May 28th, 2012

Instant Art on Beautiful Bamboo

When I first heard about bamboo prints, I must admit I was thinking more ‘panda food’ than ‘art paper.’ No, no, I was assured, bamboo paper is fantastic for art prints. So I tested it out for myself.

What is bamboo paper? 

Bamboo paper is a fine art paper that is a made from 90% bamboo fibres and 10% cotton. It is thick, slightly textured, and naturally soft, warm, and white.

I had three of my spring macros printed up to see how they look on bamboo. I chose three of my most colourful, saturated images, and when I slipped the finished products out of the envelope, I was stunned. This paper loves colour.

The yellow flowers are crisp and brilliant, with gorgeous fine detail. This photo is breathtaking in bamboo.

I was worried about this red rhododendron. The colours are so deep and saturated, it looked like a big red blob when I had printed it on regular photographic paper. The bamboo paper, however, is not overwhelmed by the intense colour. The print shows subtle details on the petals, while remaining brilliant, almost neon red. Beautiful.

The third picture amazes me. The actual flower is about an inch in diameter—I had to crouch down to take the photo. The bamboo paper shows off every pixel of detail, so this photo is like looking through a magnifying glass. I think the end product is lovely.

Instant Art 

I am a huge believer in ready-made frames with pre-cut mattes—they look great and are a fraction of the cost of custom framing. I asked for the photolab to make 12×18 bamboo prints to fit this frame, which is wonderfully versatile.

The frame is simple and black with a double white matte. For the yellow flowers, I used both mattes—this does cover some of the image, but in this case I think it accentuates the main, in-focus flowers.

For the red rhododendron, I opted for only one matte. The centre of the flower is a main focal point, and the larger matte does not cover it. I like the white space between photo and frame—for me, this gives the image room to breathe on the wall.

The tiny violet fills the page, and I didn’t want to cut off any of violet, or the green foliage background. For this image, I took the mattes out entirely. I like the look, especially on this dark coloured wall. The colours of the violet pop with a simple black frame and charcoal background.

To see bamboo paper for yourself, drop by your London Drugs photolab. They have samples of all their fine art papers, canvas wraps, and other photo products. For information about sizes and resolutions, visit

Written by Angela Ford

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