I would not be surprised if I use this paper for all my prints! : An interview with Joe Cornish

I would not be surprised if I use this paper for all my prints! : An interview with Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish has been a professional photographer since 1983, printed almost all his early black and white images in various darkrooms, and has printed digital inkjet (colour) for ten years. As a landscape photographer Joe’s printing is based on the light he finds in the world outdoors. He has adapted this into two post-production approaches: zonal light and painting with light. We created our brand new paper, Platinum Cotton 305 with Joe to help bring images to life in the form of a fine art matte, OBA-free paper.

Printing is an important process to Joe Cornish for a number of reasons – to fulfil his gallery print sales and renew his portfolio, but ultimately, he prints for his own pleasure. “Printing is the culmination of the photographic process,” Joe says. “The photographer who prints has a further opportunity to express something with the images they have made… and these interpretations can change over time.”

To create his prints, Joe uses an Epson 7900 printer, which he’s used for nearly ten years, and looks for paper that allows him to create depth of colour and tone. Being a Signature Paper ambassador for Fotospeed, Joe identified the need for a smooth surface, fine art matte paper which was OBA-free and let the team know. “Fotospeed make time to listen to their photographers, and see us as a resource of ideas and information. After all, if this was something that I wanted, chances are there are plenty of photographers out there thinking the same thing.” Compared to Joe’s previous Signature paper, Smooth Cotton 300, Platinum Cotton 305 has a slightly ivory base. “The difference between them is visible in full spectrum sunlight, but otherwise quite tricky to spot.”

So, why OBA-free? “Quite simply,” Joe says, “freedom from OBAs represents the gold standard for archivability, therefore, anyone whose work needs to last indefinitely with minimal changes, especially museums or institutions, has to consider this. OBAs give the cleanest, brightest whites, but they’re known to gradually change over time, leading to colour changes that may be hard to predict. Also, they can appear to change colour in some types of artificial light, so that can cause concern, depending on where they are hung. The obvious difference that most OBA-free papers display is their off-white base, it’s not yellow by any means but there is a warmth to it which affects all the colours in the image,” Joe says. “It suits any photographer who prefers a slightly warmer look, whether it is portraits, wildlife, documentary or landscapes.”

Platinum Cotton 305 has already been used for some brilliant projects and has received great feedback – Lucy Saggers insisted on using the paper in her ‘ Of Life and Land’ exhibition. “As a black and white photographer, Lucy was used to the rich, glossy finish of darkroom prints, so I was surprised when she selected Platinum Cotton. The tonal depth of the paper proved easily up to the task of monochrome though, and Lucy is now a convert to a smooth matte finish!” Joe also recently used the paper for all of his most recent gallery prints and was amazed at the results – “I feel that it suits my images and printing style perfectly, so I won’t be surprised if I use this paper for all my prints!”

Platinum Cotton 305 is a 100% cotton, Acid and OBA free Fine Art paper with a smooth natural white surface. Platinum Cotton 305 use the latest coating technology resulting in a wide colour gamut and pin sharp detail. Find out more here.

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