Nature Photography Print Mediums

If you are like most people who are considering investing in a fine art photographic print for your home, there are probably many questions on your mind. What kinds of photo mediums do I have to choose from? What is it going to look like in person? If these questions sound familiar, you are not alone.

Chances are that you may have never seen a large, luxury fine art print in person. Most people who have been in a gallery displaying such works of art often have the same reaction- they are stunned at how amazing they look. Remember that viewing an image on a computer screen doesn't even come close to the experience of seeing an actual print. A beautifully crafted face-mounted print will bring an image to life with a three-dimensional look full of sharp detail and eye-popping color. They often appear to be glowing like they are back-lit and are absolutely breathtaking to see. Is it possible to have a photo in your home with these qualities? The answer is yes, it is!

Let's start with an important, indisputable truth; printing is really an art form unto itself. Anyone can purchase a decent printer and crank out photographs, but chances are, they will be severely lacking in quality. And unless they have the proper knowledge, they'll often fall flat. As a general rule, the vast majority of museum-quality prints are produced by professionals who have dedicated their lives to mastering their craft.

Below is an easy guide to explain the differences between some popular photographic print mediums.

'Tranquility', Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Limited edition of 150.

Which mediums can I choose from?

Many artists offer loose paper prints that can be rolled and shipped to your home, which require external framing of some kind before they can be hung. The problem is that there are many risks involved with this type of transaction, including a very real possibility that the print may become damaged during shipping, while handling it yourself or by someone you hire to frame it for you. Keep in mind that custom framing is very expensive, especially with large prints, often costing more than the print itself. There is also the possibility that the print may not be archival, causing it to fade over time. If you are looking for inexpensive wall art and are willing to take the risk, it is always an option.

Canvas prints are another medium that enjoyed a surge of popularity some years back. A photograph can be printed on this specially coated fabric, which is then wrapped over a wooden frame. They are generally cheap to produce, but unfortunately do not possess a lot of 'pop' or clarity. The texture of the canvas really washes out the fine details in an image, and they are generally not considered fine art for photographic purposes.

A newer medium that has become very popular are metal prints, most commonly produced using a process called dye-sublimation. With this process, the image is printed on a special paper first, then taped down over a specially coated sheet of aluminum in a large heat press. The press is then closed, applying heat and pressure to the paper which then transfers the ink and infuses it into the coating on the aluminum. A recessed 'float-frame' is usually attached to the back of the print, so no external framing is required and it will appear to 'float' on your wall. Although they possess nice color saturation and fair detail, there is a better way.

'Freebird', Castle Mountain, Bow River, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Limited Edition of 50.

Next, a true chromogenic metal print is far superior to the standard dye-sub style. With this process, the image is printed on an extremely high-quality photographic material, such as Fujiflex® Crystal Archive paper. The image is then adhered to a sheet of aluminum, which is much thicker and robust than standard dye-sub aluminum. Finally, a beautiful high-gloss laminate is placed over the image for UV protection. These prints possess the overall look of a traditional metal print, but with far better detail. Fujiflex paper has an amazing 3D look, boasts dramatic color, and reacts to proper lighting with a beautiful glowing effect. A recessed float-frame made of aluminum is adhered to the back of the print for a contemporary presentation with no external framing required.

Finally, the most advanced printing method available today is called acrylic face-mounting. For the most breathtaking, museum-quality fine art medium available, look no further. In it's most simplistic form, acrylic 'face-mounting' a photograph is a process that involves printing a photograph on paper, applying a clear adhesive to the face of the image then adhering the print to a clear sheet of acrylic. Stiff backing material is then applied to the back of the print to protect it and provide rigidity. Finally, a recessed 'float-frame' and hanging hardware are attached to the backer.

Many of the industry's top professionals agree that Lumachrome® technology combined with TruLife® acrylic produces the finest face-mount prints in the world today. Lumachrome® is a proprietary, state-of-the-art archival transparency paper infused with iridium particles that features vivid, brilliant colours lasting over 120 years with incredible 3D depth and dimensionality. When lit with quality lighting, it's reactive properties make it literally come alive with a glowing response that is absolutely stunning. TruLife® is a revolutionary optically clear acrylic with an anti-reflective coating that VIRTUALLY ELIMINATES reflections and glare while allowing viewers to see the finest details in the image. The thickness of the acrylic gives the photograph an amazing three-dimensional depth with vibrant color and clarity that is unsurpassed. Additionally, this acrylic gives your art piece 99% UV protection, is abrasion resistant, has anti-static properties that repel dust and it cleans like glass with no special acrylic cleaner required.

And the winner is...

In summary, a Lumachrome® TruLife® acrylic face-mount print is the best that money can buy, and for good reason. They are the absolute gold standard of print mediums available today. They are museum-quality, archival to last over 120 years with incredible colour, clarity, detail, and three-dimensionality. The acrylic virtually eliminates reflections and glare for the best viewing experience possible. As an artist, I am truly proud to offer Lumachrome® TruLife® acrylics and Fujiflex® Crystal Archive metals as my preferred products, all in Limited Editions to provide my customers with art pieces that they will be proud to show in their homes. These prints are engineered to last a lifetime and beyond.

'Fabric Of Life', East Rift Zone, Hawaii, USA. Limited Edition of 150.

At the end of the day, viewing a photograph on a computer screen doesn't even begin to do it justice. I hear comments from customers all the time about how stunning these large-format prints really are in person when they see one for the first time. When expertly crafted as a chromogenic metal print or acrylic face-mount, these images take on a life of their own and are absolutely breathtaking to see on your wall.

Large, expensive galleries are often the only place people have seen these prints, and the dim atmosphere with specialized spotlighting and pumping music can easily get you excited to purchase one... until you see the price tag. The reality is that galleries have very large overhead expenses with rent, utilities, taxes, managers, and sales staff to pay, so the cost for that beautiful print can quickly get out of control.

The good news

The good news is that you don't have to deal with pushy salespeople or over-inflated gallery prices to have the exact same museum-quality luxury fine art print delivered directly to your home. I prefer to work one on one with every customer, going above and beyond to give you the best customer service possible; because you deserve it.

My business model includes working from my home office, not a gallery, enabling me to avoid unnecessary costs and pass the savings on to you. I collaborate directly with award-winning, master printers to produce my art pieces to the highest standards. In most cases, the prints that I offer are an even higher caliber than what you might find in a gallery, at a fraction of the cost. Prints are easy to order and will arrive at your home or office in custom crates to prevent damage, fully insured, and ready to hang.