There are such a wide variety of photo papers available for your inkjet printer that selecting a brand
and type of paper can be mind boggling. Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of using matte,
and glossy paper for your photos.
Matte paper is excellent for displaying photos such as large panoramas that must be displayed "naked"
in an environment where light reflections can be an issue. Since you don't get any glare at all from matte
papers, matte paper is a good choice for displaying a 4 foot panorama in a camera store under mixed
lighting especially where the prints are displayed high on a wall and reflections from overhead lights can
be a real issue. Matte papers are generally not as durable as semi-gloss (sometimes called luster) paper
or glossy paper as handling of matte prints can sometimes cause abrasion marks similar to running your
fingers across a suede or microfiber material. As a result, matte paper is not generally suited for prints that
are to be handled in their naked state.
Glossy papers generally offer the widest color range and best resolution, but they suffer from glare which
can be a problem under certain lighting conditions. As pointed out above, glossy paper is excellent for photos
that will be handled in their "naked" state. They may show fingerprints, but they are usually quite durable, to
the point where you can easily wipe off smudges or fingerprints without harming the prints. Profiling glossy
papers is also often easier as glossy papers offer a "no compromises" quality that truly brings out the best in
color and resolution that your printer can offer. They are often not the best choice, however, for scrapbooks or
glass mounting as they can sometimes stick to the surface that is mounted against the printed side of the
paper! For mounting behind glass or plastic sleeves, semi-gloss may be the best compromise. Also be
aware that if you do decide to go with third party papers, glossy papers are the most particular about
compatibility with certain printers. That is, it is easier to find third party glossy papers that don't work well with
your particular printer or have gas/light fade problems with certain inks.
Hopefully this article has answered a few of those questions and will at least give you a start if you are
wondering about the pros and cons of matte,and glossy papers.
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