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Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Nov 22, 2008, 18:45
Post: #1
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Some of you may have noticed my longish absence here. Not meaning to scare anybody, but I may show up again, but right now I am learning photoshop and learning to print. Here is a question and I hope you can help.

I am looking for an advice on:


a) how to choose paper type (gloss/luster/matte) (figer/canvas...)based on the type of photographs I have.

b) brands of paper (this is less important to me at this stage than a))


I have a colour managed system based on X-rite callibrated monitor and the use of softproofing for printing on ICC-aware, photoshop controled Epson R1900 printer using pigments (K4 pigments I beleive - cartridges # 87). Untill a few months ago, I viewed photos mostly on the monitor. I have been printing 8x10 (or proofing mostly) and 13x19. I tried samples of glossy and Matte paper. My preference runst in most instances to the matte, but not always and I am not able to predict what to use when.

Most of my photos are landscapes, often extreme contrast (shooting against the sun (!!!) with water reflection, but also some on an overcast, foggy day, some B&W or duotone. Of cause I could experiment, but at $60+ per box, I woud appreciate some guidance. Any good links/books? Any suggestions?

Thank you Pavel
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Nov 22, 2008, 19:46
Post: #2
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
A lot of it is personal taste, I love B&W's on glossy paper, I think portraits are best on Matte, again, probably just personal.

I do most of my printing for Camera Club Competition on pearl paper, kind of a mid-point between Gloss and matte.
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Nov 23, 2008, 04:29
Post: #3
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Does it take a certain paper type to make a photo pass or fail?

I prefer glossy for everything. Keeps things simple.
When something comes up that I think would be better on another type I just print it at a source that has those choices instead of doing it myself.

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Nov 23, 2008, 11:00
Post: #4
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
KeithAlanK Wrote:Does it take a certain paper type to make a photo pass or fail? .
Nope, it all comes down to the tastes of he maker, and the Judge. I have had the situation where I entered a print on matte at the club and the Judge gave his expert opinion that it should of been on a glossy paper...... 3 days later I reprint the image on Gloss and enter it in the Camera Club Council, Judge says "Great image.. yada,yada, yada... I would prefer it on matte!
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Nov 23, 2008, 11:44
Post: #5
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
I'm using the R1800, the predecessor to your printer, and have used Epson Premium Glossy and Premium Luster photo paper in the past. The Epson paper is very nice, and I still have a fair bit of it lying around, and continue to use it for anything that's going to be framed. For 'exhibition' prints I'm now using Harman Gloss FB Al almost exclusively. I say almost because I've found that the glossy paper is more likely to give me colour tints when I print a black and white image, so that's when I choose the Epson Luster or Harman Matt FB Al instead. But the reality is that I hardly ever print anything but colour. Glossy colour is what these printers are designed for, and I've rarely been inclined to do otherwise.
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Nov 23, 2008, 23:21
Post: #6
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
I have seen many prints where the ink had more gloss than the paper (in broad sections) and this distracted me so much I couldn't really enjoy the image itself.
That's the main reason I prefer gloss paper.

The one time I tried a matte paper was because it was the only thing the printer had in larger sizes (I think it was the usual Fuji commercial stuff) and I hated the texture, but I'm sure that there are much better choices available for home printing.

What impact does the glass in a frame have on matte papers and the enjoyment of them?

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Nov 24, 2008, 04:18
Post: #7
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Craig, I think you are onto something there. B&W photos tend to have high contrast and a lot of detail and having a good deap lack is important. This is I beleive where glossy shines. Portraits are often less contrasty and have a narrower colour range cose to the center of any gamut and so they do well on matte, which I think has narrower gamut range. This is the advice I also got from another photographer. I beleive I get more "out of gamut range" when I use matte paper than when I set on glossy during softproofing.

KeithAlanK wrote:
Does it take a certain paper type to make a photo pass or fail?
I agree, that paper selection in itself may not make a photograph pass or fail and I understand your message that I should focus my attention on taking better photos. However, I see photography as a series of steps, many of which may not be in themselves absolutely critical, but these various "near misses" put together degrade the image. And so I do pay attention to paper selection too, even though I may have more serious deficiencies. Hopefuly over time I will improve on issues big and small.

