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Lustre, Metallic, Deep, Acrylic, Metal, Canvas ????

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Post time: 2015-7-3 15:09:09 |Show all posts
I am trying to make some prints using a commercial service, and would like some advice about my paper options:
LustreMetallicDeepCanvasAcrylicMetalCan someone explain the difference and basis of choice to me? Is the difference in color rendition? Detail? Richness? Longevity? Any help would be great!

Post time: 2015-7-4 04:02:15 |Show all posts
russelwallace wrote:
Thank you so much for such a detailed response.
You're welcome. After all, that's the purposes for these forums, to share knowledge.
The "deep" I think refers to the "deep matte", as listed here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=13942.
I was looking at a AdoramaPix, and they offer "Kodak Professional Supra Endura in Lustre, Matte, Glossy and Kodak Professional Metallic."
Depending on the size of the print this description could be referring either to wet RA-4 prints, if small, or inkjet if larger. You'll need to ask to be sure.
Kodak RA-4 metallic has an excellent reputation (I've never used it), but Kodak inkjet metallic (not made by Kodak, but by a company that has licensed the name) is the cheapest and lowest quality metallic that I've tested (so far), with mediocre dmax and muddy/magenta highlights, but even so it still looks better than regular glossy for some images. So if you do want to try this surface (using inkjet paper) then try to find someone who uses Mitsubishi, which is of very good quality (second best of the four metallics I've tested--the best is from Breathing Color which no lab uses AFAIK).
Bay Photo Labs offers the same range, but also what they call "Watercolor Giclée", which I assume is the watercolor paper that you are referring to?
There are so many watercolor surfaces that's impossible to count them all, but they can range from "hot pressed" which are extremely smooth to "cold pressed" which have widely varying rough surfaces depending on the manufacture. I use a very rough surface one for my work, Canson Arches Aquarelle, which you can see samples of at any good art store. But from their brief descripting you'll have to ask to be sure.
Strangely, the only places I could find offering Baryta prints were all in the UK!
Very expensive and highly specialized, and one of the best arguments for printing yourself.
Yes, at some point I should probably start looking into printing myself. Right now though, the volumes that I print is too low. Not only as far as the cost of the hardware, but the steep learning curve I am sure it takes to produce prints!
Not if you print through either Lightroom or Photoshop, have your monitor calibrated and download the appropriate paper profile from the manufacture's web site.
Do you have any printing services you might recommend?
I have two 17" printers, so I only use an outside service for really large prints. But the main one I use is Costco for four reasons:
1. they're cheap
2. they have a downloadable profile insuring reasonable color accuracy
3. they do good work
4. they have no maximum file size limitation if you bring the file in yourself (this is important if you want to print very large sizes with fine detail such as pano stitches, which I do). So do check your service as many have maximum file size limitations. Also see if they can print in larger color spaces than just sRGB, which has a very limited color gamut.
The main drawback to Costco is their very limited paper surface, which is just luster for larger prints.
But I think you will soon find out that using specialty printing services are not as inexpensive as you think. Once you factor in shipping costs and their high markup, after a few prints it becomes cheaper to print at home.
I do take a lot of effort to get my colors and everything looking right on screen, including color calibration etc., so it would be nice if this did not get messed up by a printing service!

Post time: 2015-7-4 02:52:18 |Show all posts
russelwallace wrote:
Thank you so much for such a detailed response.
The "deep" I think refers to the "deep matte", as listed here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=13942.
I was looking at a AdoramaPix, and they offer "Kodak Professional Supra Endura in Lustre, Matte, Glossy and Kodak Professional Metallic."
Bay Photo Labs offers the same range, but also what they call "Watercolor Giclée", which I assume is the watercolor paper that you are referring to?
Although there are some that refer to these papers as 'watercolor', most of the fine art papers are not. Some were watercolor papers, some were specifically designed for inkjet printing, but most were originally from a wide range of very different fine art processes, including fine art printing (intaglio (engraving, etching, mezzotint, aquatint), lino and woodcut, monotype, etc, etc), carcoal, chalk, crayon, pastel, etc).
About the only thing they have in common is a true matte surface.
Strangely, the only places I could find offering Baryta prints were all in the UK!
Difficult to find except at small custom print studios. The surface is usually similar to a lustre, but occasionally you will find a soft gloss like Harman Gloss Baryta. It is a higher quality paper than the usual RC (resin coated = plastic coated) papers. The inks sink in deeper creating a more three dimensional print.
Yes, at some point I should probably start looking into printing myself. Right now though, the volumes that I print is too low. Not only as far as the cost of the hardware, but the steep learning curve I am sure it takes to produce prints!
Do you have any printing services you might recommend? I do take a lot of effort to get my colors and everything looking right on screen, including color calibration etc., so it would be nice if this did not get messed up by a printing service!
Aspen Creek does paper samples: http://www.aspencreekphoto.com/samplepack
Their sister company, West Coast Imaging, caters more for proffesionals and offers face mounted acrylic, direct-to-metal, fine art paper, and Museo Silver Rag which is a baryta paper But I doubt they do samples - they are expecting a different level of customer.
Brian A

Post time: 2015-7-4 01:14:52 |Show all posts
Thank you so much for such a detailed response.
The "deep" I think refers to the "deep matte", as listed here: http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=13942.
I was looking at a AdoramaPix, and they offer "Kodak Professional Supra Endura in Lustre, Matte, Glossy and Kodak Professional Metallic."
Bay Photo Labs offers the same range, but also what they call "Watercolor Giclée", which I assume is the watercolor paper that you are referring to?
Strangely, the only places I could find offering Baryta prints were all in the UK!
Yes, at some point I should probably start looking into printing myself. Right now though, the volumes that I print is too low. Not only as far as the cost of the hardware, but the steep learning curve I am sure it takes to produce prints!
Do you have any printing services you might recommend? I do take a lot of effort to get my colors and everything looking right on screen, including color calibration etc., so it would be nice if this did not get messed up by a printing service!

