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Printing in Black and White
Traditional black and white printing goes digital.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Quadtone Prints
Black & White archival printmaking using monochrome inksets.

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

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Scanning 101:
RGB, CMYK + Size


Scanning is the process of converting artwork and film (transparencies or negatives) into digital images. In today's digital world, the sharing and communication of pictures and photographs requires digital images. Virtually all forms of communication now use digital images:

  1. Print: Books, magazines, brochures, etc.
  2. MultiMedia: CD's, DVD's, Web, etc.

As an art and media buyer, choosing the right type of scan for your project means balancing: quality, budget and deadline. Making the right scanning choices will greatly enhance the visual quality of your project.

RGB or CMYK?

Definition: Red, Green and Blue (RGB) are the three additive primary colors. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are the four process color inks used for printing.

First, determine what your printer, designer, service bureau or digital imaging professional requires. Some printers and publication will ONLY accept CMYK images. If the choice is open, we recommend RGB scans for the following reasons:

  1. The RGB color gamut is much larger than the CMYK, which means that RGB images are a better representation of what human eye sees.
  2. Since RGB images have a greater color gamut, RGB images can be converted to CMYK images with excellent results, but not vice-versa.
  3. Most image editing programs have more RGB than CMYK editing tools.

So for projects that will be printed using process colors, we recommend that you work in RGB and then convert to CMYK.

How Large?

There are two different approaches to answering the question of how large of a scan you need. The short term and the long term approach. Scanning an original 4x5 transparency to 3Mb for web use is short term, because the immediate usage, alone, dictates the size of the scan. Less consideration is given to the size of the original or the scanner's sampling rate. We also call this the output resolution-based method because common specifications might be "300 dpi at 8.5 inches x 11 inches", where 300 dpi is the output resolution needed for most 4-color process printing.

The long term approach uses the scanner's input resolution (sampling rate) and the size of the original to determine the appropriate scan size. We suggest an input resolution of 1,800 dpi and higher for original transparencies and negatives.


*The RGB ORIGINAL + INPUT RESOLUTION Size Chart
(For Long Term, Multipurpose use and Archiving)
25 Mb 50 Mb 100 Mb 200 Mb 300 Mb 400 Mb 500 Mb 600 Mb
35mm 2554 DPI 3612 DPI 5109 DPI 7225 DPI 8849 DPI 10217 DPI n/a n/a
120 (6x6) 1295 DPI 1831 DPI 2589 DPI 3662 DPI 4484 DPI 5178 DPI 5789 DPI 6342 DPI
120 (6x7) 1196 DPI 1691 DPI 2391 DPI 3382 DPI 4142 DPI 4789 DPI 5354 DPI 5865 DPI
4x5 661 DPI 935 DPI 1322 DPI 1870 DPI 2290 DPI 2639 DPI 2950 DPI 3232 DPI
8x10 330 DPI 467 DPI 661 DPI 935 DPI 1145 DPI 1320 DPI 1476 DPI 1617 DPI

The dpi's are approximate in the chart above. The blue numbers are above 1,800 dpi. We've included 8x10 originals, although 8x10 film is rare, because the chart shows that a 300 Mb scan from an 8x10 is scanned at lower input resolution than a 25 Mb scan from a 35mm original. Food for thought, and a good point to be aware of. In general, you need larger scans from larger originals.

Each sizing approach has it's place. If the images are for a seasonal catalog, it makes more sense to use the short term whereas the long term approach is obviously best when:

  • archiving valuable images
  • there is a large investment in post-production (retouching)
  • an image might be reproduced at many different sizes


Now let's look at how we size scans based on Output Resolution.

CMYK Output Resolution Sizing

The answer for a CMYK scan is simple and straight-forward. Our CMYK Crosfield Drum Scans come in standard process printing page sizes at 304.8 DPI (8.5 x 11, 12 x 18, etc.). Just get the scan that will fit the page size that you need to cover. If in doubt, go to the next larger size to ensure that your image will bleed over the live printing area.

If your image is a square, make sure that the scan will bleed over the longest dimension of the scan. For example, a 6cm x 6cm transparency needs to be scanned to at least 12î x 12î to cover an 8.5 x 11 pageÖtherefore you need a 12 x 18 scan.

RGB Output Resolution Sizing

For an RGB image, refer to our RGB OUTPUT RESOLUTION Size Chart* or follow this simple, two step process to arrive at the correct answer.

STEP #1: Determine the Spec's:

  1. Height and Width: What is the size that you need the image to print/display at? Use inches for the unit of measure, and determine both the height and the width.
  2. DPI: Ask your printer, service bureau or photo lab what resolution you need in inches (DPI), or refer to the recommended DPIís listed below.

STEP #2: Do the Math:

    Use the formula below to figure out the Mb (megabytes) of the RGB scan required based on your Specís.
    Formula:
    (Height X DPI) X (Width X DPI) X 3 divided by 1,048,576 = Mb
    Example:
    A 21Mb RGB scan will print to 8" x 10" at 300DPI.
    (8 X 300) X (10 X 300) X 3 divided by 1,048,576 = 21Mb (20.599365)


Commonly Recommended OUTPUT DPI's

  1. Monitor: 72 DPI to 100 DPI - Web, CD-ROM, DVD usage where viewing is on a computer monitor display.
  2. Wide Format Retail Display: 150 DPI to 300 DPI - Wide format inkjet prints for window and point-of-purchase retail display prints.
  3. 4-C Process Printing: 300 DPI - Process color printing for magazines, brochures, etc.
  4. Fujix and Digital Photo Prints: 300 to 400 DPI - Most photo and photo-real digital prints (dye-sublimation, Fujix, etc.).
  5. Fine Art Giclée Prints: 200 DPI to 300+ DPI - Current inkjet printers have resolutions up to 2880 dpi, however practical experience dictates that this is overkill for the scan. We recommend a minimum of 300 dpi for prints up to 20îx 24î and no less than 200 dpi for larger prints.
  6. LVT Digital Transparencies/Negatives: 1016 DPI to 2032 DPI - Output of film requires very high resolution due to the resolving power and detail inherent in photographic films.


*The RGB OUTPUT RESOLUTION Size Chart
(approximate sizes based on 300 DPI prints and 1016 DPI LVTs)
4x5 LVT... 8x10 LVT...
3x4 4x6 5x7 8.5x11 11x17 16x20 24x30 30x40
Web 4R A5 A4 A3 A2
3Mb 6Mb 12Mb 25Mb 50Mb 100Mb 200Mb 300Mb

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