What’s the Right Paper

This past week I was working on a couple sets of prints to go out and ran into an interesting dilemma. Another photographer, who happens to be a good friend, asked me if I could make him a couple of prints of his images. I said sure. Two different images very different subject matter. I usually print my images on Ultra Smooth Fine Art because it is good, heavy matte paper that lasts a long time. Well the one challenge that I ran into was with the reds. The reds were so rich in the image that no matter what i adjusted it just wasn’t lining up. Nothing looked quite right. If you’re like me and spend the time to get the image right in the camera, then spend time in post fine tuning, then you also want the print to look the best.


I posted up here an image with the exact same issue. This is a P-51C Mustang photographed down at Fantasy of Flight. As you can probably tell it has a dark rich red rudder and nose. It so happens to be painted in honor of Lee Archer, a WWII ace part of the Redtail Squadron, known for their planes tails to be red and for being the only all African American Air Unit. This photograph I have also printed on Ultra Smooth Fine Art and the reds wouldn’t match up. They faded, still red but not the same richness. A trick my Dad taught me which is really simple is to just switch paper. Simply switching from a matte to a gloss paper keeps all those rich colors. It’s little tricks like that, that keep us out shooting and not bashing our heads against the keyboard.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 200-400 VRII, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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