Paper is a big deal for me. I have always had a love for good paper: how it looks, how it feels, and even how it smells! The right paper can take a good photograph and transform it into something special. One of the joys of modern inkjet printing is the huge variety of media we now have available to us. You used to only be able to print a photograph on a handful of substrates. But now we have everything from glossy to matte, from smooth to velvet, from traditional style papers to raw cotton-rags. Even sheets of metal, thanks to Booksmart Studios, and really any thin flat surface can be made printable, thanks to InkAid.
I use Crane Museo
In spite all of the variety that is available, I have found that I prefer just a small set of papers. In fact, I do 95% of my printing on one: Crane Museo. This is a 100% cotton rag paper with a soft velvet finish. I chose this paper because I feel it really supports the organic nature of my abstract photography. I like how it makes them feel like “art objects” as opposed to just prints. It has just enough tooth to give the paper character and add a subtle texture to my photographs, while still being smooth enough to handle easily and show off details.
The paper has no optical brighteners in it, so it has a natural off-white color. This might put some people off, but I love it. It celebrates the true organic nature of the paper, and lends my photographs a warm and natural feel. And it really supports the sweeping gradations of color which are so important to the character of my images. Museo comes in a couple weights: 250GSM and 365GSM. The heavier weight is beautiful stuff, and feels great in the hand, but I find I use the lighter weight more. It’s still a nice substantial stock, yet it easier to handle, and much easier to roll into tubes for shipping.
What paper do you use?
All of this variety can be rather intimidating. Trying to decide which paper to use can be a complex and very subjective problem. So I was curious: what paper do all of you use for your printing? Do you use just one, or do you play with a variety? Why did you choose those papers? Do you use a paper that adds character to your photographs, or one that gets out of the way of your images? Be sure to share the name, weight and other details that effect your decision. Thanks!