Flowerscape Print on Bagasse Textured Media

Breathing Color Pura Bagasse Fine Art Paper Review (Podcast 484)

Last week I got my hands on a roll each of two new types of fine art paper from my friends at Breathing Color, Pura Bagasse Smooth and Pura Bagasse Textured, so today we're going to take a look at these excellent new offerings. First off, one of the most exciting things about these two new media types, is that "Bagasse" is the pulp produced as a byproduct of raw sugar production. This pulp is mixed with cotton to make this paper's base, so it is the perfect solution for the quality loving photographer or buyer, because the print quality...

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
22 Comments
  • Richard Stern
    Posted at 02:33h, 09 August Reply

    Excellent review. I will be trying the Bagasse Smooth tomorrow. The ICC profile is not available online but an email to Breathing Color will produce the profile quickly.

    I need to get better at making my own profiles.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:01h, 09 August Reply

      Thanks for letting me know Richard! I must have assumed they were already there. I’m sure they’ll be posted soon.

  • Fulin S
    Posted at 20:24h, 09 August Reply

    These shots of printed images (not smooth ones) reminds me of one of the traits of impressionist’ paintings – you must get closer to appreciate the details (bold brush strokes, etc). Looks fantastic.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 22:02h, 09 August Reply

      Yes, they do for me too Fulin. Good observation. I really like this kind of media.

  • Justin Bodin
    Posted at 01:21h, 11 August Reply

    Loving the review, Martin!

    Out of curiosity, which rendering intent are you most often using when you find the gamut warning alerting you of lots of out-of-gamut colors in a given image?

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:12h, 11 August Reply

      Thanks Justin!

      Always Perceptual rendering intent, as that’s what I print with.

  • Luc Renambot
    Posted at 06:09h, 11 August Reply

    Big fan of pura smooth, I want to try this. I still have a stock of Canon Museum Etching so I’d try the ‘Bagasse Smooth’.
    Too bad the coupon doesn’t work for me. I might have used it a while back for the pura smooth ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 14:19h, 11 August Reply

      Yes, I think the coupon is only for first time customers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Charlie McDonald
    Posted at 03:12h, 08 March Reply

    Thanks for the paper review. The winter here in Edmonton is Meh so I feel like playing around with different printing paper again. I was just going to order some from Breathing Color but then I found they have only two profiles for my printer model. ๐Ÿ™ Oh well, one of these day’s I’ll have to replace my old printer. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Justin Bodin
      Posted at 04:21h, 08 March Reply

      Hey Charlie, which printer model are you using? We have some profiles here at BC which are offline. Maybe it’s something I can send over to you.

      • Charlie McDonald
        Posted at 06:07h, 09 March Reply

        Hey Justin. That would be great. I have a Canon Pixma Pro9500.

        • Justin Bodin
          Posted at 00:47h, 12 March Reply

          Charlie, I’m sad to say we actually don’t have much for this printer. You’re right, it’s quite a dated model at this point and unfortunately we do not have it in house to create profiles. Looks like the profiles we have are for Lyve and Crystalline canvases. You can likely get good results having the printer handle color management, though this isn’t most ideal. If you decide to invest in a newer-model printer, we do have all recently-released models profiles for our entire product line.

          • Charlie McDonald
            Posted at 02:27h, 12 March Reply

            No worries. My plan is to print lots and lots so it will wear out & break and then I’ll have to buy a new one. If done right it wont be too long ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Mark Overgaard
    Posted at 09:37h, 16 May Reply

    Thanks for the review, Martin. I’ve been experimenting with the Bagasse papers and am likely going to print an upcoming exhibit on them. (There’s a slight chance I’ll decide to stick with Pura Smooth.) Do you have any additional observations about these papers in the months since this review was published?

    Note: in case you’re not aware of it, FATG certification is now posted for the Bagasse papers. I still don’t see profiles for my printer (a 3880) for download, but BC graciously offered to make a custom profile for my printer, which involved me sending physical prints to them of targets printed on my printer.

    There’s a question I’ve posed to BC and not gotten a satisfying (to me) answer yet. Maybe you have a comment. In the data sheet for the Bagasse papers they are touted as “water resistant”. This also appears in Hahnemuhle data sheets, so I’m guessing it is inherited from the properties of the base paper in BC’s Bagasse product. I don’t yet understand, however, what user benefits are associated with such water resistance. If you have ideas, I’d welcome them.

    One more question, which I don’t remember being addressed in your blog posts, but perhaps I missed it. Have you ever pursued the possibility of displaying prints on paper without glass or plexi protection (but presumably with varnish)? I’m seriously pursuing that possibility for this next exhibit (and therefor likely with either Pura Smooth or Bagasse Smooth). I’d welcome any comments you may have.

