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When choosing how to print your Black & White images we would recommend our B&W Printing options over our C-type or Giclée services to ensure the best results in your print. Choosing a Silver Gelatin print completely prevents the colour cast you would usually find due to colour printing processes.

At Metro Imaging, we offer a range of B&W printing options: from traditional B&W Hand Printing to Digital Silver Gelatin Prints. We’re also the only print lab in the UK to produce B&W fibre-based prints from digital files, Metro’s Steve Macleod having worked directly with Harman in producing the paper itself.

Both of our B&W Silver Gelatin and C-Type prints are produced with archival, light-sensitive papers specifically designed to be exposed with a digital enlarger. When printing a B&W image using a colour process, such as the C-Type, there will always be a colour cast of some degree, usually green or magenta – this is due to the colour dye within the print. Our HARMAN GDS B&W papers contain no colour dyes and are exposed with B&W chemistry, resulting in ‘true’ blacks with no colour cast, despite being exposed with the standard RGB colour laser on our Lambda Printer.

We offer three premier HARMAN GDS papers to fit your needs, a resin-coated finished and two fibre-based options:

– Fibre-based Baryta (Gloss): This double-weight paper has a gloss finish and slight texture, the emulsion is based upon traditional B&W silver halide technology. It has excellent D-Max, sharpness and surface finish that will give a superb continuous tone. Our FB paper is also great for pairing with Giclée Fine Art Baryta prints when printing colour and B&W images together.

– Fibre-based Baryta (Matt): This is a double-weight paper with a matt finish and smooth texture. It is a silver gelatin premium quality panchromatic photographic paper. This paper has been designed using the very latest black & white silver halide emulsion technology optimised for digital exposure and presents a neutral image tone.

– Resin-coated: This is a premium quality paper with a bright base tint, and it is a perfect paper for cooler-toned images. It has a semi-matt finish and contains fine tonal benefits of subtle highlight detail and strong blacks.

Our digital B&W papers can be printed up to 108 x 48 inches, either through our Premier Bespoke Service or Premier Self Service online.

We recommend having a look at the papers themselves before ordering. Either drop by our lab or order a Sample Pack here.

Lastly, we are proud to still offer B&W hand printing straight from the negative, using the traditional darkroom method. Our Master Printer can match and reproduce your image consistently; however, due to the technique, each one is technically unique. We offer a range of papers, fibre-based to resin-coated, in a number of finishes and tones. Our maximum Hand Print size is 20 x 24 inches.

IMAGES:
1. Digital Fibre-based Gloss Print.
2. Left to Right: Digital Fibre-based Matt Print, Digital Fibre-based Gloss Print.
3. Digital Resin-coated Print.

Our top-of-the-range photographic scanning department consists of a drum scanner, capable of capturing exceptional detail and tone, and a flatbed and CCD scanner, to cater to all needs.

We also offer a cost-effective bulk scanning service using modern scanning techniques, and vintage images enhance and repair with careful retouching to bring back their original quality, reproducing perfectly time after time.

Drum Scanning:

The tool of choice for high-end film applications because drum scanners are capable of capturing very subtle details in film originals, producing exceptionally smooth tonal gradients and a high level of shadow detail.

CCD and Flatbed Scanning:

An alternative to drum scanning, choose digitising your archival prints or retro family photos via our cost-effective CCD or flatbed scanning services.

Archive Scanning:

Metro has built a reputation for high volume archive photo scans, scanning complete photo film libraries, catalogues, family albums, and vintage material from any origination; including from photo prints and slides, to large format negatives.

 

Direct to Media (DTM) printing is a large-format inkjet printing process using cured UV ink. The process allows images to be printed directly on to almost any surface, using fine full-colour CMYK inks. The ink is sprayed directly on to the printing surface, and then cured by UV light, drying it almost instantly.

As the name suggests, we can print your image directly to almost any flat material of your choice, within any size up to 3x2m and up to 90mm thick. Direct to Media can be highly durable in comparison to traditional substrate-mounted prints, with the added bonus of being water-resistant.

Direct to Media vs Photographic Prints

The Direct to Media method combines printing and mounting into a single process, rather than the traditional print mounted to your chosen substrate. Unlike traditional printing, Direct to Media inks are bonded to the surface of the substrate, resulting in a resistant and long-lasting image that can even be displayed in outdoor exhibitions. The process can open up a whole new way of showing work, introducing alternative printing materials and allowing for more immersive installations.

Due to Direct to Media being alternative printing process, we would always suggest a test print before running a final piece. Every image and material prints differently, allowing for a unique finish for your artwork.

Examples of materials supplied by Metro Imaging:

  • – Perspex
  • – Vinyl
  • – Aluminium
  • – MDF
  • – Dibond (Brushed, White, Mirrored etc.)

