|A screenshot of Bay Photo's MetalPrints information page. Several labs offer metal printing, including Bay Photo and AdoramaPix.|
Photographers who sell prints and are looking for an edge may do well to consider metallic prints. Images printed on metal rather than paper not only look great, but they're also more durable than traditional paper prints. And they're different—in a good way. Here are two examples, Bay Photo and AdoramaPix.
Bay Photo Lab (www.bayphoto.com/metalprints) offers a wide range of its MetalPrints products. Each MetalPrint is produced by infusing dyes directly into (not on) a specially coated aluminum sheet, resulting in a display print with brilliance, great luminescence and superb detail. Besides the great "look," xenon-light-stability testing indicates that MetalPrints have two to four times the image stability of traditional silver-based photo papers. You (or your customer) can choose among four surfaces: High Gloss, Satin, and Sheer with a Glossy or Matte finish.
MetalPrints are available in a wide range of salable shapes and sizes. Single MetalPrints can be produced in any size from business cards to 43x96 inches, in a rectangular or square shape. There are also Creative Edge MetalPrints, available in more than 20 custom shapes, including circular, oval, heart and camera-shaped.
You can order MetalPrints framed in metal, with a variety of mounting methods and frame colors. Flush frames take the print right out to the edges of the frame, while Inset frames make the print appear to float on the wall. Double-float MetalPrints float the metallic print 3⁄8 of an inch off the surface or a second, larger MetalPrint, the second print image being one of yours or chosen from the Options Palette in the Bay ROES ordering window. You can choose different surface and corner options for front and back prints, if you wish, for a good selection of effects.
Especially nice are MetalPrints Wall Clusters and Splits. Wall Clusters are groups of different-sized, generally related images in several sizes and shapes, effectively arranged on a wall. About a dozen attractive preconfigured arrangements are available. Splits are single, large images divided artistically into smaller segments.
You can order inexpensive 4x6- or 5x7-inch sample kits to see what your image(s) will look like as MetalPrints.
You also can order inexpensive MetalPrints Metal Photo Ornaments ($12.99-$15), which are available in round, rectangular, hexagonal, oval, tapered, scalloped and snowflake shapes. The ornaments are double-sided, so you can put the same image on both sides or a different image on each side. Scalloped and snowflake ornaments have no border; the others have a metal border on one side.
Bay ROES (Remote Order Entry System) makes it easy to upload images and order MetalPrints. Turnaround time is four business days.
AdoramaPix (www.adoramapix.com/app/products/metalprints) offers Aluminyzed Metal Prints, with the image infused right into the surface of a lightweight sheet of high-gloss aluminum to yield an image with vivid colors, a rich iridescent sheen and depth of detail not possible with conventional papers. The Aluminyzed Metal Prints are waterproof and scratch-resistant, and can be cleaned with glass cleaner.
Four finishes are available: matte white, glossy white, matte silver and glossy silver. The glossies provide a luminous reflective quality while the mattes are best when reflections may be a problem.
Prints come with your choice of a fold-out easel, a "floating" mount or an elegant acrylic pedestal. Processing time is three business days. As with all AdoramaPix printed products, the expert staff inspects your images to ensure optimal results.
Prices are quite affordable, from $29.95 for an 8x10 to $149.95 for a 20x24-inch print. Just click the "Create a Metal Print" button in the Aluminyzed Metal Prints window to get started.