Wednesday, 3 May 2017

BTEC L3 Photography Materials, Techniques and Processes – Photo-copy paper

Materials, Techniques and Processes – Photo-copy paper
Most of the student photography we see produced in their sketchbooks is now produced on photo-copy paper. So, this makes it one of the most frequently used materials that they use. With that in mind, it should be identified as one of the key materials that they use.

As with all of these materials, the first thing students should do is find the brand name of the paper they’re printing on and then go onto the manufacturers website by searching “Product data sheet” followed by the papers brand name…


You should go onto the website and download the product data PDF file for the paper you use in your college. Read the document identify the information relating to its properties and characteristics.

 General observations relating to these papers that you might include… (See over page).

·         Extremely cheap and economic.

·         Ideal for interim images and research images in sketchbooks

·         Ideal for reducing and scaling up using photocopier

·         Potential for mixed media application at basic level – finish is usually matt, so that the paper takes many mark-making media such as graphite pencils, biro’s even paint with the potential for buckling if used too wet.

·         Two basic sizes A4 and A3.

·         Comes out of the machine dry and with the image fixed.

·         Potential in art applications such as degrading and damaging, tears easily and works well with sellotapes for re-fixing and re-configuring.

·         Once screwed up maintains a 3D aspect.

·         Glues well.

·         Is semi-transparent so useful for over-laying and tracing.

·         Clean and white

·         Good for digital contact sheets.

·         Quick and easy.

·         Software on most advanced printing systems allows for nesting of images – MS picture viewer system had excellent nesting configurations for quick handing of images.



·         Buckles and distorts when used in conjunction with wet mark making media such as water-colour paints/gouache.

·         Not suitable for final images and portfolio use.

·         Images lack colour vibrancy because of the matt finish.

·         Easily damaged and ripped.

 Look at the relevant data sheets for further details.

To take this a step further you’re advised to use a number of different mark making media – pens, inks, high-lighters, different grade graphite pencils, paints – oil, gouache, acrylic, poster, water-colour; Different pencil types – charcoal, conte’, wax and other soft types and use them on the paper.

 Try smudging, smearing and wetting to show what effect you achieve with these media on this paper. Discuss what you have learned about the properties of the paper in conjunction with the potential of the mark-making tools/media. Is there any potential to use these media in conjunction with mixed media approaches in photography or combing the use of images and text?

Have a look at this link here too




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