CHOOSE YOUR IDEAL PHOTO PAPER

CHOOSE YOUR IDEAL PHOTO PAPER

CHOOSE YOUR IDEAL PHOTO PAPER – Selecting the best paper for your image is an important decision for guaranteeing professional print quality

Different paper types exhibit a great variety of display properties, which have to be understood for the photographer to be able to predict how their image will look when printed. Paper texture and thickness have a profound impact on how the ink from your printer will interact with the paper surface.

This in turn influences the colour depth and balance of the photograph. It is essential that the paper used is best able to accurately recreate the colours in the original image file, to ensure a reliable image processing and output workflow. It is advisable to run test prints on every paper type, to assess which generates the ideal colour and brightness for your taste.

Glossy

This is the most universally popular paper type. The shiny, smooth surface creates a very sharp look that suits naturally brightly coloured subjects, such as flowers and those featuring a large amount of fine detail.

The surface is very unforgiving of photo defects, such as camera shake or image noise, but offers a wide colour range.

It is often the best choice for printing high-resolution files. Surface glare and reflections can be an issue in direct lighting.

Pearl/lustre

A variation on satin, these papers have an additional texture that many professional photographers prefer to use for wedding and portrait images. These types of images are likely to be handled more frequently, so this paper is more durable than matte, but still feels pleasant to hold.

Selecting the best paper for your image is an important decision for guaranteeing professional print quality of display properties, which have to be understood for the photographer to be able to predict how their image will look when printed. Paper texture and thickness have a profound.

Canvas

Aside from the artistic theme the three- dimensional nature of box canvases can offer, canvas is also a great option for printing very large photos, where resolution may have to be compromised for size. The deep texture can also hide defects in the image, such as a slight lack of sharpness, since canvas prints are not as crisp as glossy photo paper. This also makes it unsuitable for finely detailed images. The texture can become a distraction in flat areas, when prints are viewed up close.

Matte

Matte papers suffer from less glare than glossy media and so make good large- format prints, destined for mixed-lighting environments where the exact display location is uncertain. Matte is a common choice for printing black and white images, as the textured surface adds to the fine art feel, while the low glare has less detrimental impact on high-contrast monochrome tones. A key disadvantage of matte is print longevity – the surface can easily be damaged through handling and cannot be effectively cleaned.

Choose a paper weight

Generally speaking, the heavier the paper – measured in grams per square metre (GSM) – the better the print. While weight itself does not necessarily impact print quality directly (there are many other factors, such as printer quality and surface texture, that dictate this) heavier paper provides a nicer handling experience. Look for 280gsm or higher for archival prints

Satin

Satin paper is pitched as a halfway measure between matte and glossy, featuring a moderate texture and exhibiting qualities of both. Sometimes referred to as ‘semi-gloss’, satin is able to display a good range of colours, while minimising glare and reflection, providing good display properties. Durability is slightly better than matte and prints can be handled with more ease.

Conclusion

No matter how many pixels your camera’s sensor possesses or how much you have paid for your lenses and printer, if you fail to select the appropriate paper on an image-specific basis, you will never achieve the ideal print for your photos.

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