24 May Fuji Crystal Archive Deep Matte Paper is Freaking Amazing

Source: Strobist.com

That’s me, above, in 2013. I made a trip to Japan for some meetings with Fuji. I was there with three other photogs and a room of Fuji engineers for two solid days of “How can we make our cameras better?” discussions. Because that’s how they do.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing my work displayed at Corporate HQ at Fujifilm Square in Tokyo. (Pic, above, by Zack Arias.) One of the lowlights was realizing how much better these prints were than anything I could get done in the US.

Sigh.

I just assumed it was some sort of Fuji in-house magic file tweaking or something. Or more likely, Fuji’s continuous custody of the whole vertical process, right back to the film SIM.

Then it happened again in the 5th Anniversary event in Tokyo earlier this year: Gorgeous print, followed by the instant pang of sadness that I cannot get it done to this quality in the US.

An Import You’ll Wanna Drive

Well, it turns out that you can. I found it while auditioning several labs for printing of an image of mine that is to be sold at a local gallery. Short version: I have found the paper I am gonna marry, and it is Fujicolor Crystal Archive Deep Matte.

The prints are hard to describe. They are beautiful and painterly; somehow muted and saturated at the same time. If you want a mental picture, it feels like a Gregory Crewdson image. As for the paper itself, the substrate is quite…

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