Matthew, thanks for detailed response.

My aim when I print is always to frame. I have been warned about using the gloss, as this supposedly causes too much reflection. Looking at Epson semigloss (?) luster? is it the same thing? photos, the photos looked like posters and it turned me off. Matthew am I wrong about that? Do your photos on Epson luster have a feel of posters? Also the paper has low gsm and it felt insubstantial. However you and others and looking at my photos convinced me clearly that matte paper is not well suited to some of my photos, and as glossy is not recomeneded for framing because of the glare problem, luster may have to be it. I will check out Harman, if Vistek has a sample. I talked to Christine? in Vistek, that seems to be the guru on papers in Vistek and she recommended Moab, once it was clear that I want a decent quality but not necessarily the best (the German brand starting with H - whatever it is).

Keith Alan, I do not know what paper printer combination you use, but with Epson Matte and Inkpress fine art matte and using Epson #87 pigments I see absolutely no gloss whatsoever, regardless of the angle of lighting. I am more concerned about the blacks which are not true blacks and what I suspect is somewhat narrow gammut, although the colours do come out quite saturated.

My overall message than is:
Try semigloss/luster/pearl/satin (are these synonyms?) when the contrast/detail/gammut is too lage for matte. This I think is the main issue for me.
Beware of colour shifts with glossy with B&W (but Craig has no problem?)
Select a brand. I think I will go to Vistek. They have samples, some with photos on them with different paper. I will pick something and give it a go. If you guys have any other ideas, please let me know. I really appreciate that you took time to help me out.

Pavel
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Nov 24, 2008, 05:21
Post: #8
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Paper surface is an aesthetic decision. There is no right or wrong. Generally speaking glossy paper gives the impression of brighter whites because of its reflective surface. OTOH that same reflective quality can make the blacks appear less velvety & intense. Deep blacks generally (IMO) look better on matte surfaced paper. Luster can be a nice compromise in this respect. As for canvas or other textured paper, this depends on the subject. They can work well where fine detail is not crucial to the subject, portraits and many landscapes, but would be a poor choice for a super detailed photo of machinery. As a rule of thumb I try to match the paper to the texture of the actual subject. Smooth, shiny subjects get glossy paper. Ordinary ones get matte or watercolor surface. Occasionally I will go to canvas for subjects where I am not concerned with great detail. As with all rules of thumb I do not follow it 100%.

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Nov 24, 2008, 06:22
Post: #9
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Keith Wrote:I have seen many prints where the ink had more gloss than the paper (in broad sections) and this distracted me so much I couldn't really enjoy the image itself.
That's the main reason I prefer gloss paper. ... What impact does the glass in a frame have on matte papers and the enjoyment of them?
Pavel Wrote:My aim when I print is always to frame. I have been warned about using the gloss, as this supposedly causes too much reflection. Looking at Epson semigloss (?) luster? is it the same thing? photos, the photos looked like posters and it turned me off. Matthew am I wrong about that? Do your photos on Epson luster have a feel of posters? Also the paper has low gsm and it felt insubstantial.
One of the features of the R1800/R1900 is that it has a clear coat as well as the colours, so that there's always the same amount of gloss no matter how much pigment has been put down. It does make a difference, even behind glass. I have a WTD print that's framed, and I can still see the gloss differential - but fortunately it works for the cartoon image.

I find that a photo behind glass loses most of its physical characteristics. Looking at the ones I have nearby, I can't tell which paper surfaces they were printed on, and the reflection from the glass is far greater than any difference in the print itself. (Of course, there isn't a huge difference between Gloss and Luster, but I can tell when I have a print in hand.) Similarly the weight doesn't matter as the print won't be handled.

Wall space is a finite commodity and a shared resource. You don't have the other problem that I do - even I wouldn't want to look at a wall of my own favourites all of the time - but having a folder or place to put unframed images is still a good thing.

Check to see which papers are supported by your printer before you go shopping. If I remember correctly, Hahnemuhle's rag paper ($6 per 13x19) doesn't work on my R1800, but Harman's FB ($5/67 per 13x19) is very nice. At this kind of price you don't want to be buying paper that you can't use, or switching types too often.
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Nov 24, 2008, 06:46
Post: #10
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Just a quick comment from my experience. I have many photos framed and displayed under glass (regular...not even non-glare). They were printed by me or professionally on glossy paper. They all look just fine.

