Hether Miles Blog

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Baryta Paper: Rich Contrasts for One-of-a-Kind Artistic Photographs

Feb 092016

Orig Post magazine.whitewall.com | Re-Post Hether Miles Photography 2/9/2016


Discovered in 1866, Baryta paper is the classic black & white photo paper. Brilliant white, the deepest black, ultra-fine tone gradation and sharp contours – when expertly processed, true Baryta prints have an incredibly intense and sophisticated elegance that other black & white photo papers just can’t equal. On top of that, Baryta paper is considered the most durable of photo papers.

The name “Baryta” is derived from the layer of barium-sulfate used as a paper brightener for the brilliant white color. This brightening process occurs before the photograph is developed, meaning the print tone of a Baryta print depends on how effectively the paper was brightened and also on what kind of barium-sulfate is used.

The traditional developing process for Baryta paper is very labor-intensive. Unlike papers with synthetic coating, there’s no polyethylene layer on Baryta paper. This means chemicals can soak into the paper and have to be washed out afterwards. That’s not the case for polyethylene papers, where the chemicals are simply rinsed off, and the photo is finished.

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