Print and Paper

Why Print?

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 a great feeling.  It’s a culmination of all the skills and reasons you take photographs, in your hand, to hold, to share and to 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. 

Buying a printer and paper is simply an extension of your camera, as its just part of the process. Photography  equipment doesn’t come cheap. You send hours researching the best camera and lens for your style of photography. Then why buy cheap paper and ink to present your images?  Get the best printer, paper and ink to reflect the costs of the equipment. Buying ink that isn’t the same as your printer is designed for, why?  It’s like putting diesel in a petrol car, it’s mismatched. 

Choosing the right paper is a skill, that has to be learnt. the only way to that is by printing. I choose high quality paper by Hahnemuhle Fine Art. The higher the quality and cost of paper the more careful you are in creating your image for printing. 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, not a cheap paper and ink. Your print presentation, says so much about you. 

My work is created with prints in mind,  it’s designed to have texture and a creative touch. Firstly, I take the image, usually theses days on my iphone. I work on it in Photoshop. I save it on two drives or on the cloud. Now, I think about the paper. I’ll let you into a secret, my fort fine art prints were printed art paper, as coated paper wasn’t available. it wasn’t until the late 1990 the first Fine Art Inkjet papers were developed based on traditional artist papers but coated for inkjet printers. If you want to know mare about Coated papers and paper manufacture visit Hahnemuhle Fine Art.

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. So A3 or 10×10 inches printed on an A3 sheet of paper. I rule out standard Gloss and Semi Gloss without thinking about it My work simply doesn’t work on these papers. Questions I ask myself, what paper colour? white or natural white?  Surface texture, has my image got textures and how do I want to illustrate those textures? A soft smooth paper to a highly textured surface and several stages between. Like anything else in the process the more you do it better you get at it. There’s also a consideration of how does the paper change the colour of my image? Yes, they can. Some slightly saturate or suit mono better that colour. All these things considered, make sure you  choose the right printer sitting for your paper. 

I’ve given you some examples and the image and paper choices in the Papers Section.

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Paper Choices

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