I just purchased a new Epson wide format printer with a supply of Epson glossy paper in 3 different sizes, so I hope I'm on the right track. So far I'm satisfied with the resulting prints with the Claria ink. I've also ordered some 12'x12" paper for scrapbooking projects from Epson in a non-gloss finish. It was the only finish available in that size. If I find I need glossy in that size, I'll print on 13x19 and trim.

.....Dennis
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Nov 24, 2008, 07:26
Post: #11
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
ADK Jim, I find your comments exceptionally helpfull, as I find that they can help me be a generic guide for printing and it is precisely the kind of advice I was looking for. It makes me understnd how to judge what paper is most suited to what paper. Of course, as

Matthew says, some of these differences may be a canceled out behind glass. My initial plan is to have some fairly generic frames (dark brown or black) with a standard mat opening of 13 x 19 and as I get tired of one photo, I will just switch photos within frame. Custom frame, mat, mounting, non-reflective glass and accid-free environment etc will wait until I improve some more. Right now it costs me just over Canadian $3 (subtract 20% for US dollar prices) per photo (see http://www.redrivercatalog.com/cost-of-i...nting.html for the cost of ink) + $ 70/50 sheets of inkpress fine art matte to make a print and the frame with mat and glass to accomodate 13" x 19" costs about $30 - 40. I will be therefore able to test the effects of different surfaces behind glass. The weight matters, if you do not wish to mount, right? Support for pigment is important. I was tempted to try paper with metalic surfaces, but apparently such papers are not compatible with Epson pigments.

Dennis, I am glad you have a success with you new toy. Congrats again to getting the colour managment going. May be I will give glossies another go.

Thanks guys. Pavel
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Nov 24, 2008, 15:21
Post: #12
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
As the others have said, I think the choice of paper finish is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong.

However when it comes to the brand of paper (and ink) I think the choice becomes more important.
In nearly all cases I would recommend using the same brand of paper (and ink) as the printer. That is, if you have an Epson printer than use epson ink and epson paper, or Canon paper and ink in a Canon printer, etc..
The manufacturers go to a lot of effort to match the ink and paper to give the best results, and if you mix and match brands then you will almost certainly be undoing a lot of that effort. Not only will more likely get more accurate colours and avoid things like blacks having a different gloss to the paper, but I'll bet the prints will last longer without fading when ink and paper are matched.

The only exception I know of to this "rule" (for Canon printers and ink at least), is the Ilford Galerie range of paper which is excellent.

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Nov 24, 2008, 20:28
Post: #13
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
After talking to a lot of people and spending an hour at Vistek looking at different samples I picked Colorado (Satin mostly, some glossy) http://www.moabpaper.com/. The paper seems to have nice blacks, good rich colours, decent weight, good feel. Satin was a good compromise between gloss and matte and gloss was not as shiny as some. Pricewise, it is not as expensive as some Euro papers at Vistek (about 50% less) and it came highly recomended by a store Guru on paper as well as the staff selling the paper. If somebody wishes to know my experiences, will report. Of course, I have little to compare it to. Pavel
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Nov 25, 2008, 03:37
Post: #14
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Very interesting thread Pavel - definitely keep us in the loop with the results...

I do very little printing myself - I wonder if people could upload pics of example prints (ha, the irony), whether that would help? Big Grin

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Nov 25, 2008, 20:30
Post: #15
Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Kombisaurus Wrote:The only exception I know of to this "rule" (for Canon printers and ink at least), is the Ilford Galerie range of paper which is excellent.
I use ilford for all my large format printing with my Canon I9900.

I did try some Epson matte paper I got dirt cheap on my canon printer, all the blacks came out muddy brown.

For 8*10's I use the Cheap Costco brand Kirkland photo gloss, it works flawlessly with the i9900 and even uses the same profile as the Ilford Glossy.
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Apr 23, 2012, 11:49
Post: #16
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
A short while ago I decided to print a pattern on a t-shirt, but on a black t-shirt.
The picture (of a cat's face) has a black surround
I found that you can have red, blue or green shades of Black.
It was very difficult to get a close match to the t-shirt .

