Sunday, 01 March 2015

Choosing the Right Photo Paper for Your Inkjet Printer

Today’s technology enables us to capture life’s special moments without hiring a professional photographer. High quality DSLR’s and a home inkjet printer can provide you with beautiful photographs that will make your friends and family think you paid someone to snap the shots. To follow suit with that quality touch, you need to know what photo paper is right for you. Here is a list of paper characteristics to help you purchase the right paper type for your intended project:

Paper Sizes

Depending on how big you want your photographs - photo paper sizes can range from the standard 4x6” or 5x7” to larger sizes including 8 ½ x 11” or 11x17”. Whether you are looking to put your photographs into an album, scrapbook or creating a larger display – like a calendar – there a number of sizes you can choose from.

Paper Weight

Weight reflects a paper’s thickness. The weight of paper is expressed via GSM, or the weight of paper per one square metre. Higher GSM weight means thicker photo paper. Papers with higher GSM weights often get used for greeting cards or to stimulate a more traditional photo feel similar to that from a photo lab. For low keepsake potential like brochures, it is wise to consider buying a lighter paper with a modest GSM weight as it will be more cost-effective for you and easier to fold.

Paper Finishes

Like paint, paper comes in a variety of finishes. You can choose between gloss and matte – depending on whether you want your photos to have bit of a sheen (glossy’s your answer) or something softer and non-reflective (then matte it is). When framing photos, matte is the better option, because glossy photos may have a glare reflecting off the glass of the frame. There are also satin and pearl or luster options, all of which are situated between glossy and matte. Pearl or luster finishes will provide a delicate textured feel to images, whereas the satin or semi-gloss finish will feel flat.

Paper Brightness/Whiteness

The whiteness of paper has a dramatic effect on the color balance of prints, as well as the neutrality of black and white prints. Two “white” papers can look drastically different when held side by side. Paper brightness is characterized by a number ranging from 1 to 100. When looking for photo paper, it is best to look for photo papers whose brightness is 90 or higher.