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If you've explored the world of fine art paper and printing even the tiniest bit, then you've no doubt heard the name Hahnemühle. Today, I'll be taking a hands-on look at one of their newest papers in the FineArt line, the Photo Rag® Metallic.
Right off the bat this is a glossy metallic paper complete with the expected pearly sheen and subtle eggshell-like texture that you may be familiar with from the Photo Rag® papers. A recent addition to the FineArt line, this brand new metallic paper shines, no pun intended. Know that you're getting a museum quality paper that's age resistant and is going to last so if this style of finish suits your fancy, feel comfortable knowing that your images (when properly maintained) are going to outlast you.
As this is a metallic paper of the glossy variety and after seeing the pearl tone finish of the blank 11x17 sheets, I opted to select a variety of images that I've shot including color and monochrome as well as location portraits, studio lighting, and nature images. Personal preference plays a huge roll in paper selection and presentation and the content of your work plays an integral role in determining which paper you opt to print on. In my previous experience with other metallic papers I've found that an image with more specular highlights tend to pair well and can have an added sense of depth from the metallic finish.
The texture of the Photo Rag® paper is a beautiful one; a soft and subtle texture compared to a more boldly designated textured paper like William Turner or Albrecht Dürer. It's really nice to see that this texture carries through the metallic finish and both looks and feels like the Photo Rag® that I'm familiar with. As for the images, the monochrome photos in particular really feel alive and strike me as a good selection for this paper type. As metallic is non-traditional in the sense that it is less common than matte or glossy papers, I would encourage you to experiment with different content to identify what you feel looks the best with this one.
Available in both boxes and rolls in a variety of sizes if you've never though about metallic before, now might be a good time to give it some consideration. If you decide to give this one a try, make sure that you download the correct ICC profiles which you'll find here. If you do print something on this paper I'd love to hear your thoughts. I've attempted to have images that both capture the glossy metallic finish as well as the texture of the paper as the angle and lighting plays a big role for this type of paper. Have you printed on any of Hahnemühle's other papers? How do you feel this new entry stacks up compared with the classics?