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Ultra-sharp black & white printing is on the horizon

Posted on Sep 27, 2023

Acclaimed for its gallery-quality prints, photo lab WhiteWall is now deploying ultraHD sharpening technology on black & white images

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Photo lab WhiteWall, present in 13 countries and with 200 employees, is world renowned for its gallery-quality prints. Just this spring, TIPA bestowed WhiteWall with the accolades of ‘best photo lab’ and ‘best frame design’ in its 2023 World Awards. Now, it’s seeking to win the custom of photographers working in monochrome by ushering in a new era of black & white printing. 

Launched at the end of August, its new service is ultraHD black & white prints. This is described as sharpening technology that’s precisely matched to the output process. It’s used in combination with increased production resolution to ensure results that are ‘absolutely perfect’. In fact, the lab suggests its technique results in unprecedented levels of clarity, meaning every detail and nuance of the photographer’s monochrome images are brought to life.

This extra sprinkling of magic afforded by ultraHD sharpening is available in conjunction with three types of Ilford photo paper: PE photo paper with a glossy or matte surface, plus genuine baryta prints. 

With WhiteWall black & white having been launched on its own specially created homepage, simply select the ‘WhiteWall ultraHD sharpness’ option when ordering. 

You baryta believe it

WhiteWall claims to be one of the few labs still offering photo prints on baryta paper. This was added to WhiteWall’s black & white range in 2013, and was inspired at the time by the Leica M Monochrom. 

A decade later, the pioneering photo lab is now extending its ultraHD sharpening option to black & white prints, promising to provide monochrome photographers with a level of quality ‘never seen before’. To achieve this, the lab has invested in a new imagesetter, which it suggests guarantees extremely accurate reproduction of detail, with strong contrasts.

With the ultraHD sharpening process selectable for Ilford prints with a glossy or matte surface, or with a baryta surface as a special highlight, prints are available in a customised format up to a maximum 240x122cm in size. Whether laminated behind acrylic glass, framed or presented as a classic print, these are promised as black & white prints in their purest form, free of colour casts. Photo prints on Ilford black & white paper can be finished with a white border if wished, which lends them a museum-like or decorative quality. 

Head to the WhiteWall black & white homepage now to enjoy its new dedicated community for black & white photography professionals. As well as the ability to order prints, here you’ll find interviews with its creative partners and ambassadors. 

Featured is professional French photographer Alexandre Souêtre, creative director and WhiteWall partner, who notes: “What I really like about black & white photography is its timelessness. It’s a great tool for conveying very subtle emotions. This can be something dark and menacing on the one hand, as well as something soft and bittersweet on the other. That’s a palette that’s very interesting to play with in photography.” 

This is why a passion for monochrome photography is at the centre of the new black & white section on the website specially created by WhiteWall, a company for whom this style of photography has always had a large following.

Fellow black & white enthusiast, artist Natalie Oberg, adds: “I believe that the visual aesthetic of black & white film is very well suited to highlight the drama of landscapes and stories in nature.” Finally, WhiteWall ambassador Phil Penman, acclaimed internationally for his black & white photographs, echoes the collective excitement about WhiteWall’s new direction:  “Black & white takes me back to my beginnings; that’s what I love.”

Head to the below URL now to find out more about how WhiteWall ultraHD sharpening can boost the presentation and visualisation of your own black & white prints to an unprecedented degree – and celebrate our combined passion for black & white photography.

Originally published in Issue 111 of Photography News.

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