Let me just begin this blog by explaining briefly about how I got to where I am with photography and the reason for todays review, I have been interested in landscape photography for sometime now. It was a round 2004 when I bought my own digital SLR camera and begun to mess around, I say mess around as the journey has defiantly gone from it being secondary to my walking and hiking to a primary interest that now drives me to locations for the end result, a stunning landscape image that I can print out and publish.
The last six years my interests have moved somewhat, being attracted the last 2 years to remote and high up locations that gave me a sense of achievement and fed my passion for the outdoors and mountains. The hard work of hiking, camping and battling weather makes the photography much more interesting to me and I have progressed from shooting normal format images to panoramic format, I think that this medium and artistic interpretation of the landscape shows the vastness of the wilderness and captures the mountain ranges as I see them. It was inevitable that he direction of my website would change, so I have taken the best part of this year rebuilding so that I can show my portfolio as it develops and share the stories along the way. You can probably imagine my reaction when I found that Fotospeed were producing a panoramic format paper range, to say I was happy would be an understatement at the very least. There was some apprehension as to how the quality would stand the test because as a photographer you find your niches that suit your workflow and style, pretty much the same as choosing a camera system. Everyone will have a differing opinion as to what works. Traditionally I have used Canson papers with them being a market leader and an established recognised brand, but these have limited me in my home production with having to either crop larger A3 or A2 paper or relying on printing firms to produce my panoramic work.
The last few weeks I have been giving the Fotospeed paper a good trial and I have to admit that my apprehension was unnecessary, once I got over the initial tests and tweaks in calibration I have been able to process some gorgeous images. Fotospeed, like most other brands, do a free calibration service that involves you sending them a colour chart test print so they can develop a custom profile for your own computer and printer set up. Meaning you will get better prints and less waste through your own testing processes. I have not done this yet, mainly as I need to order some more papers to test and it will be much better if I do this with their test pack to try out some of the other types. For a direct comparison of my usual paper types I used the 'Photo Smooth Pearl' paper and I have been that happy with the ease of the process in using a dedicated panoramic paper the I launched my first limited edition print on the new site using this paper.
Current paper types on Panoramic Paper all at 210 mm x 594 mm
As you can see, the paper works really well with my Canon Pro 100s (A3+) printer, twinned with this option the cost per print is very reasonable and in my opinion it means I can then invest in higher quality mounting and packaging materials to give the overall presentation of my images a wow factor as well as longevity and a guaranteed quality. You can see my limited edition prints on my print sales page, the first one is an image I am immensely proud of and I have even mounted my test print it came out that good before the lucky buyer got 1/25.
I am not sure how useful you might find this review, I am certainly no professional reviewer or a tech geek that will publish charts and formal test results. All my work is funded by myself with no affiliations, just an honest review of how I have found something to be extremely useful for my workflow. If you follow my website and blogs, and are either thinking of taking panoramic photographs or exploring how to develop your craft then I hope this review has given you a real world opinion of how I have made the transition from what is regarded as a market leader brand of paper to what is in my opinion a paper that matches and in someway exceeds that of others in many ways. I am very excited now to be able to explore more of the papers and no longer see it as a bit of a cost risk, lets face it paper is not cheap and making any change to your workflow is always going to be a bit of an anxious moment. I will be investing in the full range of papers so that I can match an image to a paper, so if you like what you see here check in from time to time as I may do a more comprehensive review of the papers once I delve a little deeper.
Link to Fotospeeds website for more information
What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment below if you have any suggestions of feedback