Examples of client supplied materials:

  • – Glass
  • – Tile
  • – Mirror
  • – Copper
  • – Textiles
  • – Wood
  • – Slate

 

Have a material in mind? Get in touch for a quote!

 

Images:
1. DTM on Perspex, installation image from You Will Enter An Oasis © Felicity Hammond
2. DTM on Wood, section of Portrait Salon 2017 installation © Portrait Salon
3. DTM on Leather, installation image from Paul Smith Japan © David Bailey

2020 is a very special year for us at Metro Imaging, as it’s our 40th Anniversary!

Founded by Ben Richardson and his best friend from school, Mike Trevillion, Metro began as a two-man operation, providing black and white printing back in 1980 from a small establishment in Great Titchfield Street. Great energy and a genuine passion for the business soon earned Metro a reputation for quality and innovation, establishing the UK’s original photographic imaging company. From there, we expanded and evolved, along with the photographic industry, to where we are today.

The business rapidly expanded as a skilled and committed team were established. In 1983 the colour department is set up, and by 1985 Metro had relocated to larger premises in Great Sutton Street and, along with it, a 24/7 E6 processing lab is introduced. From then onwards Metro kept moving forward steadily, and by 2000 the business had already expanded into the field of electronic imaging, C-type printing, C41 colour processing and contacting, photo retouching, mounting and framing, online services, and films sales. The Metro group opened branches all across London in Chelsea, Soho, Clerkenwell, and Waterloo.

By the mid-2000s, the photographic industry saw a decline in demand for traditional printing and film processing. Given its fundamental adaptability and flexibility, which has kept us thriving at the forefront of an ever-changing market, Metro relocated to cosier premises in Great Sutton Street, eventually shutting down other branches, with business moving towards digital printing and online services. And whilst the demand for analogue services has grown smaller throughout the years, Metro are proud to still offer a full range of film processing and scanning services, B&W hand printing, and the finest quality Digital C-type and Silver Gelatin printing.

In 2009 came the delivery of one of only ten Superwide Lightjet 500XL printers, and with it Metro Imaging became  one of only two commercial printing labs in Europe, and the only UK lab, to be able to print to 72” wide.  It is the only photographic printer in the world which can print to 10ft x 6ft in one section, making it the number one choice for fine art photographers. The Lightjet had to be craned over the building into the back courtyard, closing off Great Sutton Street for the day, with an entire wall dismantled and rebuilt to accommodate the machine!

By 2012 Metro Imaging was granted the Royal Warrant by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, recognising our close relationship as a supplier to the Duchy of Cornwall for many years.

Metro Imaging’s passion and commitment to excellence and the highest standard of service has made us the most trusted professional photo lab in the UK, establishing us as specialists in the Fine Art and Photography industry amongst galleries, museums, collectors and educational institutions.

We’ll be celebrating at various points throughout the year, so stay tuned! Thank you for an incredible 40 years!

You can find our full timeline via our About page.

 

2020 is a big one for recent photography graduate Angela Blažanović.

Not only will Blažanović’s work ‘Fragments of A River’ be exhibited as a solo show at the upcoming Free Range Awards, but her work will also be presented as part of Jetsam, a two-person exhibition opening at Sid Motion Gallery this month.

The ‘Fragment of a River’ series reimagines the lost narratives of discarded objects, found along the river Thames; photographs from this ongoing body of work will be shown alongside recent sculptures by artist Laura Green

Jetsam | Angela Blažanović and Laura Green
Private View: Thursday 23rd January 2020 6 – 8 pm
Open: 24th January – 29th February 2020

IMAGES © Angela Blažanović: Fragments of a River

Metro Imaging has the best colour management service that comes with running a long-standing professional lab. The best way to test for colour is to print one of your images, around 10×12 inches and compare it to your screen, and in the lighting environment that it will be displayed in.

Bespoke Service users do not need to worry about paper profiles. In the case of Self-Service, users may use the profiles for soft proofing, but these will be applied by Metro Imaging to the file prior to printing.

We recommend submitting your files to us in Adobe RGB (1998) as we will profile them before they go to print, however, if you are confident in profiling, we have most of our c-type paper profiles available for download down below (to do this, go to Edit > Convert to Profile and from the drop-down box select Adobe RGB (1998)).

Prints under 40 x 30 inches Poli C Type Prints
C-Type Matt Poli Matt
C-Type Gloss Poli Gloss
C-Type Velvet Pure Matt Lambda Fuji Velvet
Giclee Fine Art Use Adobe RGB 98
C-Type Metallic Poli Metallic
Prints over 40 x 30 inches Lambda C Types / B&W prints
Giclee Fine Art Use Adobe RGB 98
C-Type Matt / B&W prints Lambda Matt
C-Type Gloss Lambda Gloss
C-Type Velvet Pure Matt Lambda Velvet
Prints over 50 inches LightJet C Type prints
C-Type Matt LightJet Matt
C-Type Gloss LightJet Gloss