A brief investigation into two eco papers, Hahnemühle Bamboo Base, and the Hahnemühle Agave Base

Since I have felt uninspired to take photos, I have tried to study new things about other aspects of photography, including the printing process, and papers. On this post I give my first impressions on two eco papers from Hahnemühle.

The problem

Photographing and printing has an impact on the environment. Knowing this, many photographers have become interested in “environmentally friendly” photography. A search on Google looking for the subject will turn several entries warning the casual photographer about the environmental threat posed by the activity: pollution generated by cars, or airplanes used to reach photo destinations, the impact of photography tourism on local communities, waste from equipment manufacturing, and of course, the evils of paper and ink.

Trying to evaluate which activities cause more environmental impact and which measures will minimize the problem is not that simple. Radical solutions like “I never participate in a photography workshop” or “I only take photos in my neighborhood where I can walk” may help the person feel like he is doing something about something, but these measures fall short of addressing the major factors currently affecting local preserve areas, the global climate, and the sustainability of towns and parks that depend on tourism to survive. 

Some photographers try to embrace techniques that may decrease or delay their impact on the environment by purchasing used equipment, and printing using environmentally friendly papers and ink. And any time there is a need, a new market will thrive based on it: check out, for example, Photo Innovation Lab.

My impression on two eco papers from Hahnemühle

Although I have not taken a lot of interest in environmentally friendly printing, I have noticed that Hahnemühle offers eco papers, and that Finerworks, where I have my GeoGalleries website, offers at least some of them (click here for an updated list).

I have tried two, the Hahnemühle Bamboo Base, and the Hahnemühle Agave Base. I ordered 8X12 prints with 1 inch border for each. 

I tested the Hahnemühle Bamboo Base on Eucalyptus bark, 2021, and I was very pleased with the results. Woold looks fantastic on it. The texture seems to complement well the numerous fine details of the bark and yields a great gamut of shades of grey in my monochrome image. In fact, the image appears to be inside the paper rather than on the surface of it. I am so satisfied with the prints that I am considering changing all my bark images to this paper in my POD offerings.

The Hahnemühle Agave Base I tested on Seed and floss, 2022. The fine details of the seed and the bright white floss were beautifully reproduced, and I almost feel like I can touch the structure of the seedpod. I will explore this paper on other types of photos and make more offerings based on it. 

Price

Most of my offerings of botanicals on my GeoGalleries website are on Hahnemühle Photo Rag. The Finerworks price of a 8X12 print on this paper is $13. An equivalent print on Hahnemühle Bamboo Base costs $12, and Agave base is $ 14. 

Conclusion

Although I have not tried to gather hard data on the environmental advantages of eco papers, I want to give envirnomentally-conscious collectors a few choices that may help them feel better about purchasing a print from me. Upon first inspection, these Hahnemühle eco papers do not seem to be of lesser quality than the conventional paper I use the most, the Hahnemühle Photo Rag, and the price difference is not worth worrying about. Both the Hahnemühle Bamboo Base and the Hahnemühle Agave Base yielded beautiful results. Slowly, I might explore these eco papers a little more.

Disclaimer: None of the links is affiliated.

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Wall Art Botanical Images

Wall Art Photography projects

Wall Art landscapes and miscellaneous

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Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

14 thoughts on “A brief investigation into two eco papers, Hahnemühle Bamboo Base, and the Hahnemühle Agave Base

      1. It’s the same as how much fossil fuel is burnt because photographers travel to scenic places or to workshops. A needle in the haystack. But some photographers choose to torture themselves about it and deprive themselves of travel because they are worried about the impact they cause.

        Like

      2. Even if we’d taken the most direct route to Santa Fe and back, that by itself would have accounted for half of the 2700 miles. The fact that we went via Las Cruces and returned via Amarillo, plus the many daily side trips we made, accounted for the other half.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. If you get a chance take a look at the Awagami Bamboo paper. It gives really pleasing results as well. Comes in several different weights.

    The bark image is gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was interested in your comment about images seeming to be ‘inside’ the paper rather than ‘on’ it in in the case of the Hahnemühle Bamboo Base. Quite apart from any supposed ecological advantages, that suggests a real aesthetic advantage!

    Liked by 1 person

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