What's the best use of Ilford MG Art 300?

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Arcturus

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I know the answer will vary from person to person, but I was just wondering what people were printing with MG Art 300. I recently got a pack of 8x10 and have been making prints but I'm still not too sure what to make of it. I like the feel of the paper, but it seems to only work for certain subjects. Also, how do you display it? Do you just mount it, or do you also frame it? The frames and mat board that I use for my usual neutral tone papers don't match the warmer base of the MG Art 300 so I'm looking for a new approach.
 

winger

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I've not quite figured out the matting/mounting thing for it, yet, either. When it's behind glass, it loses some of the look I like about it. I like it best for low detail subjects - highly detailed things get lost in the texture. I've handcolored it with regular colored pencils and I want to try regular watercolor paint, too (never enough time for all my ideas).
 
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As soon as I print something with heavy black I end up being a little irritated with the texture, because it has a sheen that prevents me from seeing into the deep shadows.
Therefore I usually recommend printing more high key photographs on it, to avoid this problem.
I agree with Bethe that pictures with lots of detail can be problematic also.
 

doughowk

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I've only used it for 5X7 contact prints. Its texture & tone are somewhat similar to my Palladium prints, and have had people confuse the two when in same exhibit.
The multi-grade feature is helpful when printing a difficult negative, and it's flatness when dry is easy for float-mounting.
But it does seem to need particular subject matter, and I haven't decided on what that is ;-(
 

Neal

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I agree with the comments referring to detail, but you would probably choose glossy for those images anyway. I showed an 11x14 of a forest scene to a friend and before I could make that point he got all excited, declared it was just what he was looking for (IR scenes from out west somewhere) and dashed out to buy a box of 16x20 (Calumet was had it in stock back then). It seems that personal taste is important. I think it is a great paper for a soft look and when put behind glass some of the roughness seems to smooth out a bit (in a nice way).

Neal Wydra
 

Ghostman

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Art 300 is my most-loved paper. I print everything on it and love it for it's bleaching/toning effects. It is a very textured paper, but it feels wonderful. One needs to be careful with it as it's also delicate. Here are some examples of what I have printed on it.

2013-05-06_4_2.jpg

2013-05-06_3_2.jpg

2013-01-20_at_21-19-51.jpg
 

Alex Muir

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I bought some to try. It hasn't yet impressed me as a 'real' photographic paper. It seems more like an inkjet material. This is probably because the base paper is more like modern inkjet 'art' paper than traditional silver gelatine paper. I intend trying some hand colouring with an airbrush (if that counts as hand colouring). I think the textured surface could work with subtle colouring. I have even bought a tabletop easel to try this. All I need now is to find the time, and the right image. Alex.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
 
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Here's a portrait of my great grandfather that I printed a couple of years ago on Ilford Art 300.

You can clearly see in the shadows the 'noise' that I'm talking about.
 

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eddie

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I've only used a little bit of it. Like others, I haven't really figured out what works best with it but, I think, that's because I haven't spent enough time with it. I have hand-colored it, and found pencils worked better than oils. Oils tended to be grabbed, not allowing even coating. It's also delicate, and my oil technique requires a fair amount of pressure. Pencils worked, but the process is slower than on smoother papers. Still, I like the possibilities, and am glad Ilford chose to introduce a unique product in this day and age...
Here's a hand-colored photo I did on Art 300, using pencils:

daisy3.jpg
 
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Thomas, I love that shot. And it looks like it's a great print.
I have a few in my gallery here (including one of my grandmother, I think).
It doesn't usually scan well, in case you're wondering.

Thanks, Bethe. My father made this portrait on his first roll of ADOX KB14 film. :smile:

You're right it scans very poorly. The texture is accentuated in a non favorable way, in my opinion. The real prints are much nicer to behold.
 
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The product was introduced because we had an opportunity to work with HAHNEMUEHLE who made the most fantastic wet strength base for us, it is a FINE ART base, meant to replicate the image response of a fine art paper but with a silver gelatin emulsion ( an archivally stable image, unlike any inkjet fine art image ).

As to subject matter....that, like all other paper choices ( except where photo images are being sold in the art market that 95.00% of the time require BARYTA base ) is highly subjective and personal.

I used to think ART 300 images looked best big 20 x 16 and above on landscapes then I saw some postcard size seascape pinhole images done on it, that kind of double defused the image and they looked absolutely stunning.

As always in photography, choice matters as does 'horses for courses'

Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
 
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Arcturus

Arcturus

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I've only used a little bit of it. Like others, I haven't really figured out what works best with it but, I think, that's because I haven't spent enough time with it. I have hand-colored it, and found pencils worked better than oils. Oils tended to be grabbed, not allowing even coating. It's also delicate, and my oil technique requires a fair amount of pressure. Pencils worked, but the process is slower than on smoother papers. Still, I like the possibilities, and am glad Ilford chose to introduce a unique product in this day and age...
Here's a hand-colored photo I did on Art 300, using pencils:

View attachment 77212
Wow, great coloring! I'll have to try that out.
 

eddie

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Thanks, Arcturus. If I had to recommend a paper for first-time colorists, it would be the Ilford MGIV matte, followed by MGWT semi-matte.
 

Bob Carnie

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I think Art 300 is a fantastic warmtoned textured paper and is a great compliment to Ilford Warmtone Glossy and MG4 neutral tone.
 
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