A friend just asked (and I paraphrase): “I have a picture: should I have it printed on metallic?” He went on to say that it has shiny stuff in it. His picture is here.
And I do like to have my work printed on metallic, for the large prints. Like in this one, which will be for sale at the Oakville awards ceremony this Thursday:
Good question. When do you use the following?
- Normal paper;
- Matte paper;
- Glossy paper;
- Natural fibre paper;
- Metallic paper.
Well, here’s my rules of thumb. Very basically:
- Normal paper: run of the mill paper, never. Make your images look great, and make them last.
- Matte paper: when you expect reflections. When blacks need to be deep black.
- Glossy paper: when you want your pictures to look like photos. When reflections will not be an issue.
- Natural fibre paper: when you are using a pigment printed, and are less interested in the background being pure white, but more interested in long-lasting prints (think centuries). Pigment lasts centuries; natural fibre paper types such as the popular Hahnemülle papers will not fade, since they have no “emulsion” side to fade: “it is what it is”.
- Metallic paper: when your prints need to “wow!” and they have shiny bits in them. Colours become vivid; black and white greys get this wonderful silvery sheen: strongly recommended. Also, when you want a light print. Silver paper mounted on softcore needs no glass; just a simple frame around the edges.
Based on the above, my friend’s print most certainly qualifies for a metallic print. I’d go and do it. If you (like him) live near Toronto, go to Fotobox in Etobicoke, and tell them I sent you.
One more thing. Settle on a few paper types. All papers have a clear range of things they do best; colours they can express; way with colour and with deep blacks; and so on. Pick a few, learn what they do (use the Soft Proofing function in Lightroom that I discussed here previously!) and then print accordingly.
Talking about prints: I also intend to sell smaller prints from www.michaelsmuse.com at this week’s event:
If you should be interested in prints for your home or office: I will honour the special Oakville Arts Council pricing until Thursday. Just saying.
A Note for Oakville residents: I just bought those easels and print stands at Currys in Oakville (off Trafalgar Road). The store manager (I think that is what she was), when asked by the very nice cashier if there was a discount for taking the display items (they had run out of boxed items) grumpily looked at me and said “NO. There’s nothing wrong with them.” The brusque and rude way she said that, and the way that she then then went back to her work with clear disdain, apparent feelings of superiority, not liking me, and all sorts of other not-nice-to-customers feelings makes me not want to go back there. At Michaels art store, on the contrary, they were very nice and took all sorts of time even though I bought nothing. Just saying, everyone: avoid Currys Oakville if you want to be treated with respect. (And it’s not the discount: it’s the way she expressed it).