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Author Topic: B&W large prints: metallic paper, canvas or fine art paper?  (Read 1049 times)

Yvan Bedard

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B&W large prints: metallic paper, canvas or fine art paper?
« on: April 16, 2018, 04:44:52 PM »

Hi,

I sell fine art landscape photos in art galleries, mostly winter rural scenes from Canada, and they sell very well at good price. They are almost B&W but not quite, and printed on high quality canvas.

I just started a new series of B&W photos using high contrasts. People love them on my display. I did a few test prints on fine art archival smooth paper (Breathing Color Pura Smooth) and on metallic photo paper (Breathing Color Vibrance Metallic). The metallic paper gives nicer result (more punch, stronger black and contrast) but the fine art paper has more "nobility", probably closer to collectors' impression of quality.

I use Epson 7900 and mostly sell 24x36 prints.

I have three questions:
a) is Metallic paper "noble enough" to sell in top-tiers fine art galleries?
b) a very good photographer told me that he never prints B&W on canvas because it simply is "unthinkable"...   :)    What do you think of such a comment? Is it too purist? The big advantage of canvas prints is they don't require a glass in their frame.
c) if you have seen fine art paper with varnish (ex. Breathing Color Pura Smooth + Timeless varnish), do you like its look? Is it still "noble"? It is very well protected with such varnish and doesn't necessarily requires a glass in the frame.

Thanks,

Yvan

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Yvan
Fine-art landscape photographer in Quebec City, Canada
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

David Sutton

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Re: B&W large prints: metallic paper, canvas or fine art paper?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 10:04:18 PM »

I try to work out what the image asks for, not the pedant. At least if I get it wrong there is no one else to blame.
I've been working on a high contrast series in B&W and tried Moab Slickrock metallic. I never thought I'd go metallic but the images look just wonderful. The catch is that any nearby light source creates reflections on the paper making the image invisible. So I can't use it.
My current solution is to use Epson Legacy Baryta (which I've profiled for the Canon printer) and bring the dominant greys close to silver (rgb values 192, 192, 192.
David
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Yvan Bedard

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Re: B&W large prints: metallic paper, canvas or fine art paper?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 09:45:33 AM »

Thank you David for your feedback.

You're right, the metallic paper gives wonderful B&W images when strong contrast is important. In my essais, I had one framed behind a non-reflective glass (Artglass WW) and although the relfection is less of a problem, it is still there enough to avoid putting such a photo on a wall where there are windows or strong interior lighting. So, as you say, I can't use it unless I know my client will use it in appropriate rooms. 

The problem is similar to framing with traditional glass which has a lot of reflections, whatever the paper behind the glass. Idem for aluminium and plexiglass. This is why I sell 90% of my photos printed on canvas. However, it is the first time I work on a series of B&W with strong contrast and I'm looking for the best print media for wall art.

Thank you for your suggestions of Epson Legacy Baryta. I've use a lot of Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper in the past and liked it, but not recently.

Regards,

Yvan



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Yvan
Fine-art landscape photographer in Quebec City, Canada
http://yvanbedardphotonature.com

NAwlins_Contrarian

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Re: B&W large prints: metallic paper, canvas or fine art paper?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 10:56:43 PM »

I'm just a relative newbie-to-inkjet-printing amateur making smaller prints, sometimes but not consistently able to reproduce what I did in a wet darkroom many years ago, but FWIW:
* for B&W, my favorite paper so far may be Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta, as long as you can deal with its delicacy.
* I've tried B&W prints on Inkpress metallic glossy and metallic satin papers, and I see some promise, but I'm unconvinced that these metallic papers are (subjectively) 'better'.
* Maybe in large part because I'm printing and displaying for my own satisfaction instead of sales, increasingly I choose framing without any glass. If I have to reprint in five or ten years, that's a small price to pay for the improved appearance in the meantime. On the other hand, I'm not sure how long / how well Hahnemühle Photo Silk Baryta will survive on display without protective glass. I have not yet put one out where it will get dusted or anything--we shall see.
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