5 Unique Photo Papers You Should Try

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Printing your work is a very satisfying experience. The level of control you have when you do it yourself is unmatched and can be extremely rewarding. There’s also the feeling you get when you’re holding one of your photographs in your hand, which just can’t be beat. Sticking with classic glossy, luster, or matte paper is certainly a very good way to work with most of your images, but there are some more unique options available that can impart even more character into your printed photograph. Here are a few intriguing ones that you should check out.

1. Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic

Among the latest releases from famed paper maker Hahnemühle is Photo Rag Metallic. Based upon the renowned Photo Rag surface structure and feel, this natural white cotton paper adds a metallic, almost silvery sheen with a specialized high-gloss coating that includes barium sulphate—aka baryta. A heavy 340 gsm weight adds to the paper’s outstanding feel and the coating’s effect will emphasize many elements of your image, especially those with metallic or reflective surfaces, architecture, and landscapes. Made with 100% cotton fiber without any optical brighteners, this paper will certainly fit your archival needs for high-end printing applications. Pick it up in 8.5 x 11", 11 x 17", 13 x 19", and 17 x 22" sheets or 17-, 24-, 36-, 44-, and 50"-wide rolls.

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic Paper

2. Awagami Factory Murakumo Kozo Select Natural Paper

Based on a classic Japanese papermaking technique and style is the Murakumo Kozo Select Natural Paper, from Awagami Factory. Using machine processes to replicate the Washi style of paper, Murakumo Kozo is a soft, strong, and semi-transparent paper. This is, thanks in part, to the use of Kozo fibers from mulberry trees that impart a naturally warm tone to this paper. It also feels very light in the hand with a weight of just 42 gsm and a thickness of 6.3 mil (0.16 mm) and is well suited to backlit applications, as well as reproducing the look and feel of antique prints or texts. This is a very special paper for specific applications. You can find it in A4 and A3+ sheets or 36"-wide rolls.

Awagami Factory Murakumo Kozo Select Natural Paper

3. Canson Infinity Aquarelle Rag Paper

Achieve the watercolor look with your digital prints by using Canson Infinity’s Aquarelle Rag Paper. Whether you are printing art reproductions or want to impart a new look to your photographs, the distinct texture of Aquarelle Rag may do the trick. The mould-made paper looks and feels like traditional watercolor media but has been formulated with the proper coatings to support dye- and pigment-based inks from common photo printers. Heavyweight at 240 or 310 gsm and with a thickness of 18.4 mil (0.47 mm), this paper will feel solid in the hand. It is also made from 100% cotton, has a warm-white matte finish, and omits OBA (optical brightening agent) content for longevity. It is a unique, fun paper to test and you can find it in 8.5 x 11", 11 x 17", 13 x 19", 17 x 22", and 24 x 36" sheets or 17-, 24-, 36, and 44"-wide rolls.

Canson Infinity Aquarelle Rag Paper

4. Epson Enhanced Matte Posterboard

Print out display-ready photos and presentations with ease when you work directly with Enhanced Matte Posterboard, from Epson. It is exactly what it sounds like—a 47-mil-thick rigid board that can work with modern inkjet printers. It has a flat matte surface finish, suitable for most projects, and a brightness of 104% that helps ensure bright, vivid colors. Using this media is perhaps one of the fastest ways to make a large print and get it up on a wall. Be sure it will work with your printer, since it is available in large 24 x 30" and 30 x 40" sizes.

Epson Enhanced Matte Posterboard

5. Breathing Color Chromata White Canvas

At least one canvas had to make the list, and Breathing Color’s Chromata White Canvas is worthy of the mention because it was the first-ever OBA-free canvas on the market when it was launched, in 2005. Made from 65% polyester and 35% cotton, this canvas feels just like a traditional canvas. What makes it special is the use of special, additive-free Chromata White and agent-free Fluorescent Whitening technology to produce a bright, white finish without the need for traditional optical brightening agents, which can be harmful to the archival quality of your print. This canvas is certified to last for more than 100 years, preserving your images just as you intended. It is available in 13 x 19" and 17 x 22" sheets or 17-, 24-, 36-, 42-, 44-, 50-, 54-, 60-, and 64"-wide rolls.

Breathing Color Chromata White Canvas

What is your go-to paper? Any of these unique offerings going to make through your printer any time soon? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section, below!

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