- What Is a Substrate for Printing Landscape Photos?
- Substrate Options in Printing Landscape Photos
- Printing Landscape Photos - Best Substrate
- Using Printique for Printing Landscape Photos
- Printing Landscape Photos - Helpful Tips
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- Acrylic Print vs Canvas: Which Is Right for You?
Do you have any landscape photography prints you need to make? Printing landscape photos is a great way to show them off. Several options are involved in making landscape prints, including what substrate looks best for printing landscape photos.
What is a substrate, how many different substrates are there, and what are the differences? Follow along, and we’ll highlight those points, plus give a few helpful tips for printing landscape photos.
Table of Contents:
What Is a Substrate for Printing Landscape Photos?
In this discussion of printing landscape photos, we will describe substrates as what the landscape prints are printed on.
In biology, a substrate is the surface on which an organism lives, grows, and is supported or where it obtains nourishment. Concerning landscape photography prints, the substrate also refers to a surface. The surface photographically is what the image is printed on. In other words, what is the material used for printing landscape photos?
This simple definition works regardless of the method or process used for printing landscape photos or any other kind of photography. Whether it’s a dye sublimation process, light-sensitive coatings, or ink laying on top of a surface, the substrate describes the print material.
Substrate Options in Printing Landscape Photos
Photographically, we have several options of substrates for printing landscape photos.
There are light-sensitive coatings in which a thin layer of matter with the correct properties is combined with something to hold it. In film photography, that would normally be silver halide on non-porous paper. An image is projected onto the photo paper, and chemical solutions are applied to complete the process.
In digital photography, we have ink-based processes as the standard methods. Inks can be applied to the surface of a substrate or infused within them as with dye sublimation. Both methods work for printing landscape photos depending on what substrate is used. Metal, acrylic, canvas, and Giclee fine art papers are the most used substrates for digitally printing landscape photos.
Printing Landscape Photos - Best Substrate
Now that we have some basic ideas covered let’s decide what works best for printing landscape photos. We’ll concentrate on the four materials listed earlier, metal, acrylic, canvas, and Giclee fine art paper.
Metal Landscape Prints
Metal prints are usually made with a dye sublimation process on flawless aluminum sheets. A print is made onto a specially designed dye transfer paper. Then this paper is sandwiched with the aluminum sheet. Heat and pressure are applied to infuse the inks into the substrate.
Ordered through Printique, there are four finishes with slightly differing properties. The finishes for printing landscape photos vary mostly in the surface sheen and how the metal substrate makes the highlights and less saturated colors appear.
Glossy White gives you bright colors with high saturation, vibrant whites, and a shiny high-gloss finish. White Satin is more matte, with lifelike colors. It shows excellent detail and offers a soft, glare-free result. Glossy Silver provides shimmery metal highlights through a high-gloss finish. Finally, Silver Satin offers more delicate tones and brushed silver highlights.
Acrylic Landscape Prints
Acrylic prints are high-quality prints sandwiched between a sheet of acrylic and a durable backing. It adds a 3D effect to your image and encases your landscape photography prints in a durable, optical grade, glass-like material.
Acrylic isn’t really the substrate; the paper and the backing are. What the acrylic does is make the colors appear more vivid, the blacks darker, and the highlights brighter. The substrate is high-quality photo paper, providing a neutral base for whites, blacks, and colors.
Canvas Landscape Prints
Canvas prints are printed onto an acid-free, archival quality cotton or cotton/poly blend material using inkjet printers using custom-made inks. The substrate has a slight texture, or you can opt for a heavier textured base.
Canvas is excellent for printing landscape photos for a classic feel to the image. It evokes an air of elegance and timeless art. Bold colors look great, though many photographers use canvas for a more traditional or softer appearance. It’s also excellent for Black and White.
Giclee Fine Art Paper Landscape Prints
Giclee is the printing method, and fine art paper is the substrate. Giclee refers to an inkjet printing method that blends more separate color inks than a standard printer, resulting in a better, more true-to-life color balance.
The fine art paper preferred by many discerning artists is from Hahnemühle, an old-world art materials supplier with modern factories using classic methods and new and improved processes and materials for fine art paper production.
The substrate is color neutral, with several surface finishes, from smooth to heavily textured. These Hahnemühle papers are suitable for many applications, from bright and bold colors, natural color gamut, and Black and White imaging.
There are other methods and more substrates than these four listed, such as printing on glass, wood, ceramic, or clothing. The four listed above are suitable for most landscape photo printing needs.
Using Printique for Printing Landscape Photos
Many of the example images used in this article come from the premium printing service, Printique. Part of the Adorama family of companies, Printique is geared towards serious photographers and professionals.
Printique is an ultra-high-quality photo printing company with very reasonable pricing, easy website navigation for ordering, and quick shipping. They have a Pro Service division and offer website eCommerce integration through Squarespace.
“It’s all about quality” is a guiding principle of Printique, as explained in this video from the Printique YouTube channel. Check it out:
Whatever your main photographic interest or professional photography business niche is, Printique is a premier choice for printing landscape photos from your digital image files.
Printing Landscape Photos - Helpful Tips
Besides the substrate material options, there are some other helpful hints and tips for printing landscape photos that are high quality.
Capture image files in RAW and post-process for the type of image that fits best with the substrate you will print on or the final image application. Tweaks and subtle enhancements will fine-tune your image files, avoiding that over-processed look that could detract or distract from your landscape photography.
Use your accessory tools such as ND filters, polarizer filters, tripods, and weather protection gear. This lets you capture better image files in the first place. Use the composition techniques of Rule of Thirds, Golden Spiral, and Leading Lines as guidelines to add interest to your scenes.
Whatever your creative ideas, you’ll enjoy showing your art to others by printing landscape photos on the best substrate for each image.