I created this image about one year ago on color transparency film (Fuji Provia F), medium format 6×6, using the venerable Bronica SQA. (That was the last time I used film.) Scanned to digital at 4000dpi, the digital image is a bit more than 70 megapixels, allowing a life-size 36-inch print. At 33×33 inches, this image was printed on a canvas gallery-wrap, stretched on a wood frame much like a painters canvas. The image wraps around the edges, 1.5 inches on every side, such that the face of the print is 30×30. This is the second canvas gallery-wrap I have printed this year. The first was a panorama, five feet wide.

What I want to share with you is a comparison of three different print types.

Printing on canvas has become very accessible these days, available from many vendors. Upload the digital image to the vendors website, choose your options, and provide payment. I chose Artistic Photo Canvas, having seen the excellent prints first hand. Of course, canvas is remarkable for the texture. APC uses only a high-quality cotton canvas and provides a protective clear coat over the final print. However, be aware that the maximum black density (Dmax) and the highlight intensity cannot match printing on more traditional photo papers. The overall contrast is therefore reduced. Although APC boasts one of the highest Dmax available on canvas, it is poor compared to traditional photo paper. None-the-less, it is an impressive way to display a photograph.

Then, I had the same image printed on metallic photo paper. This print is craaazy! The highlights in the image have a 3-dimensional quality that seems to exceed the 2-dimensional nature of the medium. Compared to a traditional photo paper, metalic paper may exhibit some minor loss in subtle color gradation; but holy cats, man, it is stunning. It is not suitable for every image; for example, I would not recommend metallic paper for portraits. To get the most from a metallic print, ensure good illumination; without good light, it tends to look like any ordinary print.

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