Photo Paper Reviews

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George Schaub Posted: Aug 23, 2016 1 comments

The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines recently convened for their General Assembly to vote for the best photo and imaging products launched by the industry in the last 12 months. The voting took place during the General Assembly that was held in spring 2016 in San Francisco, California.

George Schaub Posted: Mar 15, 2016 0 comments

Claims about inkjet print permanence have been bandied about for years and while there have not been (and certainly cannot be) “real world” tests without the use of a time machine, it’s generally accepted that “accelerated” aging tests are a good indication of when a paper/ink combination will start to lose color fidelity/density, or even when the paper base and coating itself will cause problems. Indeed, this discussion can be as contentious as it is competitive, such as what happened six years ago when Epson properly threw down the gauntlet to Kodak, whose in-house test methodology and claims for their papers were subject to dispute.

George Schaub Posted: Dec 15, 2015 0 comments

Print surface decisions are usually conditional, that is, they depend on the look you want for each image and how you might intend to display the print later. There is a general wisdom that states that glossy surfaces make prints look “sharper” and matte makes them look “softer”, although that softness is more in overall tone and mood (and ink dispersion) than edge definition.

George Schaub Posted: Nov 12, 2015 0 comments

I’ve always been a strictly DIY print guy and have done my fair share of printing over the years, but I’ve recently seen some intriguing print presentations by friends and associates—on aluminum, bonded under acrylic glass, on textile or canvas—that I could never produce in my studio. As I researched the idea I decided it was time to check out a custom lab that could broaden my print options.

George Schaub Posted: Sep 25, 2015 0 comments

The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) member magazines recently convened for their General Assembly to vote for the best photo and imaging products launched by the industry in the last 12 months. The voting took place during the General Assembly that was held in spring 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Joe Farace Posted: Jul 31, 2015 0 comments

Everybody makes prints from their digital image files—everybody. It may just be cranking out a few photo prints from a birthday party on a kiosk at Walgreens, or wedding photographers having full albums printed at commercial labs, but contrary to some pundits who claim digital has destroyed the need for a physical print, they are still being made and enjoyed. As Mark Twain once said, “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”

George Schaub Posted: Jun 02, 2015 0 comments

Moab’s Juniper Baryta Rag 305 is a double-weight, 100% cotton inkjet paper with a “true baryta base,” which refers build-wise to the inclusion of barium sulfate in the mix but aesthetics-wise to having the look and feel of traditional silver-based darkroom printing papers. While that descriptive reference might be more poetic than experiential for many folks these days, it is a good thing. Its weight, richness and tonal depth separate it from many RC-type inkjet papers, plus it has one more laudable characteristic: lack of OBAs (optical brightening agents), those brighteners used in many papers that help give them a stark, cold white base coat.

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George Schaub Posted: Jul 11, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments

If you, like me, had come to associate “watercolor” with a stippled and rough surface, my first tip on this paper is not to be concerned with the moniker. It is a somewhat rough surface, but more in its tooth than its topography, and is more akin to high-quality painting stock than some of the stuff that had been passed off as watercolor inkjet in the past. And while this paper might be aimed at the “fine art” market (reproduction of paintings and drawings for portfolios and presentation and possible sale) it is also quite apt for photographers who want rich color on an “archival,” matte/textured surface. Epson describes the surface as “unique,” and you can feel and “hear” the surface as you run your thumb over it. I found that while the surface texture is somewhat rough it does not intrude on the ink laydown; in fact, it seems to enhance it.

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George Schaub Posted: May 20, 2014 Published: Apr 01, 2014 0 comments

Choosing the right paper for your prints is often a matter of surface texture and tone, but there’s more to it than that when printing for exhibition or display. It’s what the paper is made of, and the inks it can handle, that make the difference between a “warrantied” saleable print and one that might be used for quick display or repro. While there are no industry standards for print longevity as of yet, working with papers that could be dubbed “archival” by their very makeup is a good place to start.

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George Schaub Posted: Mar 21, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments

In olden times there was paper for printing color and for printing black and white. Structure, emulsions, and processing chemistry all determined how you matched media and paper, and it was all pretty self-evident. Surface choices were wider for black-and-white printmakers and while there were some choices for color (gloss, matte, semigloss) much of the surface treatment for color prints was added with sprays and varnish. Of course that’s all changed, and the “rules” regarding media and paper matching have been tossed.

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George Schaub Posted: Oct 01, 2013 Published: Sep 01, 2013 0 comments

Way back in 2006, Innova Art brought out their FibaPrint White Gloss 300 gsm, and while not what I’d call a big brand name here in the US, digital printmaking aficionados who had come from the fiber-paper darkroom tradition took note. Here was an inkjet paper that emulated, and some say matched, the look and feel of traditional bromide silver printing paper. Other surfaces have since been introduced in this line, including the new FibaPrint Warm Cotton Gloss 335gsm that’s the subject of this report. Of course, this is not the only paper that claims the “fine art” pedigree, but due to its weight, its ability to reproduce a wide range of tones with clarity, and its acid- and lignin-free constitution it has all the required specs.

Edited by George Schaub Posted: Sep 13, 2013 Published: Aug 01, 2013 0 comments

Every year member magazines from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) gather to consider and vote on the top products of the year in 40 categories, ranging from cameras to tripods to software and printers. This year’s selections represent technological sophistication along with features and functionality that make them leaders in their respective categories.

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George Schaub Posted: Dec 12, 2012 1 comments

While weight is just one measure of a paper’s resilience and usefulness for fine art printing, it can also have an effect on how that paper is handled, depending on the printer. In the case of Red River’s Polar Matte Magna, which is a 96 lb (320 gsm) stock, it means working with individual sheet feeding rather than with a stack loader in almost every printer you might have. This feed-through also limits the printers that can make use of this nice surface—those without a single feed option need not apply, as well as, according to Red River’s notes, HP printers with front feed paper trays (which have also proven problematic with other heavyweight surfaces).

Edited by George Schaub Posted: Sep 18, 2012 Published: Aug 01, 2012 5 comments

Every year the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), a worldwide association of photo and imaging magazine editors, meets to pick the Best of Class in a wide range of photo categories. As the sole US member of the association, Shutterbug joins editors from Europe, Asia, and Africa in the nominating, judging, and selection process. One of the most exciting aspects of photography today is the constant advancement of technology and design, and this year’s Top Products reflect that spirit and those accomplishments, including new categories of Video D-SLR and Mobile App. Editor George Schaub joins all fellow TIPA members in congratulating those selected to receive the prestigious TIPA award. (To learn more about TIPA, please visit the website at: www.tipa.com.)

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Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz Posted: Sep 14, 2012 Published: Aug 01, 2012 0 comments

You can use Harman Direct Positive Paper (hereafter HDPP) in a whole spectrum of ways. At one end of the spectrum is the “Wow! Lookit!” of a school science project. At the other is a creative tool that will probably prove useful and profitable for some fine art photographers, and even some advertising photographers. We keep thinking of new ways to use it, but then again, you have to. It is a classic example of “creative limitation,”

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