Factors to Consider When You Want to Use Matte Photo Paper

By: Sunil Punjabi


The decision to choose between glossy and matte finish is something that depends on the theme of your photos, the quality of the photos, the subject for the photography and what you expect the photo to do. So, most beginners tend to get attracted towards a glossy product, because of the richness of the finish and the vibrancy of the colours. However, seasoned photographers tend to lean towards matte photo paper. This is apparently because the quality of an image and the actual story come out much more clearly through the dull and sombre finish of the matte paper. While glossiness is more for the imagery, the matte finish is the perfect choice in case of photos that have to be realistic and hence less glitzy and gaudy.

A very important consideration while choosing the matte photo paper is the place where the photo will be exhibited or the way the photo will be used. There are three scenarios, where the matte finish can be chosen without much confusion. Firstly, when the photo has to be framed and kept in a bright lit area, such a store with lots of lights or beside the window, matte is preferred because of the high reflectiveness of the glossy print. The reflectiveness could cause a real issue as you might not really be able to see the actual photo because of the light. Secondly, matte finish is a good choice when the photos will be passed on from person to person. When the same happens with glossy photos, you might end up with lot of smudge marks and finger prints, which could look bad on the actual photo.

A matte photo paper is also a good choice when you want the photo to tell a story or when it is a black and white print whose beauty lies in its subtlety. In such scenarios, the glossiness could actually prove to be a distraction and actually not let you focus or emphasize on the quality of the photo. In sepia or black and white prints, matte is the more popular choice. Matte paper usually brings out more detail in its print, although there could be a possibility of more ink absorption and greater time for drying. So, it depends on the individual choice when it comes to picking one between matte and glossy paper.

Matte photo paper is also ideal for calendars and greeting cards if you donít want them to be overly gaudy. However, the ink consumption is higher in these cases too. Professional photographers go for matte finish when they prefer an antique touch or a very traditional look to the photos. While glossiness is easily associated with modern richness, matte can be associated with the sober subtlety of the yesteryear. A big advantage of matte prints is that you can view them even under strong light. So, photos displayed in galleries in bright light might be printed in matte paper to make sure that the detailing reaches across to the audience. Matte photo paper usually can be printed on both sides, unlike glossy. Thus presentations can be made more compact.

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