The Mastery of Metal: Built to Last

The Mastery of Metal: Built to Last


“What would you take with you if your house was on fire?” 

For many, the answer to this age-old question has been to choose an irreplaceable artifact over all else: family photographs. But with the gradual improvement of a technology introduced in the 19th century, the fragility of paper, wood, and canvas photographs is something we do not need to consider today.

Tintypes were introduced in 1853 by a French scientist and photography pioneer, Adolphe-Alexandre Martin. One day, while researching photographic prints, Martin decided to switch the glass plate popular in his day for an iron plate. This lucky decision began a revolution in photography. Enter; metal prints.


 Left; Orignal tinype method, circa 1900s, Right; Present-day Chromaluxe metal print by Aluminyze with both silver and white finish


Contemporary metal prints are the most durable print mediums known in the photography world today, a photograph that can withstand the test of time.

Modern metal prints are made from a thin sheet of aluminum covered with a very fine multiple-layer finish in either clear or white. High temperatures are used to imprint a reverse-printed paper photo onto the metal sheet using a heat press. The specialized dyes used to print the photograph become embedded into the coating; the metal and photograph become one.


 At the Aluminyze studio, a worker removes transfer paper from hot metal prints after removal from the heat press.


Aside from its vibrancy and lightweightedness, aluminum prints offer advantages that no other medium does; durability. Aluminyze uses ChromaLuxe prints, the gold standard of metal sheets available in today's market, made in the USA from recycled aluminum. ChromaLuxe metal sheets are

  • Fade resistant
  • Waterproof 
  • Rust-proof 
  • Scratch resistant
  • Flame resistant
  • Moisture resistant


Testing a metal print under flame at the Aluminyze studio. Smoke marks and discoloration easily wiped off.

Independent studies have demonstrated Chromaluxe prints to last significantly longer than the three longest lasting photo papers on the market!

On that fortunate day in the mid-1800s, Adolphe-Alexandre Martin was struck by the effect the metal plate had on his photograph. Metal printing creates an almost HDR, 3D effect on photos, making them stand out significantly from photo paper.


Sanna Nour, hiker and photographer, hangs an Aluminze print in her California home. Credit: @thegoldenbucketlist


With aluminum prints, photographs can come alive and stay that way with the archival quality of Aluminyze ChromaLuxe prints. Metal is the only choice for prints that look incredible and last longer than the excitement of a new package at your door.

Have you experienced the Aluminyze effect on your photographs? It’s something you have to see for yourself. Try it for the first time or add it to your collection today: Click here!

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