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What is the best Fine Art Paper for my image?

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Choosing the Best Fine Art Paper for Your Image

Bay Photo offers the widest variety of products and options so that you can choose what best suits your images, or your clients’ needs. To give your images unsurpassed detail, color richness, and surface variety, we have specially curated 18 of the finest archival papers available. These luxurious papers can be ordered in our Fine Art Papers Catalog in Bay ROES and Online .

So, which paper is the best option for your image?

Here's a quick breakdown to help you choose...

Photographic or Classic Fine Art Style?

In choosing your Fine Art Paper, a good place to start is by asking which surface finish will best complement your image.

  • Looking to emulate the feel of a reflective Silver Halide print? If so, Epson Premium Luster, Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl, and Moab Lasal Exhibition Lustre are papers that fit the bill.

  • For a traditional Gelatin Silver Fiber paper look with a subtle sheen, light texture and heavy weight, go with Epson Exhibition Fiber, Canson Platine Fibre Rag, and Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta Satin.

  • For an ultra-smooth, matte finish with almost no texture at all, choose Epson Hot Press Bright, Moab Somserset Museum Rag or Canson Rag Photographique.

A Handle On Texture

Over the ages Fine Art Papers have been developed from cotton, rag and fiber. Common uses for artists were painting, printmaking, drawing, and now fine art photography. Texture plays an important sensory as well as aesthetic factor in choosing a classic Fine Art Paper.

  • For very light texture, choose Moab Entrada Bright Rag, Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, or Canson PrintMaking Rag.

  • Moving to a medium texture, but with the same thick, matte feel, choose from: Breathing Color Elegance Velvet, Epson Cold Press Bright or Moab Somerset Enhanced Velvet.

  • Hahnemuhle is the manufacturer of our most heavily textured paper selection, with Bamboo, Torchon and William Turner.

Tonal Variety With White Points

White Point should be another consideration when choosing your Fine Art Paper, especially if you’re displaying a black and white image, or including a border. Pure White and Bright White papers display neutral tones, while Natural White papers lean toward the warmer side. Our most noteworthy Natural White papers, for their slightly warmer hue, include: Hahnemuhle Bamboo, FineArt Baryta Satin, and William Turner. Most of our Fine Art Papers are acid-free or buffered with CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate), protecting your print from yellowing overtime due to acidic migration.

Fine Art Papers Firsthand

Ultimately, the best way to choose your favorite Fine Art Paper is to see them all firsthand. Order a Swatchbook so you can feel the range of textures and thicknesses, while looking through the various white points, contrast, saturation and finishes.

Learn More About Fine Art Prints

Click here for the full range of Fine Art Print sizes, prices and options offered by Bay Photo Lab.



Images by:

Nicole Sepulveda, Luke Tyree, Annie K. Rowland

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