For many, the photographic experience ends with the print instead of the computer screen. Digital printing is constantly evolving, with technology being infused into printers, ink, and paper.
We put the latest from Moab, the Juniper Baryta Rag 305 paper, through its paces to see how it performed with a variety of digital images.
If you are familiar with traditional darkroom, fiber-based paper, the feel and smell of the Juniper Baryta Rag paper will take you back to the times spent inside the chemical dark room with a red safelight overhead and a glow-in-the-dark timer on the shelf.
Juniper Baryta is the only 100% cotton true Baryta paper made in the USA—there aren't that many such papers in existence, either—and it has a wonderful texture, both visually and on your fingertips. It is a heavy paper and the back of it feels very fibrous. If the senses of touch and smell are important to your prints, you might really enjoy this paper. For me, the smell and texture make holding the prints exciting for more than just my eyes.
The “Baryta” name denotes use of barium sulfate and the paper strongly echoes the silver halide paper of the darkroom. The baryta substrate, when compared to standard plastic resin-coated photo papers, allows for much deeper ink penetration on the print.
With the help of the printing experts at the B&H SuperStore, I made several test prints on the 13 x 19" Juniper Baryta paper, using the store’s Epson SureColor P800 and Canon PIXMA PRO-100 inkjet printers.
When it comes to the sense of sight, the Juniper Baryta revealed great richness in the black areas of the test prints. Even with the great DMax, the shadow detail held up very well—the paper showed gradual shading to pure black in the dark regions of the prints. The color saturation was superb and the colorful prints of the lot looked great, with vibrant sunset colors faithfully reproduced by the combination of both printers and the Juniper Baryta.
Black-and-white prints were easily tackled by the paper, as well. Great tonality and the same gradual stretch to the deep blacks of the paper combined to leave us with some compelling B&W prints. Combine this with the look and feel of darkroom fiber paper, and you can further reminisce about the old days of the darkroom.
The Juniper Baryta is of archival quality and, I feel, of a substance, look, and feel that you wouldn’t hesitate to use to display your finest images. If you are mounting a fine art show at a gallery or museum, this is the kind of paper on which you will want to print your work. If you are displaying your work at home, the Juniper Baryta will certainly complement your images and help impress your guests. If used for your portfolio, be prepared to have the reviewer spend as much time feeling the paper as viewing your images.
The best endorsement I can share with you is this: The printing experts at the B&H SuperStore get to see, touch, and print on almost every type of photographic paper on the market. All of the sales professionals who handled the Moab Juniper Baryta and saw the prints were very impressed with the performance, look, and feel of the paper.
The Juniper Baryta Rag 305 is available in 25 sheets of 5 x 7", 8.5 x 11", 8.3 x 11.7", 11 x 14", 13 x 19", 17 x 22" and 16.5 x 23.4", 100 sheets of 8.5 x 11", 8.3 x 11.7", and 13 x 19", and rolls of 17" x 50', 24" x 50', 44" x 50', and 60" x 50'.