Considered to be the most durable of all photo papers, Baryta is a popular choice for many photographers - particularly those that create monochrome images. It offers unmatched colour intensity and a timeless and sophisticated elegance. So what is it about Baryta paper that makes it the go-to paper type for so many people?
What is Baryta photo paper and how is it made?
First developed in 1866, Baryta photo paper is an absolute classic among photo papers. The name ‘Baryta’ comes from the layer of barium sulphate that is applied to the paper before it is coated with emulsion. All Baryta inkjet papers are made from either cotton rag or alpha-cellulose.
The technical benefits of the Baryta layer include greater detail and definition, extended tonal range and excellent archival properties. Sometimes paper manufacturers add a tint to the barite coating to alter the final tone of the paper, however more commonly OBAs (Optical Brightening Agents) are added to increase the whiteness of the paper. In addition, Baryta coated fibre papers have a unique look and feel, which have become the standard for fine art photographers worldwide.
Why should I use a baryta photo paper?
Different Baryta papers will have different weights, textures and finishes. All the papers have some things in common though that set them apart from other types of paper and make them a firm favourite of many.
They’re great for monochrome images
Baryta photo papers tend to have a slightly higher D-Max, meaning that they will give you richer, deeper blacks and more shadow and highlight detail. They offer a wide tonal range and a wide colour gamut making them great for colour images that ‘POP’ too. Offering pin sharp images with subtle tonal transitions Baryta papers produce images that are beautifully timeless, with amazing clarity and detail. They deliver skin tone accuracy and create truly excellent grey-scale for monochrome images.
Baryta papers are a great choice for those photographers who are either selling prints or exhibiting. Not only do they look great, but the fact that they are made from either Cotton or Alpha-Cellulose means that they are acid free and as such they have impressive archival qualities.
Resin-coated photo papers are more easily damaged than fibre-based papers and you can expect them to last around 50 years. For some applications and for some people this level of longevity is fine. However, a Baryta photo paper can last upwards of 200 years when stored or displayed properly and it is also less easily damaged.
Photographers usually like their papers to feel like a traditional Fine Art paper reminiscent of the papers used in the Darkroom. For this they usually want a paper of a certain weight and thickness. With a Baryta paper there is no trade-off between getting the weight and feel required and achieving images with amazing density and impressive colour gamut. This is not always possible with some of the Resin Coated papers.
Should I use a baryta photo paper in my printing?
The selection of paper is always subjective and really comes down to personal preference. If you have never tried a baryta photo paper before, we’d definitely recommend giving it a try. As you can see there are lots of reasons to love a Baryta paper and they are simply great for producing beautiful Fine Art for Exhibitions, Galleries and displays.
Why not try?
Platinum Baryta 300gsm
Baryta FB 350gsm
We recommend Baryta papers for their archival permanence and for producing timeless and beautiful fine art and exhibition prints.