Printing 'Pingliang Road'

Good morning folks.

I've been printing my Pingliang Road image today. I went for an A3+ size to get a measure of the print at a good dimension, although it strikes me this image would lend itself to a much bigger form. Below is a mini photo essay in celebration of this simple but joyful photographic act. I hardly ever tire of seeing an image 'released' onto paper.

There are lots of reasons not to print your work - time, money, storage space and so forth. Perhaps you might like to go against this today, and give your image(s) a well-deserved reincarnation.


Hahnemühle Photo Matt Fibre 200 gsm paper

Make a start in fine art inkjet printing

There is a beguiling range of inkjet printing papers available on today’s market, many of which have specialist characteristics and applications. If you are new to inkjet printing, or indeed are simply in the mood for a different support, it can be difficult to know which paper to choose.

I have several paper types that I regularly use, each for a different purpose. Among these is a category that I might call the inkjet equivalent of a straight print in the darkroom. Having made a first stab at processing an image, I want to print it out and begin to make decisions on how to proceed. I will return to processing, print again, and repeat as necessary. Towards the end of this procedure I will include the final paper, usually one of the most expensive available. The paper I use first will be an ‘economical’ one (for reasons of economy, naturally), but, crucially, must not be so far removed from the final type as to introduce a jump or glitch in the process. It’s pointless to work on a draft version of a print, only to have to start processing from scratch once the end paper is introduced.

A paper has recently come to my attention that I have considered for this draft / straight print role. It is Hahnemühle Photo Matt Fibre 200 gsm. You have to tread carefully with affordable matt papers because at the lower end of the market you may not achieve the kind of quality you need. In point of fact, I remember thinking for some time that printing on matt supports wasn’t worth the trouble - until I discovered fine art matt media. The problem was that the image was rendered with a noticeable grainy structure (quite unlike film grain, incidentally) that gave the image a rather un-photographic quality. A quality matt paper will not suffer this, rendering your image in a smooth and photographic fashion, with good tonal transitions.

The price point of Photo Matt Fibre suggests that it is an economical but not a budget paper. It is significantly cheaper that Photo Rag Matt (one of my favourite final print papers), at nearly half the price. Hahnemühle themselves advertise it as a good first paper for fine art work. I’d like to second that view here and recommend it myself as a good place to start.

A draft print on Hahnemühle Photo Matt Fibre 200 gsm. Made using an Epson R3000 printer.

A draft print on Hahnemühle Photo Matt Fibre 200 gsm. Made using an Epson R3000 printer.

I like two things about this paper. First, it has the aforementioned quality of rendering a photographic-type image that I consider the sine qua non of inkjet printing. Second, it is not a thin paper at 200 gsm, and comes with a slight texture reminiscent of more expensive fine art matt papers. I can therefore get very close to my final print with this media, before using my preferred exhibition paper.

Good tonality, the ability to render sharp details and a gentle fine art texture are qualities of Photo Matt Fibre.

Good tonality, the ability to render sharp details and a gentle fine art texture are qualities of Photo Matt Fibre.

There are two possibilities here then, as I see it. Either you’re starting out and are on safe ground with this paper as a first matt paper choice and a taste of fine art printing; or you’re already printing and might consider it as a replacement to your draft matt. In either scenario Photo Matt is a sound, keenly priced option.


You can buy Photo Matt Fibre via this link from Amazon:

If you enjoyed my post, you might like to subscribe to my site here

Purchases made with Amazon following the links on my site help me cover costs for posting the content I make. I get a small commission from Amazon at no extra cost to you. Alternatively, you can donate directly here. Thank you for your kind support!

* Footnote to previous post: screen vs paper

Whilst looking at my previous post I had a realisation. There is a world of difference between the on-screen version of my Shutters image and the version on paper. I have to rely on the reader imagining differences between papers because the screen and the paper versions are so very different. The 'light turqouise' patch of which I write literally can't be represented on screen. A problem on one level, but, an inherent part of these distinct media and a splendid example of the gap between screen and print.

I guess you just have to see the prints too.