Exploring Fine Art Photography Print Media: A Comparative Guide

In the realm of fine art photography, the choice of print media plays a pivotal role in how the artwork is presented, perceived, and preserved. Different types of print media can enhance an image in different ways.. Taking a selective approach to print production can be a reflection on an artist’s unique perspective and skill.

Printing on high-quality print media supports my artistic vision, bringing out nuances in colour, tonality, texture, and detail. These visual elements are often what has inspired me to create a photograph in the first place. Carefully chosen print media ensures that the artwork reproduction is visually stunning and retains aesthetic appeal for years to come.

Art photography textural abstract agave botanical detail

The print mediums I offer have each been chosen for their ability to enhance the experience of these photos in print. In the following sections, we’ll explore three different options available for my open edition fine art prints:

Archival paper prints
Giclée canvas wraps
Mounted acrylic prints

This article will provide an overview of benefits and considerations for each of these print media options. Whether this information helps you choose one of my prints or make an acquisition from another artist, I hope these tips give you confidence in curating your own unique art collection.

Fine Art Prints vs. Regular Prints

When it comes to fine art prints, they stand apart from regular prints in several significant ways. These differences lie not only in the materials used but also in the level of craftsmanship, longevity, and artistic value they offer. Let’s explore these distinctions:

Materials: Fine art prints are created using archival-quality materials, yielding nuanced colours, tonality and contrasts that enhance an image. On the other hand, regular prints are produced on standard photo paper resulting in dull colours, harsh contrasts, and poor detail.

Longevity: Fine art prints are designed to be long-lasting, capable of retaining their vibrancy and integrity for generations. The use of archival inks, coupled with acid-free materials helps to minimize fading and deterioration. Regular prints, while visually pleasing initially, may not possess the same level of durability. These prints can undergo dramatic colour fading or degradation over time, regardless of how they are displayed or stored.

Still life, floral high-quality large fine art botanical photo art

Artistic Value: Fine art prints are more than just reproductions of an image; they are considered artistic works in their own right. Artists carefully select their preferred printing techniques and materials to enhance the visual impact and convey an artistic vision. On the other hand, regular prints, while serving a more functional purpose, may not carry the same artistic significance.

My fine art prints undergo a meticulous printing process, in collaboration with a trusted printing lab. This partnership ensures that the final print captures the intended aesthetic of my original photos. This combination of high-quality materials, masterful production, and artistic merit sets fine art prints apart from regular prints.

Exploring Different Fine Art Photography Print Media

Archival Paper Prints

Definition and Characteristics: Archival paper prints are produced on acid-free, museum-grade paper. High-quality inkjet printers and archival pigment inks ensure exceptional image quality and longevity. This style of fine art photography prints offers a classic and timeless aesthetic that can be further enhanced through your choice in framing.

Importance of Archival-Quality Paper: The choice of paper is crucial for the longevity and preservation of fine art prints. Acid-free paper prevents yellowing and degradation over time, ensuring that the print retains its original colours and quality.

Atmospheric emotional landscape fine art photography prints

When selecting archival paper for my fine art prints, I tested several styles and finishes. The standout choice for my work is Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin paper, known for its smooth surface, excellent colour reproduction, and deep blacks. I have found this paper to be suitable for a wide range of subjects, from atmospheric landscapes to moody abstracts. Critically, this paper is made to withstand the test of time, ensuring longevity and preservation of the artwork so it can be enjoyed for years to come.

Giclée Canvas Wraps

Definition and Characteristics: Canvas wraps involve printing the image directly onto canvas fabric, which is then stretched and wrapped around a wooden frame. This creates a three-dimensional, gallery-ready artwork. Because of their beautifully wrapped edges, you can display Giclée canvas prints without the need for additional framing. This style tends to be lightweight, making it very useful for larger-sized prints. The texture of the canvas adds a unique tactile quality to the artwork, enhancing the visual appeal and giving it a handcrafted feel.

Autumnal forest path fine art photography canvas print

Suitability of Photos for Canvas Prints: Landscape, nature, and abstract images translate beautifully onto canvas. The textures of the print can enhance the organic and textural elements of a photograph. It is important to consider the resolution and level of detail in a photo, as finer details may not be as sharp on canvas as they would be on paper prints. For this reason, some of my older lower-resolution images may not be available on canvas.

Benefits and Considerations: Canvas wraps offer several benefits, including their ready-to-hang nature, durability, and the ability to display artwork without the need for framing. Canvas prints have a painterly look, adding depth and dimension to the photograph. They add a contemporary and artistic touch to any space, making them popular choices for modern home decor. It is important to consider the dimensions and display placement of canvas wraps. At larger sizes they require sufficient wall space to showcase their full impact.

Mounted Acrylic Prints

Definition and Characteristics: Mounted acrylic prints start by printing the image onto high-quality photographic paper. The paper is then face-mounted to a clear acrylic sheet. This process creates a sleek and modern artwork with vibrant colours, incredible depth, and a glossy finish. Acrylic prints offer a contemporary and luxurious aesthetic, suitable for displaying high-impact photographs.

Fine art reflection photography acrylic prints

Durability, Depth, and Vibrant Colours: Acrylic prints are known for their durability, and the acrylic sheet protects the image from UV damage. The printing and mounting method enhances the colours, contrast, and sharp details of a photograph.

