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Choosing the right paper for printing your photos

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Paper is available in a multitude of sizes, from 10cmx15xm to A3 format (33cmx48cm) and beyond, not to mention rolls. Below is an overview of different paper types and their corresponding uses.

Handy tips

  •  Go for a high paper density (250-300 g/m²).
  • Check the maximum thickness or density recommended by your printer manufacturer and never exceed this maximum, as this is liable to cause paper jams.
  • Your printer uses dye-based inks: some colours will fade after 2-3 years. Therefore, avoid using high-end paper.
  • Remember to pick the right paper type in the print dialog when setting the print going.

1. Mat paper

  • Perfect for surfaces that will be handled a lot due to the ink penetrating the paper well.  It is resistant to regular handling, friction and damp.  Once this paper dries it can be glued onto CD cases and gift boxes or used in scrapbooks. 
    The colours will not be very bright nor reveal contrast well but the images will be clear. 

  • Some mat paper has an embossed surface. - Use this for images that require texture and black and white still lifes. 

2. Semi-mat paper

  • Gives vivid colours and deeper blacks.
  • Reflections are diffuse, and hence do not tend to get in the way when viewing the image
  • Good for both colour and black and white subjects.

3. Glossy paper

Provide optimum contrast between deep blacks and bright colours.

  • Use for pictures with extremely saturated colours (sunsets,"colourist"style photography, etc.).

4. Fine art paper

Available in matt, gloss, with smooth or textured surfaces. These are designed to be used primarily with pigmented ink. Extremely high quality, with a price to match, meaning they are more aimed at serious hobbyists and professionals, or for test prints or exhibition prints.