigo but that’s what I am going to try…”

Have you tried this venue of soft proof? Do you happen to have Photoshop? To make this work, you need to have Photoshop installed on your platform, and download the files (ICC profile and PDF instruction on how to install ICC profile).

To make soft proof works for you, perhaps that you want to take a look at:
http://www.bonsai-photography.com

Hope that helps, no?

Posted by
brianbonitz
May 7, 2008 1:39pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

edgarangelon,

I’m afraid that based on your critical need for neutrality you may not be satisfied with Blurb printing for your B&W photos. The neutrals (grayscale) are being formed with CMYK using sRBG JPEG’s. The net result is that the system provides the best color mixture to provide each neutral step in your gayscale. Unfortunately, slight process variations during printing or the color of  your viewing illumination can/will give you a color that is off "neutral".  I don’t think there is a good solution right now. Not even soft proofing will give you what you want at this point. This (grayscale) might be something that Blurb will provides in the future if there is sufficient demand. Right now I think color has bee the main focus.

Posted by
lcarreira
May 7, 2008 4:55pm PDT
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lcarreira
 

Thank you all!!!!  Unfortunately I am backt o square one :).  I agree, I think Blurb is placing the energy on color books, but not so much in black and white.  Perhaps one day they will decide to have special formats and prices for professionals.  In the mean time, I guess they are providing a wonderful service for the general public.  No hard feelings, just disappointment.

Ed 

Posted by
edgarangelon
May 7, 2008 10:50pm PDT
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edgarangelon
 

Ed,

they are working on the service for professionals which will include better colour management, up-to-date printer profiles and guranteed repeatability in terms of colour. Go to the link below for the announcement. If you search the FAQs for B3 you will find a lot of information there as well. Not available yet but WIP.

http://www.blurb.com/b3info

........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
May 8, 2008 12:27am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Thank you Toney, you made my day!!!!.  I like to be in the beta test.

 

Ed 

Posted by
edgarangelon
May 8, 2008 5:22pm PDT
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edgarangelon
 

I have had my first book published and find there is a magenta cast on black and white images.  It isn’t all bad as the book’s main thrust is the poetry.  Even so, I think blurb could give us some pointers on how to get better B/W reproduction.  Otherwise satisfied with the product.

Posted by
islander1
May 12, 2008 5:36am PDT
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islander1
 

I don’t think it’s a matter of Blurb concentrating on color books, per se, it’s that the HP Indigo is a color printer.  So is the I-Gen.  B&W prints on a color printer are never going to look like prints from a printer that uses gray scale inks.  I’ve seen a couple of Blurb books in B&W that were sepia toned that looked great.  That might be worth looking into.

Posted by
dagree
May 12, 2008 8:58am PDT
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dagree
 

Hi all,

This is a tricky issue. To produce rich shades of black, we print in four colors, so there is a potential for color casting in your midtones and highlights. 

Softproofing can help, in so far as you can view your images with the profile and brighten or lighten your midtones. But softproofing won’t reveal the color cast (unless your images actually are a bit tinted). The color cast happens because the CMYK values at the printer end up with too much C,M and Y, and those colors aren’t always in perfect balance.

Lightening/brightening your midtones can help lower the numeric values for C, M and Y, and decrease the chance of casting even if those colors end up slightly out of balance on the printer. 

However, the only way to guarantee perfectly neutral black and white printing is to tailor the color profile on the print end so that when it sees RGB values that call for shades of black, it calculates CMYK values with  very low values for C, M and Y. (By the way, the above post was correct in that greyscale images are not recommended, as the printer is expecting sRGB values). Such a color profile would be printer specific. Blurb intends to offer access to such a "closed color management" in the near future, and the books of subscribing members would be printed on that single, dedicated machine. 

We look forward to better serving our black & white photographers and encourage you to stay tuned for news about our upcoming professional color management program.

Cheers,
Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
May 12, 2008 9:54am PDT
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jbates
 

I’ve the same issue. i’ve just received my book where 90% of the pictures are black and white. all sRGB as indicated by Blurb, but all are greenish / blueish. problem is that now i’ve paid my over 100$ book, and cannot make use of it.

Posted by
lucafranzi
Apr 10, 2010 10:08am PDT
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lucafranzi
 

Hi lucafranzi,

Please contact us here at customer support for assistance. You should also attach a few pictures of the printed pages so we can see the color problem you’ve mentioned. 

As this is an old thread I’m going to lock it to keep things current.

Regards,

Michael/Blurb Customer Support
 

Posted by
mikewhy
Apr 12, 2010 8:21am PDT
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