Benefits and Considerations: Acrylic prints create a stunning visual impact in any room. The acrylic sheet adds depth and luminosity to an artwork, making the image appear particularly vibrant and captivating. Their durability and modern feel make acrylic prints a popular choice for both home and commercial interior decor. Careful cleaning of acrylic prints is strongly recommended, using a soft, dry cloth.

Additional Factors to Consider When Buying Art Prints

Print Size and Display Options

Along with considering your fine art photography print media options, it is important to be thoughtful about sizing and placement. The your ideal choice of print size and format depends on many factors. You will need to consider the intended display location, size of the wall, framing options, and your personal style preferences.

Low-tide surfer crossing a beach at Tofino, British Columbia art photo print

Consider the space where the print will be showcased and take measurements to determine the appropriate size. Make sure to consider matte and frame if needed, and include some negative space around the print to help enhance the visual impact of the artwork. For example, larger prints can make a bold statement when featured alone on a wall. Small prints can be grouped tightly to highlight interesting juxtapositions and similarities.


When purchasing fine art photography prints, there are several factors to consider. The use of specialized, archival materials ensures longevity and artistic value. The best art photo prints will be of a high-quality, contributing to the enhanced experience of the artwork.

It is important to consider print size and display options when selecting an image and preferred print media. This helps ensure that you acquire a print that fits your display preferences and requirements for its intended location.

Sunset and sunrise fine art photography prints

In summary, I hope this article has helped to clarify and define the advantages and considerations for each of these print media options. Archival paper prints, with their acid-free paper ensure excellent image quality and longevity of a piece. Canvas wraps provide a textured, painterly aesthetic that adds dimension to an artwork. Mounted acrylic prints offer a sleek and modern look with vibrant colours and incredible depth.

I encourage you to explore the full range of print media options available for my open edition prints. You can choose the perfect medium that resonates with the artistic intent of the images and complements your personal style.

Winter Light Photography | Personal Work & Studies

As winter settles in, the sun is slipping lower and lower across the sky. During the winter solstice here in Winnipeg, Manitoba the sun barely clears the treetops. Such low-angled rays of light are magical, and to celebrate the season I’ve gathered some winter light photography snapshots from recent years…

I find that winter light is particularly well-suited to capturing surreal window reflections, allowing for layers of light and colour to blend with abstracted patterns. When illuminated from a low angle, snow becomes a textural wonderland of sparkling deep drifts, painted with fading light and blue shadows.

Trees and winter light

Filtering the last rays of golden hour, or catching a gilded glow in their bare branches against blue skies. Such stark winter forms are welcome whether framing sunsets or arching above city streets, as they lend shape and contrast to the winter light all day long.

Trees lend structure to the frosty winter air, and when they are illuminated just-so they compliment the bones of the landscape or urban environment, laid bare by the season.

Winter light photography and interior spaces

Casting soft, surreal shadows in unexpected places, light filtered through old glass windows is particularly irresistible to try and capture with the camera. Something as simple as an unintentional coffee cup still life might appear on a wall for a moment, painted in shadow and quick to disappear as the light shifts.

Often the swaying of winter branches will make these patches of light dance and shift, like light through moving water as seen at the bottom of a pool.

Varied views of the same cityscape

Downtown Winnipeg features a mix of old and new buildings. As their facades catch and reflect the winter light throughout the day, the mood and feel of the cityscape changes too. With the early sunset, lights in windows twinkle while the dusky sky still holds onto the last of the sunlight. The moon rises over the city with its glow softened by the icy atmosphere.

The golden glow of the winter light is especially beautiful contrasted with the blue shadows and snow of the cityscape, and I couldn’t resist the reflection of a sunlit building in the sideview mirror on a winter’s afternoon.

Windows become magical glittering surfaces

Frosted with ice crystals or illuminated by gently shifting shadows. Abstract layers of light are caught and transformed inside and out, and even though the daylight hours are short, there seems to be no end to the beauty that winter can conjure with a bit of moisture or moving light on glass surfaces.

The two images at the bottom left of these wintery window scenes are actually shots of frost accumulation on the inside of an old set of windows. The two images in the bottom right are of the same perspective through fluted glass at different times of day.

Of course a winter landscape is made even more beautiful by the light

Rippling sheets of icy clouds and endless shades of blue. Sunsets last longer, and the blushing glow of their colours is reflected in the snow and ice. Often the sky looks like mother-of-pearl, iridescent and luminous.

I love how the winter landscape is often a study in subtlety, with fence-lines and horizons blurred by blowing snow, and the sky a soft gradient veiled in lacy clouds. When the sunsets are colourful, it is always in shades made more vivid by the coolness of the surrounding scene.

Little details of domestic life are illuminated in beautiful light and shadow, turning the long winter months of staying mostly indoors into magical journeys through familiar spaces.

Something as simple as a tissue or glass of water can be transformed by the winter light. Of course the dog loves the winter sunlight too, and can often be found basking in the glow of those fleeting, low-angled rays of warmth.

All of the photos in this post are from various phone cameras. I find that winter light photography inspires snapshots as it is such a fleeting and beautiful part of every day. To see new snapshots as I share them, just head over to @photoapk on Instagram and follow me there!