Prints and Papers
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.
PHOTO – this choice takes you to Baryta, glossy and semi gloss, satin & silk paper. I tend not to use Gloss papers as it doesn’t suit my style of work. 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.
FINE ART – these papers are divided into two sections, smooth and textured. The smooth papers are more suited to the soft less textured images and the featuring people, faces. The textured papers, to the more gritty, grainy, textured images. I’ve labelled the papers which section they are in and given you an example of the images that I’d print on that paper.
SPECIAL PAPERS – there’s two paper which I use but for very specific images. William Turner, is highly textured surface and lends it’s self to certain images and Photo Rag Metallic, is a paper I use for my sci-fi, some of my toy images and things that need a real shine and that extra originality to the print.
Smooth Fine Art Papers
Ideas and Choices
my no.1 paper
The first time I printed on Bamboo, I knew it would be a favourite. If I could only buy one type of paper it would be this.
Bamboo is a natural white paper adding a soft tactile feel that extra softness and a little warmth from the natural white colour.
It's a first stop for my soft still life and many other images.
Bamboo is made from 90% bamboo fibres which makes it a very environmentally friendly paper. Part of the Naturals Range with a smooth surface.
favourite smooth paper
The white cotton artist’s paper, with its characteristic, wonderfully soft feel, boasts a lightly defined smooth surface structure. I'd use it on flowers and portraits, anything that doesn't want texture over parts of the image. Sometimes, you can overpower an image with the texture, this is perfect for the smooth surface image.
My standard for softer images. An ideal choice for my softer creative images. This adds a soft gentleness to the image and is very tactile.
The lighter weight paper is a great one to try for your first arty smooth paper.
Fine Art Photo Paper
Arty Photographic Paper
Photo Rag Satin
My go to Photo Paper
Photo Rag Satin is a beautiful paper. It has a satin coating that gives a more traditional feel with the coating is on a Fine Art Paper. It's the best of both worlds.
You get the arty feel with a silky sheen that enhances your image. You can use it on any images you're use a semi gloss or pearl on but it adds the rich Hahnemühle Fine Art Quality to the work.
I've used it on my Misty Liverpool Image and it works a treat. Reminds me of a mono darkroom paper.
Textured Fine Art Papers
Ideas and Choices
favourite Textured Paper
German Etching is a arty photographers favourite. The textured surfaced paper that takes most images to the next level, this paper adds a unique textured surface to your image, enhancing the textures in the print. German Etching adds that little extras to a textured image.
There's a Fine Art feel to the paper. If you're a beginner with textures papers, this is one to try.
The bright white art paper has a clear, coarsely structured felt mark and is characterised by a very special tactile feel adding a three-dimensional effect and sense of depth.It reminds me of little clouds to the touch.
A perfect paper to add shadows to less textured areas adding depth. Especially if you have little detail in the sky.
Many creative photographers use this paper.
The Environmental Choice
Hemp, is an award winning natural paper, made with 60% hemp fibre and 40% cotton, it makes an environmentally friendly paper, one of the Natural Line Papers. I like the texture and how it integrates with the images. I use it for the images that needs a slightly textured adding the finishing touch.
It has a white natural tone which is created by the light colour of the hemp fibres. The lightly textured surface. Hemp was an essential part of paper production for many centuries and has a long history in paper making
Extra Special Papers
Metallic and William Turner
Photo Rag Metallic
This silvery-shimmery paper is the only cotton based metallic paper on the market. I’ve used metallic papers in the past with various results but never really been happy with them.
Photo Rag Metallic, is not one I would naturally pick up BUT this paper is stunning! the first time I printed on it I fell in love.
I have created several sets of images just for this paper and they stand out from the crowd. This paper is not just for creative work, you can use it for so many images including macro and nature and it will adds a little magic and shimmer. You have to try it to understand how amazing it is. It makes your images sing with vibrance matched with the summer of the gold surface.
William Turner has a highly distinctive textured surface once you've touched it you'll know it again. The enhanced depth of the surface adds another dimension to images, giving the image textures that are something special in a fine art paper.
This surface adds a slight shadows in the texture which enhances those already there. This works especially well on heavy textures, fur and foliage as it enhances a beautiful depth to the textures by adding shadows in the surface of the paper.
Before I Print
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 chose five or six images, 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. I also show these at talks, it shows the different colours and textures too. You can buy a Photo Sample Book and a Fine Art Sample Book which allows you to see the different papers.
Sample Pack Offer
Sample Pack Bundle Offer Now Available at Hahnemühle Fine Art UK - Limited Offer