The answer is easy, why would I not? Holding a print, you’ve just taken from the printer, is an amazing feeling, the time and the work given to creating that image, is there, on one sheet of paper, in your hand. It’s the visualisation of an image into reality. You can return to over and over again with having to switch a digital device on. If you’re entering a Competition or Exhibition, it’s exactly what you want the judge to see, no digital changes, from processing, programme or projector colour shifts etc.
Buying a printer and paper is simply an extension of your camera, part of the process. Photography equipment, doesn’t come cheap. You spend hours researching the best camera and lens for your style of photography. Why buy cheap paper and ink to present your images? Get the best printer, paper and ink to reflect the costs of the equipment.
Photo or Arty?
Paper choices are just a diverse as photographers. The first consideration is size. Does size matter? We all know the answer yes. Some images should be printed small, some big, I must admit, I do standardise for talks and PAGB size guidelines. Two sizes, A3 or 10×10 inches printed on an A3 sheet of paper. None of this is set in stone but I hope it helps with your choices.
Choosing the right paper is a skill that has to be learnt, the only way to that is by printing. The higher the quality of paper the more careful you are in creating your print. You take time to check colour balance, shadows and highlights, mistakes in processing and finally, the best you can get from that image. That’s when you print. You must do your test printing on the same paper you’re going to use for your final print, Your print presentation, says so much about you.
FINE ART PAPERS
Fine Art Papers
Papers are divided into two sections, smooth and textured. The papers have their own individual characteristics, from smooth velvet to more defined surfaces . Each has to be considered when choosing a paper. Find out my favourites and why I use them.
Digital Photo Papers
This choice takes you to Baryta, glossy and semi gloss, satin & silk paper. My choice for a more photographic image is still a fine art, Photo Rag Satin. It has a Photo Rag base but a satin coating giving you the best of both worlds.
The extra sparkle Photo Rag Metallic, the only metallic paper that really makes my work have that extra something. or the added texture and depth of Willian Turner. These two papers really give and added extra.to your work.
HINTS & TIPS
Firstly, check the (coated) printing side is the right way round for printing. Which side of the paper do you print on? Usually it's indicated in the box of paper but it's easy to turn the paper round or put a sheet in the wrong way. A simple trick is to dampen the tip of your finger and the coated side will sick slightly to your finger, this is the side you print on.
Secondly, write in pencil on the back of the sheet, the name/make of the paper you've chosen and I also write the Date. This double checks, the side with the coating on. The distinctive coated side it will be more difficult to see the writing, a non coated side the pencil will write freely so keep you eraser handy.
Setting, check your settings, for the paper type and the appropriate ICC profiles. to get the best print.
Using a Test Pack
A simple way of trying images n different appears is to print them.
There are three test packs, showcasing. Photo Papers and Fine Art Papers and The Naturals Range by Hahnemuhle Fine Art.
I pick five or six images that I know work on certain papers or that possibly required different papers. Printed them on all the different papers in a sample pack. This creates a record of the papers and how each paper reacts to the paper this helps you choose the best paper for that image.
You usually get two sheets of each paper, therefore you can print two sets of images or try out the images on the papers at a bigger size. These sheets can now be kept in a folder as reference.