This week I was the featured guest on the latest Breathing Color podcast: Rendering Intents, the Right Paper for the Job, and More Photo Printing Tips. In this episode of the #AskBC podcast, I was interviewed by host Justin Bodin regarding how to select the right paper types for printing, what rendering intents are and how they affect out-of-gamut colors, and how long to dry your prints before varnishing. #AskBC is a Q&A style podcast with real printing questions from people answered by Breathing Color staff and industry professionals. Folks from beginners to experts can submit any digital printing question for consideration.
This podcast covers the following topics:
- Rendering intents: what are they and how do you pick one? What is the difference between Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric rendering?
- My go-to papers for various image types and suggestions on how to select a paper type for your image
- Showing and selling paper sample packs to potential buyers to showcase their options
- How long should you let a print dry before varnishing? What problems may result from not letting prints dry long enough? And what the heck is outgassing?
You can listen to the podcast on the Breathing Color website, or via iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud. Be sure to check out the show notes and diagrams, which are very helpful in providing visual graphics for the technical terms. If you prefer to read rather than listen, an audio transcription of the podcast is also available.
In my discussion about how I choose a paper type for a particular image, I gave some examples of why I would select certain photo or cotton matte papers. Here are some of my images along with information on which paper I would select to print them. The image at the top of this post, Angel of Light, is a texture-blended image with a spiritual, ethereal feel; therefore, I would most likely print it on a cold press paper (textured cotton matte) or on canvas.
The image above, Death by Desertion, depicts two abandoned train cars showcasing lots of metal; therefore, I would print this image on a metallic photo paper to convey the reflections in the metal and highlight all the important details. Below is an image, The Uninvited, of an old stone wall on an abandoned estate in Kimmswick, Missouri. Due to the texture in the stones and more subtle, somewhat ghostly feel to the image, I would print it on a hot press paper (smooth cotton). It would also print well on canvas.
The final example below, Stars Over Our Lady, depicts a starry night sky over Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic church in the tiny town of Bradley, California. Since I do not want to lose the sharp details in the stars, I would print this image on a photo paper such as a thicker, fiber-based baryta paper. Although it could be argued that any glossy substrate would work, I really don’t care for the regular thin glossy or luster photo papers, and don’t feel a metallic paper best suits the feeling of the light-painted adobe church. Nor the statue of Our Lady. Whereas the semi-glossy, thicker baryta papers with a fiber (alpha-cellulose) base work great! Those starry details would be lost on a matte paper. I sincerely hope the podcast and these examples help answer some of the printing questions you may have. Be sure to visit the #AskBC page to send in your pressing questions!