At the end of 2020 I was exclusively printing the Quantum Elements series on the Hahnemuehle Rag Metallic, nevertheless as I stated in at the beginning of this year, I am still trying other media that might provide a similar shimmer and luminance to the physical print object. The Moab Slickrock Metallic has been one such ‘paper’ that I have been taking note of, but unsure I wanted to purchase a box for an evaluation. Seems like I have stacks of boxes of papers that I was curious about from which I only printed a couple of test prints and found there was something about the print results that did not appeal to me. Then one of those ‘special offers’ came up in my email from a local print shop for the Moab Slickrock Metallic, so why not give it a try? All in all, it would be still less expensive that purchasing a entire box of this paper.
I decided that for a one-off sample, I should have it printed a little bit larger at 5-1/2 x 11″, image floated on a 9 x 12″ sheet, similar to my practice with the Hahnemuehle Rag Metallic. Floating the image would ensure that some of the base paper would show and I could evaluate that independent of the image. From past experience working with this print shop I know that my color corrected monitor was in really good alignment with their color management printing system.
First some of the Moab Slickrock Metallic specifications; it is 260 gm (12 mil thick), so in the middle ground between a lightweight (180 gm) and a heavy weight (H. Rag Metallic is 340 gm) paper. This also a resin coated, ultra shiny (high gloss) that Moab describes as having a ‘unique’ sheen, thus not a true metal coated paper, but appears like some thing that could be termed ‘metallic’. Too much of the resin coated feel for me. Strike one. And this paper is really reflective of any highlights in the room, thus does not really have a similar shimmering print surface effect as the comparison Hahnemuehle. Strike two for Slickrock.
On the flip side, the print colors appear to be as saturated as what you see on your monitor. Nevertheless, the color gamut (color space) in comparison is smaller and similar to Hahnemuehle Photo Pearl versus the H. Rag Photo Pearl, as I had some colors appear shift and appear exaggerated (brighter), in my case it was the middle blues. I would recommend that if you want to farm-out the printing on this paper, you complete your test prints on a limited color space paper similar to the Hahnemuehle Photo Pearl. Although the color space of this paper is a bit limited, but then again, so is the color space of the Hahnemuehle Rag Metallic where the out of gamut appears to prints darker, but correctable with a layer adjustment layer. Strike three for Slickrock.
The Slickrock is stated to be acid free, but I believe that to be the case for most resin coated papers. It is single sided, water resistant after drying and suitable for inkjet/pigment ink printing.
Regretfully, with three strikes, I think it’s obvious that the Slickrock Metallic is not working for me, while depending on your intent, it might be perfect. Now I am very happy that I did not purchase a box of this paper as it would be sitting on the stack of other boxes slowly accumulating dust.
My artwork above LSTa9793 is 24 x 48″ is still being printed on Hahnemuehle Rag Metallic, edition of 5 if you are interested.
Exhibition & Workshop
February 20th – March 20th 2021; Photographs’s Eye gallery, Escondido, CA, a solo exhibition of my Memory Pods series (lens-based photography). Artist reception February 20th, 3-7pm and due to pandemic restrictions, you will need to sign up for the reception (only small groups allowed in the gallery at any one time). Artist talk, virtual on Zoom, February 25th, 5:30 – 7:00 pm (PST), sign-up here.
March 13-14, 20-21, 2021; Developing Your Creative Photo Book, a workshop that I am leading again in collaboration with Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP). Workshop dates are March 13 – 14th, and March 20-21st from 9am – noon PST. Four days, two consecutive weekends, a virtual workshop on Zoom, with time between sessions to develop your book dummy. Sign-up here.