The Different Varieties of Photo Paper That You Would Come Across

By: Sunil Punjabi


When you want to print out your digital images, it is extremely important to make the right choice of paper on which to print. There are several different varieties of photo paper, each with its own set of characteristic features as well as strengths. The tones, contrast of the backgrounds, saturation and various colour aspects are all brought into focus by a good paper, which is what makes the selection of the paper so important. The photographic paper might be coated with some chemicals sensitive to light, to give you the finest photographic prints. Clarity and detail are extremely important when you print out your images.

One of the more common varieties of photo paper is the glossy paper often used for posters as well as smaller photo prints. This kind of paper gives you excellent sharpness as well as vibrancy which is what most people seek in their images. There are quite a few different types of glossy paper too, including premium grade paper, brand specific papers and semi-gloss papers. So, you will be able to find multiple quality levels, some more glossy producing sharper results but at the same time more expensive as well. Glossy photo paper quality is usually indicated by stars, from 3 stars to 5 stars. Usually the higher stars have higher gloss, use better and heavier paper, and are more fad and water resistant.

Another variety of photo paper used commonly is matte paper, which lacks the lustre of glossy paper and is preferred for better quality of prints rather than the finish. There are quite a few differences between matte and glossy papers. Matte papers cannot be smudged easily unlike glossy ones where finger prints are easily marked, along with dust. Also, if there is too much lighting and you are concerned about reflection, you are better off, picking matte paper. However, if you wanted a sharper image, with greater vibrancy then glossy paper would make a better choice.

There are other varieties of photo paper too like e-surface paper that has a matte finish but is used by photographers for accuracy of colours, saturation and high intensity. This kind of paper would be ideal for shades like purple, cyan and bright blue. If you are looking for a print that brings out a 3D perspective, then you can go for metallic paper that combines film with laminate layers, to give you brightness in backgrounds and longevity of the paper itself.

As far as good photo paper is concerned, you can choose between matte finish, glossy finish and pearlescent finish. There is resin coated paper and UV gloss too for different kinds of requirements. UV gloss is the ideal choice when you want an extremely shiny finish. In this case, an ultra violet coating is provided over and above a glossy paper. Resin coated paper is used for B&W prints. The papers vary based on the sizes as well as some of their intrinsic properties, such as the clarity and colour contrast that they can bring out. Picking the right paper is an important aspect of getting a beautiful photo.

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