Tuesday, 07 October 2014

Choose The Right Photo Paper

Years ago not many people were comfortable with printing their own photographs. Washing out film seemed to be the best option for many as the quality was reliable that way. However, with recent advancements with printers, it is possible to print almost anything at the comfort of your homes! But not all of us are still comfortable with what are the right tools to help us to make this happen.

When it comes to printing our own photos with a printer, many of us tend to stick to the standard photo paper we are given along with our printers, or we mostly just pick the apparent “best” or “affordable” photo paper available in the stores. However, the final quality of the photographs we print depends greatly on the type of paper it is inked in, so it is about time to learn about how to choose the right photo paper for your printer and photos. This can help you greatly to create your own beautiful photographs and collages without having to step out of your house!

Photo paper is not just your everyday normal paper!

The most suitable paper for your unique photo printing needs would rely on the model, brand and mechanisms of your photograph printer. Although there is standard copy paper, which is the one type of paper that as a standard fits almost all printers and all functions, this is the only type of paper to always stay away from due to its poor, compromised quality! Photos printed on plain paper tend to look spread out, flat, without life and very powdery. Colors look very dull and the details of the shadows and highlights almost always disappear.

Worse still, if you are using a color inkjet to print, the wet ink used would soak up the paper, causing it to sag and crinkle up. This is the kind of paper only best used for trial runs of positioning and size of your photos on paper. Photo paper has a different appearance and texture to it compared to normal paper, and it is best to get your inkjet-specific paper to get brilliant photographs printed out.

Matching the right type of paper to your printer

Now since we have established that the only paper we use for photo printing is photo paper, we have to learn that not all photo papers are the same. Photo paper has to be matched to your printer and its specific features. For example, photo papers designed for laser color printers will not work for inkjet color printers and vice versa, because the high temperatures the lasers use to burn together the seeds of the color toner of the paper, would melt away the photo paper you use for inkjet printers. This is one hazard as it can easily damage your printer and specifically its OPC drum inside your laser printer.

Inkjet printers won’t be able to correctly print on dyes and pigments onto laser printer as well, and the ink would damp and run off to smudge rather than falling in place correctly. This again can be another hazard for your printer! Usually the best printer photo paper will be the kinds made by the company of your printer. They usually have a large variety so have a look and compare the different descriptions before deciding and buying.

How to protect photos you have printed already

Just printing a great photograph on a magnificent piece of good quality, expensive photo paper would not do the job. Once the photo is out, you have to protect it to keep it the great way it looks. A printed photo has to be stored properly, which means you have to place it in a dark place with room temperature and humidity levels. Keeping these photos out of direct UV light is one of the only ways to keep them as how they look like. Probably, while printing, using acid-free matting would help to aid its protection in the future.

Also, while printing, do not stack up the photos in your printer. As each prints, remove them out one by one so that they don’t stick on each other which will then, while separating, will damage the quality of the print. After printing, keep it clean with nothing on its surface for the next one day. No matter how good the quality is, photo papers do stick to one another, so make sure you keep them off any dangerous surfaces or stacked against each other.

Choosing the right photo paper is an essential topic to read up on for all those who want to print their own photographs at home. Feel free to do your own research and ask your nearest photo shop for help before deciding, and get used to these photograph terminologies. Once you have selected the best photo paper for your printer, you will have endless fun printing out those treasures of memories using your printer!