Prints · Research

Paper Sampling

Yesterday was an exciting day for me – not only did my Blurb book arrive but so did a pack of paper samples from The Print Space.

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The pack included A4 samples of 6 different Gicleé papers and 5 C-Type papers – I was impressed with the quality of them all and I know it’s going to be a hard choice for my exhibition print!

The first 5 papers were the C-Types. The different samples were Fuji Gloss, Kodak Metallic, Fuji Matt, Fuji Flex and Epson Semi-Gloss.

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The two that stood out to me from this selection were the Fuji Gloss and Kodak Metallic. The gloss looked great and got me thinking it could work well for my images of water, but for me it was just a bit too shiny and reflective.

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Fuji Gloss

The metallic paper was beautiful – the bright colours really came alive with the metallic effect and I think my print could make use of this as it has a lot of different colours in it. The bold colours of the quarry wall mixed with the reflections in the water would look great on this paper as it shines and brings out different hues when you look at it from different angles. This is definitely one I will consider.

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Kodak Metallic

The rest of the C-Type papers were all top quality but just not really what I was looking for. I liked the simpleness of the Semi-Gloss but I wanted something a bit more special for my final exhibition. The next lot of samples were the gicleé papers – I’ve never used any of these papers before so I was really excited to see how they look and feel. The selection included Canson Baryta, Hahnemühle Pearl, Hahnemühle Photo Rag, Hahnemühle German Etching, Harman Gloss Warmtone and Canson Aquarelle Rag.

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The first two to catch my eye were the Canson Aquarelle Rag and the Hahnemühle German Etching. Both were textured and very thick, more like card than paper. The Canson was ever so slightly more textured and the colours stood out incredibly well. The soft feel of these papers was lovely and gave the images a very painterly atmosphere.

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Canson Aquarelle Rag

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Hahnemuhle German Etching

The next one that I really liked was the Hahnemühle Pearl. This paper had a very slight gloss finish to it but it isn’t reflective (which is what usually puts me off glossy papers) and the colours were fantastic. This is a serious contender for my final print – the quality is amazing and again I think the colours on my image will really come out well on a paper like this.

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Hahnemuhle Pearl

Next up was the Hahnemühle Photo Rag. This had originally been the paper type I had in mind after a print workshop we had last month, but now I am not so sure. I love the paper – it’s so soft and the blacks are really outstanding, which could work well with my image. However, it’s a matt paper and I’m not sure if I would now prefer something with a slight sheen to it seeing as water is reflective and that is the main subject in my image.

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Hahnemuhle Photo Rag

The next paper was Harman Gloss Warmtone but for me it was too glossy and I think it is more suited to fashion or beauty images.

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Harman Gloss Warmtone

The final paper I looked at was the Canson Baryta. This has a similar look to the C-Type semi-gloss but has a very slight texture to it. I think this could also be an option for me as I said earlier I liked the semi-gloss because of the water in my image.

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Canson Baryta

There’s so many different paper options out there and ordering this sample pack has made me realise how creative you can get with prints! It’s going to be a really tough decision and I might have to look into ordering some test strips to get an idea how my own images looks on my favourite papers. So far I think I’ve narrowed it down to the Kodak Metallic, Canson Baryta, Hahnemühle Pearl, and Hahnemühle Photo Rag.

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