Many times when a photographer decides to exhibit at Image City Photography Gallery, the first question that arises is “What should I use for printing my photo ?”
There are many possibilities of photo printing mediums from which to choose. The three most popular are paper prints, metal prints or canvas prints. Additionally some photographers use acrylic, glass or wood. For this article I will concentrate on paper, metal and canvas.
Because of its affordability, paper is the most common medium. Of course the next question that exhibitors ask is “What kind of paper should I use?” If one does an internet search on the various types of photo paper, there are dozens from which to choose; however, the following are the most common papers used: glossy, luster, and matte.
Glossy photo paper is used frequently because it creates sharp prints with brilliant colors and a smooth surface. This distinctively bright and bold paper brings a slick, contemporary look to your photos. Colors are saturated, and whites are brilliant. Glossy offers the widest color range and texture, but it also has quite a glare to it and can show fingerprints. The glass on photo frames can also increase the glare.
The luster photo paper finish has been a long time favorite among photographers and print studios. It’s a unique type of paper in between a high-gloss and matte finish. The luster paper has several names. It is also called a satin finish, pearl, or semi-gloss. Although it has many different names, they all refer to a specific type of coating. This type of photo paper will give photo prints some texture, and can produce vibrant colors, without the shiny glare associated with glossy paper.
Matte photo paper is another medium popular with photographers. Like other paper prints, this is an affordable and easy-to-find type of paper, which gives prints more texture. The texture is appealing for photographers interested in a more artistic vibe for their photographs. It has more texture than luster paper. Matte photo paper does not have the glare that glossy photo paper has.
Metal is a popular photo print medium because it combines durability and affordability. Metal prints look professional whether they are framed or unframed. Most metal prints are created using chromaluxe dye-sublimation. This process is created by etching an image onto an aluminum sheet under intense heat and pressure. There are no metal printers in Monroe County, but any of the partners at Image City can give you ideas about where to order a metal print.
Canvas is another option used for printing photos. This medium is widely available and affordable. The most significant appeal of canvas is its price point. Another positive aspect about canvas prints is that there is no glare off them.
So…there really is no right or wrong answer to the question “What is the best medium on which to print the photo I plan to display?” It all comes down to personal preference. I encourage you to visit Image City frequently and look at the various photos and the medium on which they are printed. When you find one that is appealing to you, ask any of the partners about the photo to discover the type of medium that is used. Experiment with your printing before making your final decision. Ultimately the best paper to use is the paper that you believe makes your photo look best.