I decided to do a test with a number if strips with various combinations. Still only about 95% successful.

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Apr 24, 2012, 05:57
Post: #17
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Awyeah, too true..a veritable minefield of blacks out there, all of which seem the same till one attempts to match them to an extant sample.
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Apr 24, 2012, 14:04
Post: #18
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Here is an update for me. After trying different papers, I use Epson Premium Luster on my Epson 3880. Besides testing samples of real papers, I "soft-tested" many others by downloading ICC profiles and testing how they handle my difficult photos with wide gamut. I now buy 8.5"x11", 13x19 and 17x22 sheets. In quantity this paper is cheap $169/100 sheets 13"x19", considering the gamut (one of the best - beaten in my softproofing tests only by Hahnemuhle) very good Dmax, decent brightness and tolerable surface visual characteristics and texture. I split big boxes with friends to save quite substantially.
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Jan 6, 2014, 06:15
Post: #19
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
(Nov 22, 2008 19:46)EnglishBob Wrote:  A lot of it is personal taste, I love B&W's on glossy paper, I think portraits are best on Matte, again, probably just personal.

I do most of my printing for Camera Club Competition on pearl paper, kind of a mid-point between Gloss and matte.

Also mainly printing A4 for club competitions and can heartily recommend Pearl, personally use Ilford Galerie either peqrl or smooth lustre
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Jan 6, 2014, 08:50
Post: #20
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Pavel, I probably know a great deal less than you about the technical side of printing, and I have a fairly simple approach to most aspects of my photo hobby. So all I can really do is offer a couple of points merely as "food for your thoughts":

1st point: A couple of years ago, I attended a talk by a rep from a paper company, most of which did go into the brain, but then went straight out again! However, he made one comment almost as a throw-away line, such that I doubt most of the audience even noticed - "The world is not glossy." That caught my attention, as I was just starting to print at home, and it stayed in my head, so -

2nd point: I made a general principle for my own work (not a hard and fast rule) - if the subject and/or other main elements of an image are glossy, e.g. glass, shiny metal, gloss painted surfaces, etc., then I try a print on gloss paper; but otherwise I use matte, on which most things do look very natural to me.

Cheers.

Philip
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Jan 6, 2014, 09:05
Post: #21
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
Sorry everyone - didn't notice this was an ancient thread. Confused Sad

Philip
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Jan 6, 2014, 13:47
Post: #22
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
I would say ..... Use your own judgement. Everybody's taste is different.
I would use the matt for landscapes and animals, but would probably use the gloss for water involved scenes or any subject that has a sheen on it

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Jan 6, 2014, 15:37
Post: #23
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
(Jan 6, 2014 08:50)MrB Wrote:  1st point: A couple of years ago, I attended a talk by a rep from a paper company, most of which did go into the brain, but then went straight out again! However, he made one comment almost as a throw-away line, such that I doubt most of the audience even noticed - "The world is not glossy." That caught my attention, as I was just starting to print at home, and it stayed in my head, so -

2nd point: I made a general principle for my own work (not a hard and fast rule) - if the subject and/or other main elements of an image are glossy, e.g. glass, shiny metal, gloss painted surfaces, etc., then I try a print on gloss paper; but otherwise I use matte, on which most things do look very natural to me.

Cheers.

Philip

Philip,

Thank you for bringing those points to our attention. When given some thought, they are entirely logical, particularly your personal point about printing to the finish of the subject. This I must try in the near future and if I remember, I'll report back to you on the results obtained.

Cheers.

Phil.
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Jan 6, 2014, 16:06
Post: #24
RE: Advice on how to match photo paper to the photo
(Jan 6, 2014 15:37)Phil J Wrote:  Philip,

Thank you for bringing those points to our attention. When given some thought, they are entirely logical, particularly your personal point about printing to the finish of the subject. This I must try in the near future and if I remember, I'll report back to you on the results obtained.

Cheers.

Phil.

Thank you, Phil. It's a relief to know that replying inadvertently to such an old thread wasn't time wasted! Smile It will be interesting to read your views if you try it.

Philip
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