What can we use Metallic Papers for? By Tim Jones

Metallic Printing Paper - What are they used for?

What are metallic printing papers used for?


This blog has come out of last month's theme of Wildlife and my “best papers” video and blog. Within that video I found that I picked a metallic paper for the underwater picture I'd chosen and I wanted to look at the Metallic paper we offer and see what kind of photography suits this paper the best. 


Metallic papers have not usually been my first choice of papers when I’m printing. I have never known quite what to print on them. However, that changed when we did some large prints on the Metallic Gloss 275 for an event. If you want your prints to stand out and colours to jump off the page, metallic papers are definitely worth looking into.


What type of Image suits Metallic Papers?

In my experience, an image with bright colours and a deep black are best for metallic papers. This is why I picked the Metallic Gloss 275 in my wildlife papers video. The metallic element in the paper gives the bright colours a sheen, and makes the black even deeper. 


Bright colours and deep blacks are two things that will work well with the metallic paper, as is seen with the image below. When picking a picture, look for an image with a strong contrast and vivid colour. 


Vivid colour isn’t everything. 


Although bright colours work amazingly well on metallic papers, to get most out of the metallic finish you will also need some white within your image. This is due to the metallic element of the paper not being blocked by any ink, which will allow the finish to come through. A large area of white can really suit the metallic look of an image. Below, I have used a wedding shot in black and white on our Metallic Lustre paper



Mirror Reflections


In June, we celebrated reflections and this is a subject that really lends itself to metallic papers. This is a good example of where a paper can add to an image once it is printed. The metallic paper gives the feeling of a mirror. In this picture, the mountains really shine in both the scene and the reflection in the water. 


Metal subjects


Metallic papers and metal subjects are a perfect match. These papers really make the metal subject come alive and show how paper can enhance a printed image. With the deep blacks the metallic papers give and the metallic shine within the highlights, this is a paper that you must try on your classic car or motorbike photographs. 



As you can see there are lots of ways that you can use metallic paper and it is definitely a paper that shouldn’t be overlooked. We offer our own range of Metallic papers which can be found here, but one of my favourites is the Hahnemühle Photo Rag Metallic 340. Whichever paper you choose, you are sure to be impressed by the results.


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