April 14, 2017
Hey guys- I’d like to write a short review of my positive experience with AdoramaPix‘s metal (aluminum) prints. With regard to the aluminum, they have two major decisions that you just first make. One option is to use the white painted sheet, and the other is to use the natural silver finish.
The white painted finish with give you about the same deep color and contrast that printing on a white sheet of paper would, with the added benefits of a very stiff backing that will not buckle over time and a floating mount to hang your print on the wall.
The silver finish means the ink is printed directly onto the smooth aluminum and the natural “grain” of the aluminum will “bleed” through the print anywhere where there is not too much inking. Based on reviews I have read, this bodes well for B&W architectural prints, but is not recommended for, say, color portraits.
So once you have made that first decision, they leave you with another: Glossy or matte.
This is a beautiful winter scene at the Cathedral Basilica in Newark, New Jersey. For this print I selected the matte finish on silver backing. On the top right corner, you can see the metal “grain” come through the image nicely.
I believe that where the image will be hung matters most when selecting matte or gloss finishes. The picture above is the print sitting on my kitchen table, which is adjacent to a very large plate glass window on a mostly sunny day. I did not have to edit out any glare for this photo.
The top image is the same print mounted on a wall directly opposite the plate glass window and I do not suspect there will be any glare issues, ever. It is worth considering.
Again, with the print resting on the table you can barely see any reflection of the trees outside even at this very low angle.
By comparison, here is a 16×24 inch print of the lovely Flat Iron Building in Manhattan, which was captured with a little bit of teamwork with Mr. Gordon Laing, who you may know from his excellent website at www.cameralabs.com. I spoke a little more about that day in this post, from last October.
This print is the same silver backing, but with the high gloss finish. Again, you can still see the brushed aluminum “grain” coming through the image. The gloss finish adds some contrast and depth to the details in the image, which are well suited for this particularly detailed building and scene.
However, also due to the high gloss finish, I would strongly consider the mount location and proximity to window light or light fixtures.
This is the same image as above, with only a slight twist of the focus ring so you can see what I am looking at in real life.
But do not let those reflections dissuade you. Here is the print as it is mounted on the wall in a hallway. There are no windows in line with this image, and there is a single overhead hall light, which you can barely see a reflection of on the top of the print.
So for an interior application, the high gloss print with the added depth is very fitting.
The back of the prints come with this wooden frame that keeps the print one inch from the wall. This allows for that beautiful floating frame with its shadow lines that you see in the above images. Really, this is the difference between hanging a print and taping a poster to the wall. Small step for mankind, giant leap for aesthetics.
To hang the print on the wall, AdoramaPix supplies this small wooden block and mounting screws. They even sent me the small level for free on my first order! Although, I recommend using a larger level for accuracy and simplicity.
The backside of the mounting block is slightly thicker than the front to compensate for the width of the supplied rubber grommets that you stick on the corners of the wood so that the print does not mark or slide on the wall. The triangular top section neatly interlocks with the groove on the inside of the wooden float frame. Once hung, this will forever keep the print level, and you will always be able to slide it left and right with makes making group collections of prints, or even collages, much easier to assemble.
Due to the lightweight aluminum, I decided to forego the larger supplied screws and simply use drywall screws without anchors. There is zero movement in the prints and they both look equally stunning.