BowHaus Home News Services Company Contact
Copy
Printing in Black and White
Traditional black and white printing goes digital.

Read more..


Glass Plate Project
Andrew McIntyre produces gallery quality A3+ prints from glass plates.

Read more..


Lee Jaffe Interview
The multi-talented Jaffe captures and displays artistic greats.

Read more..


SWAHILI CHIC: THE FENG SHUI OF AFRICA Press Release
The new coffee table book will be launched on Thursday, May 17th.

Read more..


The rebirth of Digital Printing
Software is transforming the way black and white prints are made at BowHaus.

Read more..


Herman Leonard Press Release
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Jazz Giants, the mural-sized photographs by Herman Leonard.

Read more..


Mark Laita Press Release
Mark Laita's Created Equal documents the diversity of American culture through carefully orchestrated portraits.

Read more..


Rocky Schenck Interview
Schenck's visual style is rooted in his personal past, family roots and the beginnings of photography itself.

Read more..


Rick Klotz Interview
Businessman blends his passion for photography, magazine publishing and clothing line with BowHaus printing software.

Read more..


IJC/OPM 2400 Support
New versions of IJC/OPM feature expanded support for Epson_s new R2400 with UltraChrome K3™ inks!

Read more..


Melvin Sokolsky Interview
Legendary fashion photographer talks about ideas, art and technology.

Read more..


Antonis Ricos Interview
The digital B&W guru reveals his secrets for using IJC/OPM, and highlights NEW Features in the Windows version.

Read more..


Nick Brandt Interview
Elegy to A Vanishing World:
the photographs of Nick Brandt

Read more..


Glen Wexler Interview
Glen Wexler talks about how digital imaging plays an integral role in his imagemaking.

Read more..


IJC/OPM + OS X!
Press release for B&W PrintMaking software for OS X.

Read more..


Quadtone Prints
Black & White archival printmaking using monochrome inksets.

Read more..


Lyson Marketing Agreement
Establishes New Alliance to Develop Digital Black and White Printing Solutions.

Read more..



Imaging from a Computer's Perspective:

Bits, Bytes and Pixels

The word digital is defined in the Webster Dictionary as: "pertaining to, or using data in the form of numerical digits". Every calculation in a computer, the execution of every command, is carried out through the use of numbers. Internally, computers convert words, pictures, sounds, or any other medium that enters it's world into numbers.

People commonly use decimal or base ten numbers. The full set of base ten numbers are: {0,1,2, 3,4,5,6,7,8,9}.

With a single decimal digit we can count from zero to nine {0-9}. A total of ten possible values.

Another way to express the numeric range of a single base ten digit is: 101 (10 x 1). The numeric range of a pair of decimals is expressed as: 102(10 X 10), or 100 possible values {0-99}.

Computers don't use decimal numbers. They use binary, or base two, digits that consist of only zeros and ones {0,1}, "bits" for short.

A single bit has only two possible values, which can be expressed as: 21, (2 X 1). The numeric range of a pair of binary digits is: 22, which is 2 X 2 or 4 possible values.

A byte is eight bits (28). One byte has a numeric range of: 0-255, a total of 256 possible values.

Highly magnified, digital images reveal a grid of squares. These squares are pixels, which is short for picture elements.

As we know, computers only use zeros and ones. A 1-bit pixel can have one of two possible values (21), typically either black or white. Images like photographs are usually composed of 8-bit (28), 24-bit (224), or even higher bit-depth pixels. More bits per pixel also leads to larger image files.

The examples that follow examine four different colorspaces as well as comparative file sizes. Colorspace (also known as color mode), bit-depth, and file size are closely related as you will see. The BowHaus calibration image was photographed by Holly Lindem.

FYI
One BYTE = 8 bits.
One KILOBYTE = 1,024 bytes.
One MEGABYTE = 1,024 kilobytes.
One GIGABYTE = 1,024 megabytes.



In this color mode, each pixel requires only one bit. Each pixel may be either black or white. This mode is very useful for line art images such as graphics shapes and typographical objects.

Note: The term "bitmap" is sometimes also used to describe any digital image that is composed of pixels, as opposed to "vector" graphics that are mathematical objects or shapes. Be careful not to confuse the two.


In this color mode, each pixel requires eight bits (a byte). Each pixel may be one of 256 shades of gray including black or white. Drum scans from black and white photographic negatives are usually grayscale.


This color mode uses "palettes" with 256 possible colors. A palette is a maTRix of colors.

There are many different types of indexed color palettes. There is a default 8-bit color palette for the Macintosh system and another one for Windows. There is also a Web palette designed to be "safe" for web browsers.

In the example shown, the actual color palette is displayed next to the image. In this case, an "adaptive" palette was used. An adaptive palette is so-named because the palette is uniquely constructed to optimally display an image or even a collection of images.

The indexed color image in our example is virtually indistinguishable from the full RGB image because the palette is so efficient.

Adaptive palettes are generated by sampling one or more images for common colors. Programs like Photoshop and Debabilizer are used to create adaptive palettes.

Multimedia, animation, and the World Wide Web utilize indexed color images because of their compact size. An indexed image file is no larger than a grayscale image.



This color mode comes very close to representing the spectrum of colors that are visible to the human eye. Each pixel may be one of 16,777,216 possible colors. RGB has one of the widest color gamuts, or range of colors that it can display.

RGB uses the three additive primary colors: red , green, and blue. They are called additive because when equal amounts of red, green, and blue are combined at full intensity they create white.

Every RGB pixel is composed of three bytes, one for each of the three primary colors. Each red byte has 256 possible values. The same is TRue for the green and the blue byte. The combined bytes create over sixteen million (16,777,216) possible colors.

In general, devices that use light to display or "print" an image rely on the RGB colorspace. Computer monitors, our LVT film recorders, and the Fujix PicTRography 3000 utilize the RGB color mode.

Image capture devices, like scanners and digital cameras also use the RGB colorspace. Even high-end prepress CMYK drum scanners, like our Crosfield scanners, operate internally in the RGB mode. The RGB image data is then converted into CMYK by the scanner. For our RGB scans, we bypass the Crosfield's RGB-to-CMYK conversion to preserve the native colorspace.



This colorspace exists for the purpose of four color process ink printing, which uses cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink.

Paradoxically, CMYK pixels have a much smaller color gamut than RGB pixels even though CMYK pixels have more bits (32 as opposed to 24). This is due to the inherent impurities and limited range of ink printing.


THE ANATOMY OF A NUMBER
Numbering systems follow a set of rules that dictate how groups of numbers behave to represent numeric values. These are the Rules of Place. This brief introduction to numeric systems will teach you how to convert between decimals and binary digits. In fact, these principals will allow you to convert other common computer numbering systems, such as octal and hexcidecimal, to decimal as well. You can even invent your own numbering systems.

The Rules of Place

1. Places start on the right.
2. Places move from right to left.
3. The first place value is always equal to one.
4. The next place value equals the previous place value multiplied by the base (ie. 10 for a decimal).
5. Each digit is equal to it's face value multiplied by the place value.
6. The total number equals the sum of the digits.


D E C I M A L B I N A R Y

Tech Guides + Tips