What Is A Pigment Print?

December 13, 2023
What Is A Pigment Print?

Pigment prints in photography, also known as Giclée Prints, are created using professional inkjet printers and pigment ink. Photographers choose pigment prints to echo the classic photographic images from the darkroom age. They have a softness and timeless appearance that lasts for generations. 


Photographers strive to find the perfect fine art paper and pigment ink combination to suit the unique aesthetic of their work. Charlie Waite, for example, whose photographs are best known for their celebration of traditional notions of beauty, chooses to print on a heavyweight, cotton-based fine art paper called Fotospeed Platinum Etching 285gsm that has a velvety, textured surface that allows him to produce a painterly finish and convey the almost spiritual quality of serenity that his instantly recognised photographs are famous for. 



When used in combination with pigment inks, the fine art papers that today's photographers print their digital files from ensures a print life of more than 85 years. 


"I instantly fell in love with the Platinum Etching Paper. When I examine my prints critically through a loupe, I can see that the droplets of archival pigment ink don't migrate when they hit the surface of the paper, and the result is a painterly finish which I feel helps to immediately engage the viewer's emotions."  Charlie Waite



Some fine art papers are well suited to producing a hand-torn deckled edge to the print, an elegant finish used to show the fibres of the heavyweight printing paper. They look particularly beautiful when float-mounted with a box frame, and framed behind museum glass.


To read more about Charlie Waite's signature print finish and the provenance of his colour prints, please click here.

About the author

Luke Whitaker

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