Your work is greater than a Graham cracker sized cell phone screen and you know it. When it comes time to select which paper you print on, you've got a lot of options. Let's take a closer look at a few things to consider when making your choice and examine one example up close.
This is the first official entry into my exploratory series on fine art papers and the case for printing your work in 2018 (you'll find the introduction piece here). The beauty of printing work is that we are presented with a whole new set of questions to address regarding our work. One interesting way to think about this is that via printing, we take something off of the screen and bring it into the real world and have to ask ourselves "how do we want to view our work in the real world?"
Today, I'm looking at the Moab Entrada Rag Textured 300 paper, abeautiful textured paper with a gorgeous matte feel to it. For me, I know that I generally gravitate more towards the matte aesthetics, I think that it connects better with my style of work as I tend to go for a bit of a matte vibe on screen so it makes sense to go after a paper that will faithfully maintain that look. This is a key factor to address when considering your paper options. If your photographic style goes for a certain look, you'll want to ensure that your paper choice meshes well with said style.
One thing that I love about this particular paper is the texture; while clearly visible and tactile, it's not overpowering and in no way detracts from the image printed on it. When I think about my work, I picture people holding the pieces before matting and framing, maybe running a finger over the surface, if only for a moment. In my mind, the subtle texture adds just the right amount of visual depth.
Generally speaking, I don't go for particularly saturated color tones in my own work. Often I find myself enjoying a somewhat muted color palette which is yet another factor to consider when choosing a paper. Matte papers rarely display the colors or shadows as deeply as a glossy paper might. If your work has a high degree of contrast (and deep blacks are important in your work) or your color saturation is high, a matte paper might not be the best choice for your work.
This is an excellent paper choice for me, it's one I would gladly choose to print my work on again and again. I want to start this series with a paper that I really love before I explore other options that I don't connect as well with. Leave me a comment with your print experience, how often do your print your work? How many different types of paper have you tried? Have you genuinely explored your options to determine what you most connect with? As this series will be focused on paper printing, let's keep the discussion to papers rather than other mediums for the time being and thanks for reading.