My expenditure on photo paper over the years for club competitions has been evolving slowly along with my photographic knowledge and achievements. I have an Epson 3800 ink jet printer and for a long time have settled on Epson Premium Luster paper, knowing there were more exotic fine art papers out there, but never really exploring them properly.
For this years competitions I decided to try some non Epson papers and started the year working with Canson Satin 270gm for colour and B&W and later Canson Glossy 270gm to test on B&W prints. Profiles worked fine, the results were similar to the Epson papers, nothing earth shattering.
Now with one final competition round coming up I felt it was time to try more fine art papers and selected Canson Platine 310gm and Hahnemühle Baryta 325gm.
Playing with both papers tonight… Canson Platine vs Hahnemühle Baryta…
At least on my Epson 3800 the ICC profiles were the recommended ones, and with C. Platine colour skin tones are off. I thought perhaps it was something I had done wrong, but once I switched to Hahnemühle the tones were perfect.
Black and White:
I was very pleased with the Canson Platine B&W, much richer tones and texture than Canson satin or Epson luster papers. Then I tried same prints with H.Baryta and just fell in love with the results. The Platine now seemed slightly washed out in comparison the the warmer whites and deeper blacks of the H.Baryta.
Texture and Weight:
The heavier paper was the first thing I noticed in the H. Baryta, then the more pronounced grain and texture to the surface. At 325gm it felt really like light cardboard and no longer just paper.
Both fine art papers are high quality and produce beautiful results. When compared side by side, for me the choice becomes very much one of taste and a function of results each user is looking for. Since I’ve been working in artificial light tonight, I’m going to reserve final judgement until I look at the results again tomorrow in daylight. For my last competition prints I think it’s going to be Hahnemühle, but I’ll need more than nice paper if I’m to please the judges:-)