Printing For Rich Contrast and Colors With Hahnemühle's Photo Rag® Baryta

When you've decided to print your work and you're looking for the right paper, your options are near endless. If you know that you're wanting strong contrast and rich color representation, then take a look at this paper from Hahnemühle.

When having different paper options from a company that you can rely on for consistency and quality is important, I've found that Hahnemühle is one company that always brings their A game. When it comes to printing and paper selection, you have a variety of ways to present your work and the paper choice has a huge impact on how the piece feels (both literally and figuratively). You know your work best and thus your paper choice is the direct extension of how you want the finished piece to be received.

If deep, rich contrast is something that you're looking for, I would strongly recommend a look at the Photo Rag® Baryta. From their glossy fine art line, this is a 100% cotton paper, subtle glossy surface (as opposed to some of the more overbearing or pronounced glossy options), and is complete with an eggshell-like surface texture that I find to be very pleasing. One thing worth nothing is that while this is a glossy paper, the coating makes the glare less significant than other similar high gloss options. The thing that really stands out to me with this paper is the richness of the contrast, specifically in the darker areas like your shadows and black areas. The Photo Rag® Baryta delivers a visually significant richness that you won't typically find in a matte paper for example.

Furthermore, the color representation is really wonderful and displays the same richness and saturation that you'll find in the blacks and shadows. This is a paper that I really like specifically for the contrast despite the fact the generally speaking I gravitate more towards matte papers. I know that often my work (at least to me) feels like a more visually matte scene anyway so it's refreshing to change things up on occasion and see work on a glossy surface, especially one that really helps the color and contrast feel alive.

As this is one of Hahnemühle's more popular papers it's available in a wide variety of formats. You'll find it available in sheets, rolls, as well as the photo card tins all at a number of different sizes. Coming in at 315 gsm this is a sturdy paper that really speaks for itself in print. I'd love to know in the comments below if this is one that you've tried before or if now it's one that you'll give some consideration. When you go to print your work, if you have a high contrast scene (this would be a great option for a monochrome image) or if you're really looking for rich color this is one worth taking a look at.

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Evan Kane's picture

Thanks for the comment Jan!

michaeljin's picture

Expensive, but absolutely worth it when you're printing.

Evan Kane's picture

Definitely worth trying out, at the very least :)

Adam Rubinstein's picture

It is a lovely paper. Also consider looking at Red River's Palo Duro Rag Baryta. Although it is a bit lighter weight and alpha cellulose rather than cotton, it is a gorgeous paper at 1/2 the price of the Photo Rag

Evan Kane's picture

Thanks for the recommendation Adam

Pete Whittaker's picture

I agree, it's great paper. I don't know quite how to describe it but it looks less like an ink jet print and more like what I remember getting from photo labs. That saturation and slight texture... it's just feels really right.

Evan Kane's picture

I definitely appreciate the slight (very slight) texture!

Zoli Tarnavölgyi's picture

OMG, quite gifted model... :-D

daniel fazio's picture


Jared Wolfe's picture

Your photos accompanying this article illustrate exactly why I use matte and not gloss papers. Glare. I am a big fan of Hahnemühle's Matte Photo Rag Smooth. I will have to give this paper a try though since some images I print do require the additional contrast and deeper blacks that a gloss paper can offer.

Evan Kane's picture

Thanks for the comment Jared! I agree with you too, generally speaking I find myself more drawn to the matte papers for the same reason though occasionally it's nice to try something different :)