So, for my continuing paper print tests, now with a black and white image, I chose this one from a couple years ago… a handheld, HDR image taken at a hot air balloon / wine and art thing. It was between this, and another HDR photo I took earlier that same year of the flooding Missouri River below an interstate bridge. Wanting an image that had a high degree of tonal range from lights to darks, and chose to go with this one, as it also had more detail elements to be able to look to for print clarity.
As I had already narrowed down the brand and types of paper I was looking to go with and use, from my previous color photo print tests, it only took a fraction of the time to do the b&w print tests, as it was just two papers – Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta, and Museo’s Silver Rag. Would have also been Canson’s Baryta Photographique, but alas, since they frustratingly only provide one sheet of their paper types in their sample pack, they had to be left out.
So, started out with Museo’s Silver Rag… here is the scanned in image of it’s print, to the right here.
As with the color prints made, I waited at least overnight until giving them a good lookover, so as to thoroughly dry and set in.
Museo’s Silver Rag and Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta were neck and neck with each other after the color print tests, with Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta having the slightest edge by the hair on it’s nose.
Yes, in my previous entry of the color print results, I placed Canson’s Baryta Photographique in second behind Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta… but, as I was in the process of doing the black and white print tests, I just concluded that I was going to go ahead and use Canson’s Baryta Photographique as the paper to print my tPo-JPH Portraiture clients’s Custom Print Package that they will receive with their shoot.
Again, even though I royally screwed up on the lone print I was able to make with the Baryta Photographique, it still impressed me. As well as I really liked the feel of the paper, and felt it was the better paper to give to my Portraiture clients, as they would be handled more by people, as opposed to the thicker, more heavy paper stock of Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta, or Museo’s Silver Rag, which would pretty much be already matted and/or framed and rarely handled, if at all.
So, all I was deciding on now, was what paper I would use in my tPo-JPH Prints section, where I will offer prints of my photographs for sale to anybody interested. And that left it just down to Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta, and Museo’s Silver Rag.
On one hand, I really liked Museo Silver Rag’s more subtle, and vertical alignment texture, as opposed to Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta slightly more defined and horizontally aligned texture. Yet, from the color results, Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta had just the slightest more punch to it than Museo’s Silver Rag. Though, Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta slightly heftier 325 gsm stock, compared to Museo Silver Rag’s 300 gsm stock, I liked Hahnemühle’s more sturdy feel.
Museo’s black and white print represented all tones well, and produced also a very fine black and white print, to go along with it’s very fine color print counterpart.
Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta, the scan of it’s print to the left now, who was leading in my choice to go with, too also provided good tonal reproduction throughout, with just a bit more contrast, though a little less pop, and seems more flat than Museo’s.
Of course, I could go back in and adjust things like bump the exposure up just a notch… or better yet, do a little curve adjustment, and that would remedy this first test print run of it, and better match the, to me, better print result of Museo’s… but, don’t have another sheet of Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta.
So, guess, going with the two prints I have of each, Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta and Museo’s Silver Rag, with both a color and black and white test prints, I’ll have to go with them to make my decision from.
It really is a tough decision. Bottom line, is the quality, and look of the print, and whomever looks the best, being the winner, as that is all that matters… as well as it’s longevity of maintaining it’s look for as long as possible without deterioration, fading, color shifts, etc.
Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta is a good $23 more expensive for a box of 25 13″ x 19″ sheets than Museo’s Silver Rag… but honestly I could care less about that and that fact doesn’t matter at all with me, as I already have prices factoring in the cost of the prints, so will be covered with no problem whatsoever, no matter which I go with.
So, it’s just whichever looks, feels, and seems the best to me right now, in front of me, in my hands…
Museo’s Silver Rag paper itself is warmer than Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta (the prints side by side to the right here)… that is slight mark against Museo, though I do like that in the color print test, as it contains humans, and just gives a extra hint of warmth to their flesh tones. But, whichever paper of these two I go with, is not going to contain much humans where that will be a factor, as it will be for my Fine Art photos. Though I do have some in consideration for me to put up for sale, that are from my Street Photography series that do contain people, the majority of the photos I would put up for sale, will be people-less… and also, more likely than not, in black and white and not color, and not too sure I would want a warm tint to the photos. Some of my black and white images are toned one way or another, though the rest are straight black and white, and if so, I want them to remain so, and not have a warm tint to them… so, for that, Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta would win out with the crisp whiteness of the paper itself.
Blacks are really black on Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta… I say that as a detraction. When I hold the prints at an angle and see how the light hits the black parts in the images, both in the color and black and white versions, in Hahnemühle’s, the blacks see like separated pools of black more, where on Museo’s, they seem to blend and float more with whatever is surrounding it, as opposed to these deep pocket pools of black… if that makes sense at all. I like deep, rich blacks, but Hahnemühle’s just seems to go beyond that to almost like black holes in space of black, where again Museo’s just seem better evened out and blend with in it’s gradation towards black, with whatever is surrounding it.
Museo’s Silver Rag, both in the color and black and white test prints, do have a nice crisper punch to them than Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta, and I really do like that…
And you know, because of that, as well as how it better seems to distribute and present blacks, even though it does have the slight warm tone cast in the paper itself, I am going to go with Museo’s Silver rag as the paper I will use for my Fine Art Prints. And hope that warm cast doesn’t end up bothering too much down the line… if anything, I can always do a subtle counter in giving the print a slight selenium tone before sending it to print, to balance it out… Or, if it really just sticks in my craw, can always then just fall back to Hahnemühle’s Fine Art Baryta.
Yeah, well, I really should know myself better! I said in yesterday’s entry, that this entry would be much shorter in length… yeah, well… :-)
So, that there is the results – the very first paper I test printed, Canson’s Baryta Photographique, becoming my choice of paper to use for all my Portraiture client’s print orders. And the last paper I ended up testing, Museo’s Silver Rag, being the paper of choice to use for my Fine Art prints I will do starting this Summer.