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I’m quite new here and I’m learning a lot (thanks!), but I’ve come across pretty consistent ideas about paper/printer issues that I have questions about. First, a disclaimer: My background is in printmaking rather than computer graphics or photography. I have used photos and computers in my work for many years, but always experimenting with the technology as a user -- rather than trying to become an expert. (I was computer graphics T.A. in school, but it was a Mac w/2mb ram and a 20mb HD – now you know how very old I am!!) So I’m just going to lay out what I’ve learned about paper and ink in school and in 15 years of making art and invite your feedback. Part of being a printmaker (for me anyway) is experimenting with methods and media. To do this, it’s better to understand how color sits (and stays) on paper, than to understand one paper and one ink. Then you can apply what you know to help you use a new technology (or an old one) to make the image you envision. With color applied to paper any mark-making stuff has to have two elements: Color and Binder: Color can be carbon (charcoal/black inks/toner & one of the few truly permanent color-materials), pigment (oil paint, most trad. color inks, watercolor and now inkjet inks) or dye (fabric dyes, some types of paint and now inkjet inks). Binder keeps it on the paper. Some media has very little (they have to store Degas’ pastel drawings flat - every time they are held up, pigment flutters off), but most media are stronger (A Rembrandt etching you see today is probably still as he printed it). It’s what the oil in oil paint is for, or the gum arabic in watercolor, or the solvents in other printing methods. I don’t know what the binder is in inkjet ink, but I would assume it’s a quick-evaporating chemical solvent. The binder will also affect how far color can “sink” into the paper (if it sinks in, it will be a stronger bond.) So, in my little world there are 2 dangers to the longevity of work on paper: fading and flaking. The fading of inkjet ink I understand. (I use MIS and keep my fingers crossed). But there doesn’t seem to be any danger of flaking with these inks -- they‘re quite well adhered. There is no evidence in art conservation that a coated paper surface would reduce fading of an image. It will certainly affect how the color sits on the paper, but it can’t affect the fade because that it caused by the sun and air and coatings are underneath the ink (the over- sprays do help). I don’t know what the inkjet paper coatings are (closely guarded secret apparently), but if they seal the paper completely, the could actually cause the image to flake because they would prevent proper binding. (So IMO mfg. statements about “longevity depends on ink and paper combination” are misleading.) I see my “printmaker approach” as fundamentally different from the “photographer approach” in that I use the shifts and quirks and limitations of a technology rather than trying to get it to imitate something else (either wet printed photos or the info on the negative). Some of my favorite images are photos xeroxed on Japanese rice paper in 1993: Technically “bad” quality repros, but the degraded images look like dreamy trees in snow. (PS: no fading and no flaking.) I run all kinds of paper through my 1160 (it’s such a trooper!). When looking at a new paper I check to make sure it doesn’t have too “soft” a surface (that it doesn’t have a lot of loose fibers) so they won’t come off in the printer. I look at the thickness – the 1160 is pretty flexible, but I try to be nice to it. Otherwise, I just cut it to size, run it through and see what happens. Obviously, super realism is not my aim, but the images have a presence that is still quite wonderful. And HP and Epson and Kodak are rank amateurs when compared to the presence of paper made by the masters at a 500 year old Italian mill (IMO). All printed images (ALL) should be protected from direct sun and should be stored or presented so as to prevent rubbing the surface. That’s just the nature of work on paper and no ink or coating will change the fact that paper is more vulnerable than oil on canvas or metal sculpture or... I guess this is a bit of a rant, and I do realize that photographers have different objectives and issues, but I also hear smart and sincere people on this list kind of being yanked by commercial paper makers – very worried about printing on this or that, what it will do to the printer, and so on. Instead of being tethered to ideas of hyper-realist photography and trying to impose that on this technology, why not open yourself up to the what this stuff can do when you let it. (IMHumbleO). Sincerely, Miranda Maher - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.