Texture Is Your Friend
Exploring different inkjet papers can make digital printing not only fun, but an area of exploration unlike anything we have ever experienced. Some people shy away from papers with texture because they don't know what the results will be and are uncertain of what might happen. It is amazing and an eye-opening experience to print the same image on different types of inkjet media. The results can be astounding especially when you consider a photograph as an object rather than just an accurate representation of the original scene or subject you were photographing.
An interesting, but understandable occurrence has manifested itself in digital printing. Most people simply want to recreate the look of what their expectation was of prints that came out of the traditional darkroom. Whether it is an RC print that looks and feels like it came from a minlab or a fine art black and white print, most people gravitate towards their familiar expectation.
Digital printing is different! We now have more papers available than ever before to produce images with depth, vibrancy, texture and an artistic signature that is different than what we were used to in the darkroom. Exploring these papers and familiarizing yourself with the endless possibilities can make digital printing not only fun, but an area of exploration unlike anything we have ever experienced.
Some very interesting and textured papers to explore are: Hahnemühle William Turner 310 gsm, Canson Arches Aquarelle 310 gsm, Canson BFK Rives 310 gsm, Canson Edition Etching 310 gsm, Ilford Gold Cotton Textured 330 gsm, any Awagami Inkjet Paper.
The lesson here is to experiment and take a chance with papers that may be out of your comfort zone. Immerse yourself into a new medium rather than the same old familiar stuff. If you want a print to look like a darkroom print, produce a darkroom print. If you want something special and different that only you would have, or could have produced in a way you can't in the darkroom, then play with some of the more unusual choices out there in the inkjet world. You'll be glad you did.