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Barcelona Photography Tour May 2017 Newsletter

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Our May 2017 newsletter from “Barcelona Photography Tour“, our sister company in Spain, contains information on aluminium printing techniques.

Printing on aluminium allows intensely saturated colours to be shown in all their glory – they are just that much more striking than regular paper prints. Colours are vibrant and the luminescence is breathtaking. Detail and resolution is unsurpassed. Black and White aficionados will also be right at home with this printing method. The contrast, texture and tones when printed on metal gives a sense of realism that you just can’t achieve otherwise.

Another aspect of Aluminium prints that we love is the ability to display images without frames thanks to the option of using a “Wall float system”.  Many printers include these free of charge. Durability is an added bonus – you can even hang aluminium prints in areas with a high level of moisture, such as in humid climates, or even in a bathroom without any degradation to the material. They remain incredibly light, even in large sizes, so are easy to hang on any wall. Museum quality printing is now attainable to any photographer that wants to display their images to their highest potential.

Some things you will need to consider when printing on aluminium are what methods work best according to the type of image, and even where they will be presented. For example a HDR landscape or cityscape can work best on a white, enamel primed aluminium sheet with the inks injected directly on top, and finished in a high gloss effect. Other considerations are where to display your images. A satin or matte finish may be a better option when the image is located directly opposite a light source such as a window. This will reduce unwanted reflections on the print. One of the great aspects of displaying on aluminium are the clean, uncluttered hanging options. Thanks to the rigid properties of aluminium, your work of art can be displayed without a frame to been seen in all it’s glory. When the aluminium has some separation from the wall by way of a hidden wall float, the image appears to float. Just stick a screw in the wall and you are all set!

The 3 main metal printing methods:

– Sublimation: This process utilises a photographic image printed onto a specific media and transferred to the pre-coated aluminium surface using heat and pressure. The colours shine in detailed high resolution. Contrast and luminescence can be astounding, with an intense depth comparable to that of traditional Cibachrome prints. The lifespan of this process will be higher than that of regular mounts, however the lifespan of this process is still unknown.

– Direct printing: This process involves the use of a flatbed printer and UV activated inks. Printing directly onto the surface of the aluminium, the final print can be laminated with a matte or high gloss film to increase the life of the print and protect the inks from UV light, temperature and humidity. Some images can look stunning when printed directly onto brushed aluminium – a black and white cityscape with plenty of highlights such as the sky for example, will show the texture of the metal giving a modern, artistic and characteristic metallic look.

– Mounting: This process involves the image being printed to a high gloss media and mounted directly to the aluminium. The final print can then be laminated with a high gloss film to increase the life of the print and protect the inks from UV light and outside forces. Mounting prints is especially popular for photographers wishing to achieve a simple, frameless finish.

You will need to decide on the many finish options available, as well as printing method according to interior/exterior, home or exhibition use. In any case, we are confident you will be as excited as we are with the results!

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