Post time: 2015-7-3 23:35:20 |Show all posts
russelwallace wrote:
I am trying to make some prints using a commercial service, and would like some advice about my paper options:
LusterMetallicDeepCanvasAcrylicMetalCan someone explain the difference and basis of choice to me? Is the difference in color rendition? Detail? Richness? Longevity? Any help would be great!
Luster: is the familiar pebble surface you get from the grocery store's one hour printer. How strong the pebble finish is can vary depending on which paper manufacture the printer company is using.
Metallic: is the paper companies' attempts to duplicate the metallic look of metal prints. In reality it usually is more of a mother of pearl look depending on the brand, which is commonly Mitsubishi. Works best on prints with a lot of white or very light colors in it as the pearlescent base has to show through for the effect to be seen.
Deep(?): is the companies own personal definition of who knows what.
Canvas: is just what it says, a photo printed on artist canvas. Canvas can be had in both matte and glossy, but commercial printers usually just offer the glossy option, which looks horrible in my opinion as the canvas texture creates thousands on tiny reflective highlights if you view the print from any angle except straight on. I prefer matte but it has to be coated, which is labor intensive, and why it's seldom offered.
Acrylic: is, as someone above mentioned, probably face mounting a glossy photo to an acrylic sheet. I've done this myself at home and it is very beautiful, but gave it up as the acrylic scratches too easily.
Metal: is printing on a highly polished sheet of aluminum. It usually has a very high gloss but I think some companies are now offering it in a matte surface. It does not have to be framed and is very scratch resistant, but is also very expensive. I've not had any of my images printed this way, but have seen plenty of other's photos and the mirror like super glossy surface is too intense for my taste.
Another paper option, which is not listed, is to print on watercolor paper, which I use for many of my florals. But there are many different type of textures, from strong to very weak, available and I would never allow a company to choose the surface for me, the variation is that great.
Matte: is another surface you don't have listed, and is actually very popular with professionals since it has no reflections enabling the image to be seen from any direction. It's drawback is that the matte surface is incapable of generating a deep black or highly saturated colors. As such many professionals are using Baryta and other semi-gloss papers in order to have both the deep blacks and saturated colors but with a less glossy surface. But there really is no perfect paper that combines deep rich colors with a non-reflective surface.
So as you can see there are many different papers on the market in most of the categories listed above. One of the advantages of doing your own printing is the ability to test the various available papers to see which ones work best for your particular image. Even a cheap $100 dye printer will enable you to use most of these papers. When you go with a particular service you're stuck with whatever they've chosen. If you're really serious about your photographs you'll eventually want total control, and the only way to get that is to print for yourself.

Post time: 2015-7-3 22:21:10 |Show all posts
Red River sells sample kits for much of their paper line.
http://www.redrivercatalog.com/samples/
For a print service, it might be a good idea to check with them to see if they have some sort of sample set.  There might be some variations depending on their paper sources just as there could be enough differences between similar sounding papers that might deserve their own profiles for different printers.
5#
Invalid floor, the posts have been deleted

Post time: 2015-7-3 19:56:28 |Show all posts
russelwallace wrote:
Thanks.
Do you know of a site with some samples of how these might look? Well, assuming that differences would show up on an online image of course ...
It would be impossible to show the differences online.
A lot of it is personal preference, although some images work better on one than another. At least 90% of the printing I do is on smooth cotton rag fine art paper. But just today I advised someone with a ‘reflections on water’ image, that it would look better on a gloss (lustre, silk etc) paper – it just didn’t work on a smooth art paper, although it may have worked on a textured art paper or canvas.
You do not have your location in your profile, but your best bet is to find some one local (within driving distance) with samples of some of these. You probably won’t find anyone doing face mounted acrylic, unless you are in a large metro area. It is quite an industrial process. Same goes for direct to metal.
Brian A

Post time: 2015-7-3 18:48:43 |Show all posts
Thanks.
Do you know of a site with some samples of how these might look? Well, assuming that differences would show up on an online image of course ...

Post time: 2015-7-3 16:56:14 |Show all posts
russelwallace wrote:
I am trying to make some prints using a commercial service, and would like some advice about my paper options:
LustreMetallicDeepCanvasAcrylicMetalCan someone explain the difference and basis of choice to me? Is the difference in color rendition? Detail? Richness? Longevity? Any help would be great!
There should be very little difference in color rendering.
Lustre is a standard photographic paper and comes in several slightly different surface finishes: semi-gloss, satin, pearl, lustre, silk, semi-matte, etc
Metallic is a paper with a silvery cast to it, usually with a lustre or gloss surface.
Deep; I have no idea. Deep what? Deep pockets?
Canvas is what it says: cotton or poly-cotton. It has a canvas texture and could be anything between matte and gloss.
I presume that 'acrylic' is a print face mounted to acrylic.
Metal is direct printing to sheet aluminium.
Your image, or choice. Some images work better on one medium, others work better on another.
Brian A
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