Selecting the Right Paper for Prints
Well, the last thing I want to cover, I wanted to talk about printing paper, paper choices, paper option, so to do this, let's head back to the keynote presentation, and let's talk about paper options; there are a ton of options, so to do this segment, guys, I think I'm going to stand up and walk around, I'm going to show a print, here, show a couple of different scenarios for printing, so the first thing is, is that there are, traditionally, there's three traditional paper types; there's the glossy paper, and actually, I don't think I have real glossy paper here, in the room today. But when we have glossy, a lot of times you can get reflections, so what I'm trying to show, here, to the camera, is there's sometimes reflections off of the lights; glossy, you got to be really careful with the ambient light in the room, are there windows behind? Are there bright lamps in the room? Glossy can really detract from the viewing experience; the next one is a matte paper, and this is more like a...
matte, matte is cool, because it doesn't show your fingerprints, as much, and as much as we try not to get fingerprints on our prints, we always do, so I like matte, because it holds up a little bit better in the long run, and then we also have the luster, satin and semi gloss, so I'm going to walk over here to our actual Epson printer; this is the semi gloss that we've been using today, and it's very similar to the matte, but it's maybe a hybrid, between a glossy and a matte paper. I really like this semi gloss; I think it has a nice color to it, it does reflect a little bit of light, but that's okay, just make sure you're viewing where you're going to end up putting these on the wall, that that viewing are doesn't have a lot of backlight behind it. Well, the next category of paper is the fine art paper, and let me grab this, here, and I'll walk back over towards the TV (paper rustling) this, we printed on that big Epson that we were showing earlier today, that giant Epson, and this is a fine art paper, it's smooth, there's no gloss to it, it's even got a little bit of texture, so these sometimes aren't as bright and vibrant; the colors, sometimes are a little bit more muted, I know these are different images, but you can see there's maybe less contrast, overall, a little more of a painterly feel, a painterly effect, so when I'm feeling artsy-fartsy, I oftentimes go with a little bit more of this type of paper, so we've got rag, rag actually has a lot of texture to it, a smooth, fine art, which is what this is, watercolor paper, and then canvas. Oh, man, I love printing on canvas; canvas, for some reason, for me, I like that texture, we've already talked about how panoramas can be immersive for the viewer, but I think canvas panoramas are even more immersive, because you see all this texture on the surface, and it just makes you want to look in there and explore; there's a bunch of different styles of papers, too, today, we've been using roll paper, and roll paper works really well for panoramas, because not all panoramas are exactly the same aspect ratio; by aspect ratio, I mean width to height ratio, so roll paper makes a lot of sense for panos; you also have precut paper, you can buy precut paper like these, here, these are little panoramas that I've made, and a lot of this stuff comes in these precut; this is a four inch by 12 inch, or something like that, these precut papers, and then we've also got sheet feed, so you can buy pre manufactured, 8 1/2 by 11 letter size, or 20 inch by 30 inch, so sheet paper. And then the last one is, there's a lot of different brands, and most of the paper these days, it's hard to find bad paper; I mean, if you buy something online from a sketchy source, you might find some bad paper, but any of these brands are going to produce excellent, excellent paper; we're really in a golden era of paper availability, and stuff from Epson and Canon, Hahnemule, I really like Hahnemule paper, the Ilford stuff, they make some really great black and white paper, and then Kodak, most of the labs that you'll print at are using Kodak paper, and Moab is another paper company, here in the United States, they ship worldwide, but I've used paper from all of these companies, and all of them produce excellent quality results. So today, we're using an off brand paper; I've already forgotten the name of it, but you guys saw it when I did the paper profile, and we bought that from an online retailer that you all know and love, and it cost a little bit less than the higher end brands, but you can see, the prints are beautiful.
What impact does an image sharp detail or a more diffused look have on your choice of paper style?
Ooh, love that question, really great question; okay, so (sighs) well, let's use this one; I took this in Iceland, this is in the Westman Islands, I took this, maybe two years ago, and this one has a ton of detail, I mean, all of these buildings and houses, if you get up close to this print, you just see all of this incredible detail, so I want a paper that's going to resolve that detail, so I don't want to use something like a rag, or maybe even a canvas, meh, canvas is right on the edge, but I wouldn't use something like a rag or more of like a watercolor, because a lot of times with those, the ink that falls on the paper, tends to move around after the droplets have impacted, so if I want something with a lot of detail, either your fine art paper needs to be able to show it, like this one does, or something like a glossy or a matte, those will work just fine, so usually the brighter, shinier papers resolve more than the softer, muted papers.
Alright, a quick one from Photo Travel Tips, do you know if there are profiles for printing onto metallic, aluminum, for metal prints?
Okay, yes, there are, so to be fully honest with my answer, I haven't made a lot of metal prints, I think I made one, and I didn't even worry about the profile, and the reason why, is because I'm calibrated on my monitor, so I know my monitor, what I see there is what the industry standard is going to be, and I know that that metal print that's going to come out, they're also going to be calibrated, so I know I'm going to get close, but the better way to answer his question is go to that company's website, wherever you're making that print, so let's say you're going to Mpix.com, or even Costco, you know, almost anyone who has online printing, they have a website, and you can go there, you can track down their profiles, and then you can download those profiles onto your computer system. So I don't know exactly if metal prints have that option, because I've never downloaded them, but I have to assume they do, and if they don't, just literally call them on the phone, I mean, they want to help you get great prints; every printing company in the world wants your magnificent print, in your living room, and they want people standing around it going, "ooh, aah, where did you print this?" So they are going to help you do everything they can with your profiles.