Metal prints are arguably the most popular substrate that photographers print on these days. They are certainly the most common prints exhibited for sale at local art festivals along with canvas gallery wraps. Reasons why metal prints have surged in popularity in recent years is in part due to having a shiny, saturated look to them and they're cheaper than acrylic face mounts and externally framed prints. Metal prints are also one of the more durable print substrates so these are ideal for high foot traffic venues such as hospitals, offices and art festivals.
Not all metal prints are created equally however. The most common type of metal print that photographers offer are Chromaluxe Dye Sublimation metal prints. These are essentially thin sheets of aluminum that have had dye inks heat pressed directly onto the metal. There are some big drawbacks to dye sub metal prints particularly when it comes to sharpness and color accuracy. Dye sublimation metal prints simply do not compare to the quality of printing of silver halide prints and Lumachrome acrylic face mount prints. What are your options if you want the benefits of metal prints but none of the drawbacks? Read on for my solution.
To get the best prints on metal substrates, I have recently started printing on the brand-new Fujifilm Crystal Archive Maxima Professional silver halide paper which is protected by a UV matte laminate then mounted onto an aluminum diBond backer for sturdiness. The resulting metal print is then framed with a premium Italian recessed frame from Tuscany. The resulting framed metal print is much lighter in weight and visually appealing than a traditional framed print of equivalent size. So rather than having a metal print with poor color accuracy and details, you have a metal print on real photo paper, the best that Fuji makes in-fact.