Printing photos can prove to be difficult, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. File format, resolution, frame size, colour profiles and printing paper can all affect your final product. It’s always advisable to use a professional photo printing service when printing your photos– particularly if you rarely do any printing. If you decide to print photos at home, your choice of printer and printing paper is very important. This article will help you choose the best paper for printing your images.
Contrary to common belief, printing photos is not just about popping in sheets of paper into your printer and allowing the technology to do its magic. There’s way more to the process that goes into printing photos.
There are certain kinds of paper for printing photos that create different finishes that are suitable for certain types of imagery. Photo paper has some distinct properties, such as weight and finish, that make it ideal for use in photo printing.
Printing paper is measured in weight using a unit called GSM or Grams per Square Metre. The weight of the paper has a direct impact on its thickness. It’s usually easier to measure paper weight than to measure thickness, thus the use of GSM.
With that said, lightweight paper (weighing less than 70 GSM) may not support colours as well as heavier paper. Choosing the correct weight (thickness) is crucial for printing pictures. Thicker paper (weighing over 160 GSM) is considered a card.
Ideally, photo printing paper should be done on paper weighing around 150 to 200 GSM. As a measure of density, more weight makes the paper feel thicker when held. Publications used for short-term projects like brochures will have a modest GSM rating because they commonly include many graphics and images, despite being discarded quickly.
When it comes to picking the best finish of the photo paper, there are various options to select from. You may have come across terms like Satin, Metallic, Canvas, Cotton, Matte, Pearl, Glossy, and Luster.
Let’s have a look at some of the best options for printing your photos.
Glossy is probably the most popular type of paper finish used in photo printing. You can have different levels of gloss, from semi-gloss to high-gloss. The shiny finish on glossy paper helps to augment the finer details of the image.
It’s crucial to consider though where the photo will be displayed. This is because the shiny look can make it more susceptible to distracting reflections and glares if mounted on a wall. Glossy finish is best suited for high-resolution pictures kept in a photo album.
Matte finish is the complete opposite of gloss finish. Whereas gloss is bright and shiny, the matte finish is flat and dull. Matte finish is commonly used in printing flyers and brochures because it’s a bit cheaper to produce. Black and white (monochrome) images look amazing on matte paper.
If you like the gloss finish, but don’t want to have to deal with glare and reflection issues, then you should try a satin paper finish. Satin falls between gloss and matte finishes. This finish offers a modest amount of shine without being too bright or reflective.
Satin paper looks greats on action photos and portraits, as they enrich colours and add a little shine to the images.
You’ll find professional photo printers prefer to use pearl and lustre finish to recreate a kind of satin look, but with a textured feel. The standards satin finish can be quite flat, but lustre and pearl finishes give a nice finish for candid art prints.
If you’re looking for the best store in Sydney for your online photo printing, then look no further than Photoland. We offer a complete range of products and services from print photos and scanning, right through to picture framing and photo albums.
Please call us today on (02) 9235 1933 or leave an enquiry.