Introduction to Photography print medium
Apr 18, 2023
If you are a newcomer in the printing world the sheer amount of medium and terminology is enough to make you go dizzy : Paper, metal, Japanese paper, 500gsm, matte, sublimation, Chromaluxe, fujiflex with 2mm acrylic. If you understood everything there, amazing ! you can read about why you should display Luxury fine art photography print on your walls.
For those that didn’t understand anything, grab a little cup of coffee or tea and get ready for an easy explanation. We won’t get too technical.
After reading this you’ll have enough information to start navigating the world of purchasing photography prints.
3 types of printing medium
Disclaimer : While there is a huge amount of medium available for printing I decided to focus on the 3 main categories who I think applies to wall art.
When you think about printing picture, first thing that comes to mind is a paper photo print. The process is very similar to what you have in your printer at home except that method is different and specifically tailored for color reproduction fidelity. The paper will impact the result the most, there is matte paper, glossy paper, textured paper for those that fancy the medium being also part of the art piece etc… A paper print can be cheap or very expensive, it depends on the quality of the paper, and size of the print.
Keep in mind if you purchase a print online it’s likely to be paper print rolled in a tube, you’ll have to do the mounting and framing work yourself, or have a pro do it, which most of the time will cost more than the print itself.
if you go with that option check on the photographer website the paper they are using, it must be written somewhere with an explanation of why they choose it, to have a better idea of the overall look.
Printing the photo first on transfer paper using Fine Art Inkjet pigments. Then using heat and pressure, the transfer is then vaporised into a special coating on the aluminium. The materials form a permanent bond, making the print extremely robust. This method is called thermal sublimation. This process makes the print durable and extremely robust, rain and changing weather are no longer a problem, in case you fancy decorating your roofed outdoor areas and bathrooms.
The sturdiest medium of all, for public areas where people might end up inavertedly touching the print or worse bump into it, the extra resistance will prevent heavy damage that classic photo print wouldn’t handle at all. However metal prints are inferior in term of color accuracy, vibrancy and details when compared to standard photographic print.
My personal favorite. The picture is printed on paper and then scealed under a layer of acrylic glass protected by a triple-layer aluminum Dibond backing plate and the edges are sealed with permanently elastic silicone. Although it’s providing great protection the acrylic glass add vibrancy and extract all the picture’s details, enhancing color brilliance and depth of field, making the viewer feel like he/she is part of the action, as if the subject was close enough to touch.
Visually trapping the light, your favorite image appears to be back-lit under the acrylic glass, Punching the scene in your face every time you look at it.
The acrylic layer thickness can vary, usually from 2mm to 6mm, the thicker, the more of a “3D effect” you have. I personally think 2mm is enough to enhance the picture and more is overkill but that’s just me.
With image quality being the most important aspect for me, this is the printing method I use to enjoy my pictures myself. I teamed up with the best printer in the world to make my pictures available as acrylic print of the highest quality. Fuji Crystal DP II photo paper under glossy acrylic glass is the perfect combination for colorful images and my favorite medium to display my work without compromising, with a gallery like and modern look on your wall right away upon delivery.
Which printing method is for you and which one do I recommend ?
Even though we just scratched the surface, you should have a deeper understanding of a few printing solutions available.
Which printing medium should you choose when purchasing photography wall art ?
Paper prints come in a lot of size shape and quality, freight cost are cheap but you have extra work to do yourself, or to outsource.
More often than not the “final product price” will be at least double, since framing gets expensive very quickly. Given the low price, they are usually not limited edition. Something to keep in mind if you are starting to be an art collector.
Acrylic Prints will, for a premium, give you a gallery like modern look on your wall. The product is fully finished and ready to hang right away. This also means you have to be sure about framing beforehand. Being sealed under acrylic, print’s colours will never fade or change.
Being the true luxury option of photographic printing, everything is customisable to the client needs. From the acrylic thickness to the frame itself. Either the piece is to enhance your home or brighten your office, rest assured that once printed, the image you chose is a pure technical masterpiece full of high definition detail, state of the art tonal transitions and vibrant colours.
Metal prints are perfect if you want to display pictures in bathroom, outdoor areas or anywhere exposed to high general public traffic. for any other case acrylic prints are better.
Metal and acrylic being ready to hang you’ll always have a seamless installation experience.
Now that you know more about printing here are 5 reasons to buy luxury wall art for your place or office.