Why to Print
Why would anyone print when you have such a great displays to the images. So many ways to see the images like retina displays of phones, super retina in iPad Pro, 4k screens, wall size TV’s and projector screens. With extra wide color gamut screens and resolution beyond any human eye can resolve, there is absolutely no reason to spend any addition money in print, that’s what I thought…
It’s simple, of all the images that I have seen, the one that stays in the mind as the best images are the ones images that are printed in some form. It could the images from the photo album, pictures hanging in walls in home, or in mantles. The printed images that are various Museums, galleries or hallways, airports, or magazines have long lasting impact. Nothing that I have seen in display as something to remember as a great photo.
I tried to learn about the difference, why the same image gives a different emotion based on the medium of display. It’s just the difference of emitting light vs reflective lights. Almost all the objects I wish to capture as photo are from reflected lights in nature, viewing them as emitted light doesn’t have the same impact as light reflect from a medium like paper.
Need for a Printer
There are many photographers who are just fine with online labs. Kudos to them, they are the ones who mastered the art of transforming digital image to print. I tried many labs, with so much delay in the feedback to get the right tone in the image, and it gets expensive if you go through multiple cycles.
After lot of analysis decided to choose Epson P-800, what a great printer so compact, yet prints beautiful images.
Paper, Paper, Paper – What to Choose
Of course, I am not expert in all the paper types to say this is the definite paper type here are my experiences with the various types of paper I tried. I choose primary the Epson as it was little easy to get the right colors from the sample pack. I got excellent images form Carson, Hammamuhle and Moab as well.
1. Bulk print paper from Costco/ Sams Club
They looked good, comparable to images developed there. But it’s missing a punch, and the colors are very to match. There is no need for 11 color ink to print in such paper, for many images they look similar to the print from all in one HP printers
2. Lower end Photo Paper from Epson (Premium and Ultra Premium) and similarly priced papers from HP/Illford
These are good to map the colors perfectly, cheap enough to a critical view of the print and how they might look like. These prints look like prints from regular photo lab. I use these 4×6 and 5×7 to check the quality of print at various ISO’s, primary color accuracy to the display.
3. Metallic Papers
For certain images they are the best paper. These are perfect if the photo has some thing glowing, here are few sample pictures where metallic paper produced better print than Signature Worthy and Legacy papers.
4. Signature Worthy Papers from Epson – Velvet Fine Art
These papers are good only if you know when to use what. Printing a metallic bean with the glowing lights in Velvet fine art paper, has just some artistic drawing look but not a glowing brilliant photo I was expecting. But printing a natural textured image in B&W absolutely popped out in this paper
5. Cold Press and Hot Press papers
I couldn’t tell much difference after I printed between them. The produced best colors that just mimics the nature. Only issue is if the texture is heavy like in Cold Press Paper, the the sky looks artificially textured, which I didn’t prefer.
6. Legacy Paper (Non – Matt) – Platine
They are absolutely worth it, only reason they have wide color gamut then the signature worthy paper, if the image doesn’t need the extra bright colors then signature worthy papers are slightly better in terms of weight and 3D look.
Absolutely stunned by the color it produced. The cloth is very shingle and bright, with a violet blue and extra bright green, with the shades. The Legacy Fibre absolutely reproduced the depth of color and gave 3D look, which I never though is possible in Matt paper for bright colors.
I ended up ordering Legacy Fibre and Legacy Platine in 17″x22″ size, as they seem to fit all the type of images I print. Though there are others that are better, for certain images, I can’t stack-up a A2 size paper.
Once these boxes are printed, I will try Hahnemühle and Moab. I’m very happy with the samples, but only thing is I couldn’t match the color as easily as Epson. So went with Epson till I learn more about printing.