Home Photography Papery preferences of photographic prints

Papery preferences of photographic prints

photo paper types glossy matte

A world so advanced that lets you relive and revive memories just through some touches on a screen- the dream reality perhaps is what we all are currently living. There also has been a shift from traditional to digital modes of existing essentially accompanying this changing course of narrative. This shift has at times been absolute while at other times there has coexisted the dual mode of life, deriving upon the nuances of either to render more convenient the conducive conducting of human existences. All in all therefore the metamorphosis has asserted in different degrees of wholeness which has infused the world with an essence of the constantly evolving and emerging.

The chassis has considerably widened in such particulars that have now been almost exclusively redirected to the digital domain. Photography for instance has seen quite a sea-change even when it has always been an identity of technological description. But it isn’t just the technique of photographing that has been influenced and improved upon, even the as essential elements of storage and production or printing too has seen considerable modifications creeping up to its expanse.

Photos can now be easily accessed from one’s devices as and when they need to. Even prints of photographs can be ‘developed’ instantly and at ease. But with every other requirement that calls for some form of photographic validation existing also, if not exclusively as online specifications as well, there rarely arises the case for photographs to find unfurling as physical prints that can be felt and touched, even when the tangiblity of what they hold continues to be as elusive as they have always been.

Source: Professional Photographers of America

With no reason sustained then in favour of printed photographs, the conclusion would inevitably dawn as photo prints and therefore photo papers to run out of business. But what expresses as serendipitous a revelation indeed is the fact that photo prints continue to be a sufficiently prominent trend of today. The whys and hows of what propels them are factors that occur as emotional in some respects and advanced in others. But the quirkiness of their nature prevails as being the most significant determinant of this time tested and endured prospect.

There are a multitude of reasons why people are still opting for their photos to find expression in ink. But the way this seemingly nontechnical of ventures draws upon the most essential promise of technological development is surprising indeed. The very fact that there exists today some of the most premier photo papers for captures to come as close to life as possible is an interesting explanation for this more traditional medium of choice finding utmost fulfilment due to the highly technologised times of the present.


Source: The Paper Blog – The Paper Mill Store

A glossy finish might sound like the more ‘illustrious’ way in printing photos. And while it is one very popular medium indeed, it isn’t flawless. The glossy attribute works in making photos flash as bright objects of artistic capturing. With details rendered vivid and the colors exuberant and eye catching, glossy prints are specifically opted for in high resolution printing. These also make for very affordable options which is what drives up further their popularity. The crisp images of what play through this type of photo print and the mirrored shine of their radiating renders photos brilliant and seem like they are worth indeed in existing as physical prints irrespective of the age in which they occur.


matte photo paper
Source: Breathing Color

The opposing apposite of glossy photo prints is the matter paper that strike as refined in their muted, subtle show of elegance. Their doing away with the bright glares of color and reflections means that it is the actual subject of photographs that shines as the ultimate star. Matte paper solves many inconveniences of what characterise glossy prints such that makes them the most suitable for use in hanging in brightly lit areas or in photo frames where they slip in and out of at ease. They also lend particularly well to printing of monochrome pictures with the even expression of colors meaning that they do better without too much of the focal flashes. Plus they are even cheaper than glossy photo prints as well.

The problem though with matte photo paper is the extensive care they demand. They are particularly susceptible in bearing finger marks and touches as irreversible spots. The artistry of what plays through matte papers might also not make them conducive for every photo type as it can downplay the livelier essences of them.

Pearl or Lustre

Fujicolor Crystal Archive Digital Pearl Paper
Source: Fujifilm Original Photo Paper

In between the two extremes of matte and glossy exist a number of options for photos to be physically developed. The semi-glossy identity of what is referred to as pearl or lustre paper also is more expensive than the more ‘general’ types of photographic paper. They are essentially high quality in being specially produced in combing the desirable attributes of either that which also endows them with quite a unique texture.

This additional element of texture ensures also that lustre assertion of the pearl finish is muted enough to not have light unduly reflecting or glaring back. The color contrast and vividness though is still maintained even as blemishes too are blurred for an enhanced experience of not just viewing photos but also how they feel like on holding.


satin photo paper
Source: autop.be

Satin photo paper is a level further down on the glossiness quotient than pearl paper. Tending closer to matteness then but not quite there still, this is characterised by smooth but non shiny finishes. The degree of glossiness might express differently in different makes and finishes of such paper. This is why satin paper and pearl paper are often used interchangeably since they do not differ very greatly in quality as well as in the final result revealed.


canvas print
Source: BC Blog – Breathing Color

The connotation of canvas might necessarily express as a painting term but photography too has for long availed of the display-worthy assumptions of the material. Artistic indeed in either of its mode of usage, this offers a matte view of your images but in retaining to a greater extent the true nature and color of them. And while the aesthetic quality of canvas printed photos is undeniably impressive, prepping the paper itself is quite a task for one to ensure that photos thus printed strike as the immensely artistic expressions that they are. That said though, canvas also is surprisingly cheaper than other options available in printing bigger art pieces that also needs to be framed.


silk photo paper
Source: Arch 5 Design

If pearl is less glossy for you but real glossy is too non art-like as well, then silk is the most apt choice for your printing purposes. Boasting a slight sheen not unlike the refined elegance of what silk essentially entices in, silk paper comes across also as smoother and softer both in what it displays and deploys. A rendition of printed images that reflects in a pleasing softness is what is afforded out of the use of silk as a printing medium.


cardstock photo prints
Source: Gadget Review

To be exact, cardstock is more general a paper type that though is also used for printing photos. The main reason behind such use is their durability since these are thicker. They also are very ‘ordinary’ in that there isn’t any sheen or luster decking up their smooth surface. These of course are not the most premium of picks one chooses for printing their more personal, valuable captures. Cardstock paper are best bets for widespread commercial use that needs certain pictures to be printed and circulated with no regard whatsoever of their handling and receiving.


Source: Printique

By far the most premier positing of your photographs as art is what can be availed out of fine art photo papers. Generally composed of natural fibers that which lends them a certain texture radiating the art feels, this type of photo paper is the finest choice if you indeed are clicking to display for the gallery. Art paper itself can be differently categorised as per their defining elements. But what still necessarily plays through all such photo prints is a very high quality feel of their perceiving since images are shown in their best possible light through such representations. They also are generally sturdier mediums of photo printing that hold as well the greater essence of what is captured in both the technical and artistic identity of what photography is.