Turning over a new leaf: my thoughts on Fotospeed's new Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300
Posted: 31 Mar 2017
Chris Palmer (FRPS EFIAP DPAGB APAGB), was first introduced to photography in the darkroom by his father at the age of seven. He has been producing photographs ever since, going on to gain an Associateship of the RPS with traditional darkroom monochrome prints, and a Fellowship with digital colour prints. Chris serves on the RPS Fine Art (Pictorial & Creative) Associateship and Fellowship assessment panel, and provides advice at their distinction workshops.
In this blog, Chris talks about testing Fotospeed’s new Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300. You can learn more about Chris and his photography at www.chrispalmerphotographer.co.uk.
In September, at FotoFest, the Fotospeed Photographers learnt that one of our favourite papers, Platinum Gloss, was to be discontinued. The reasoning was that protracted quality issues necessitated its withdrawal. Much consternation and angst ensued – I had printed many of my favourite prints on Platinum Gloss. Many of us, Fotospeed Photographers and Fotospeed customers alike, loved the paper’s depth of tone, slightly textured surface, and its relatively bright white base paper colour. However, we were gratified to learn that a replacement paper was being introduced: Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300.
Fotospeed sent me a box of Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300 in order to try it out. I was excited to get my hands on the new product and see what it had to offer. As I embrace the importance of custom profiles, I quickly printed off a target and posted it to Fotospeed for a profile specific to my Epson R3880 printer. It promptly arrived by email and was installed - all that was left was to try Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300. I was eager to see how it would stack up against its predecessor.
* - Box shot "ArtFibre300 2"
I made 2 prints, one colour and the other monochrome.
As I hoped, the prints came out wonderfully. Both have accurately reproduced my images, exhibiting a smooth tonality, depth and subtlety. The base colour and surface texture of Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300 is very similar to the old Platinum Gloss, but the surface shine is very marginally lessened – perhaps promoting a slightly different overall impression of being, as the name implies, an art paper. It certainly exudes a feeling of quality and keeps wonderfully flat after printing. My overall impression of the paper is very positive, and indeed the name, Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300, seems very appropriate to the overall feel of a finished print – it looks arty! I admit, I had reservations (I was quite attached to Platinum Gloss!), and when comparing the two papers there are differences – the surface shine being just one - but I feel the paper might simply require a slightly different processing technique to get the best from it. As with many things in photography, it’s a matter of trial and error. It's early days and I have much more printing to do before I can fully assess Art Fibre, though I'm sure that many more prints will be made with this pleasing new addition to the Fotospeed stable.
To be granted access to so many superb papers allows me to print as I please, so for that I am indebted to Fotospeed, both for supporting me in my photography, and for continually creating products of such a high calibre. I was invested in Platinum Gloss and will miss it, but I certainly don’t mind turning over a new leaf for Platinum Gloss Art Fibre 300.
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