    I look forward to seeing you in January! (And I just watched your Namibia video today…very nice!)

    Thanks, as always, for your informative posts.

    Mark

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 10:19h, 16 May Reply

      Hi Mark,

      I don’t really have anything to add, other than I have continued to be astounded by the quality of these two Bagasse papers. I’ve printed on them many times since this review, and absolutely love them.

      I hadn’t noticed that the archival certification had come through. Thanks for the heads-up on that Mark!

      I’m afraid I don’t have any additional information on the water resistance statement. It’s not something that I will ever have to depend on, so I haven’t really given it much thought. Is it important to you that this media is water resistant? If it is, I can ask for more information, or Justin Bodin from BC might reply, as I think he’s subscribed to comments for this page.

      I’m looking forward to seeing you too next January, and thanks for watching the Namibia video! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Regards,
      Martin.

  • Mark Overgaard
    Posted at 10:30h, 16 May Reply

    Thanks, Martin. Good hear that you continue to be a Bagasse enthusiast. I don’t think that water resistance is critical to me, but I’m definitely curious about what it means, since it is in the Bagasse specs and not in the Pura specs. Let’s see if Justin comments.

    Did you have any comment on my final question about displaying paper prints without glass or plexi?

    Mark

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 11:24h, 16 May Reply

      Oops! Sorry about that Mark. I missed your last question.

      I’ve not actually displayed paper media prints without glass or plexi, although I did laminate a fine art matte print many years ago. I had a little bit of Lyve Matte laminate left in my roller tray after laminating some Lyve canvas, so I applied it to a print on Pura Smooth, I think it was, and it applied well and looked great.

      You’d need to check with BC about laminating your chosen media, just in case things have changed, but I definitely think it’s doable.

  • Mark Overgaard
    Posted at 11:31h, 16 May Reply

    Thanks, Martin. I’m already having the no-glass display conversation with BC, but thought you might have had some relevant experience in this area.

    Mark

  • Justin Bodin
    Posted at 23:15h, 16 May Reply

    Hi Mark,

    I wanted to address a couple of things you and Martin were discussing.

    First, here is a link to the Bagasse profiles for the Epson 3880. Sorry these aren’t on the web yet, we’ve been having a couple of issues with the profile upload tool that we’re working on resolving. https://www.dropbox.com/s/q9a4mwjydt9qoga/BC_BAGASSEPROFILES_3880_MK_WCRW.zip?dl=0

    Secondly, the “water resistant” attribute mentioned on the data sheet does in fact mean that you can roll or spray most varnishes over the print. Some papers will not stand up to the process of rolling liquid laminates. I can see where this simple “water resistant” mention can be quite confusing, so I’ll make a note to have my team clarify that on the data sheet.

    I think the above answer addresses your last concern. I would say that varnishing fine art paper prints is pretty rare, from what I hear, but is certainly done by some.

    Take care,
    Justin Bodin
    BC

    • Mark Overgaard
      Posted at 23:41h, 16 May Reply

      Thanks, Justin. I appreciate that you’re monitoring this thread. Thanks also for the link to the 3880 Bagasse profiles; could you provide a similar link for the corresponding 9900 profiles? I’m working with a community photo center that has a 9900 and I’d like to be able to print on Bagasses there, also.

      Your comment on the water resistant phrase make perfect sense to me. As I noted, however, the phrase does not appear in the data sheets for the original Pura papers (to my recollection). Is this attribute actually a significant difference between those original Puras and the Pura Bagasses? (I’ve been primarily using Pura Smooth, recently, but (partly triggered by Martin’s enthusiasm, confirmed with my own experience), am considering switching to Bagasse Smooth for my upcoming exhibit.)

      Actually, while I have you, there is one more Bagasse question. I’m using Watercolor Paper Radiant White as the media type in all my work with the Bagasse papers. I don’t know the considerations that went into picking that Epson media type as a base for printing on BC papers, but there appear to be considerably more advanced (or at least expensive) Epson matte papers that superficially would seem more likely to be a match with the Bagasse papers in areas such as ink load that they would tolerate. Any comments here?

      Mark

  • Henrik
    Posted at 15:47h, 04 October Reply

    I like the paper as well, lovely structure. But I really wish they could remove the slightly pink/rosa tint it has. On it’s own perhaps not that obvious, but when evaluating different papers it struck me. Looking up the L*a*b* whitepoint, it does register around an a* 2, confirming the observation. In some lighting it’s too much of a difference to me (often when not directly lit), compared to other neutral a* papers.

    And thanks, Martin, for the content you share here. Appreciated. Getting my feet, or rather paper, wet currently in varnish testing on FineArt papers. Not as easy as on canvas.

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