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Thread: Matt or gloss?

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    Matt or gloss?

    HI,
    just wondering who prints in gloss or matt? is there pros/cons etc.

    I like my car photography so I think the gloss would show colours better but are there any drawbacks?

    thanks
    jas

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I print in both, But if you are going to put a photo into a frame behind glass, where the glass is raised away from the image, gloss can cause a ghosting effect where light is reflected off the print onto the back of the glass. So I tend to use either a matt or metallic paper if going behind glass in this instance. But really is is personal choice, matt, gloss, satin, cloth, canvas, metallic and more.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Usually a higher dynamic range of tones in gloss papers. I (used to) print landscapes, almost everything else
    on gloss, and did some rare portraits - head, head/shoulders - on matt.

    Interesting to see a range of replies.
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    I mostly print matt because my printer is setup with matt ink and it is too costly to change back and forth, also I frame my photos and put them behind diffused glass so gloss is negated anyway. I do have a smaller (A4 epson R800) printer which I sometimes do gloss on but usually for someone else. If I had a newer printer I would use satin most of the time I think. When I print on canvas I spray the print with a gloss protector coat but that is still not really glossy.
    Personal preference in the end, but some pics do look better in one or the other.
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    The choice between matt and gloss (and anything in between) depends on the image and personal preference.

    For example: Harman Gloss FB AI is a pretty glossy paper, a bit blueish. It's great for high-impact B/W images. But for a tad warmer feel, I would choose Ilford's Galerie Gold Fibre Silk or even Prestige Smooth Pearl papers. Rule of thumb for colour prints: if the image consists of large, smooth areas I would prefer gloss over matt, but if the image contains grainy areas (walls, grass, whatever), I'ld choose matt.

    Another issue that may count in the choice is that glossy paper shows printing defects far more than matt. If you have a professional printer (Epson 4900, Canon 9500II, etc.), this is less of an issue than if you have a "home photo product".
    Last edited by jev; 13-03-2014 at 1:50am.
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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    I generally print matte, just because I prefer it over the glossy look on most images.
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    I found that if you print gloss and frame it with a glass front it becomes too reflective with light and people can't to see the photo clearly because of it, if that makes sense??

    I think its a personal choice really but consider where it will be positioned to avoid too much reflection.

    Ragsy

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I do a lot of framed prints for sale at Sunday Markets and I use a number of different papers. For high dynamic photos I use gloss, For B&W I use matt and for softer or subdued colours satin is my choice. When mounted flat on the glass as I do there is no problem with ghosting from gloss prints as mentioned by Rick. I am also experimenting with canvas and getting good results. Non reflective glass will also help with presentation, I use this for special orders but for markets keeping the price down is a major consideration.
    Cheers
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    Last edited by Speedway; 25-03-2014 at 11:42am.

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    My personal preference is matt so I tend to print more in matt but really in the end i think it depends on the type of image and ultimately your own personal preference.
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    you're right, the gloss paper will make your colours stand out a little more. But further to that, also assist in making them nice and shiny and glossy as is the finish on a car
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    Well I had a massive 45x30 inch print done in matt from Photobox as on sale and I am impressed! It is nice and clear and the matt suits that size photo (still looks shiny just not reflective).
    Also I just used the JPEG version of my original RAW image (JPEG was a lot smaller and about 8mb) but still came out clear.
    It was a test print for me to see how big I could go with a Canon 60D and looks great.

    I will try a gloss print in about 20x30 soon and let you know results.

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    Ausphotography Regular landyvlad's Avatar
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    Yes I think it very much depends on subject matter and whether colour or monochrome.

    In my experience the gloss tends to keep vibrant saturated colours looking good, an effect often lost with matt paper. With monochrome photography this isn't such an isue and satin or matt papers can be very effective.



    As far as framing with glass over it, my wife recently reframed a lot of the pictures I had getting rid of non reflective glass and using clear glass. Does it reflect more. Yes. Can it make it harder to see? Very much depends on where light sources are and viewing angle. It did however brighten all the images up and made them look much more "alive", I'm happy with that outcome, and won't use non reflective glass again.

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    I generally print in matte.

    Would love to try backlighting sometime too.

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    Matte for framed and gloss for everything else

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    I work in a photo lab and we obviously do both matt/gloss prints. Its interesting to find that ALL the protogs that come in all print on matt, with maybe the odd gloss but rarely. I think matt makes image look a little bit more dynamic/deeper if that makes any sense? That's usually for anything from 6x4 up to 12x18, then all our large formats are done on an Epson Stylus with Premium Lustre 260.

    As for which is better, it really is personal preference, I like matt more

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    Just to throw into left field, I sometimes use photos on birthday cards. I have found that for this type of project gloss is more spectacular than matte but doesn't last as long and is easily scratched - I suppose it depends on the printer quality too. However I have recently had a couple of photos enlarged on canvas, professionally done of course and they are matte, with a tinge of gloss or maybe satin, I don't feel they would look right as gloss. I guess it all comes down to personal preference, go to art galleries, markets and places where things are on display, see what you like and what you don't it might help you make up your mind better. Just a thought.
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    I've been working in a print shop for the last eleven years and in my experience most weekend shooters print in Gloss.The Pros mostly choose to print in Satin or Matt depending on the subject matter of their print, though I've noticed that Pro photos of the Great Barrier Reef are always Glossy as are the local prints for car sales yards. Landscapes, portraits and wedding prints are mostly done on either Matt or Canvas. This seems to be a trend I have noticed, though I have found that most people have a favorite and just stick to that preference.
    I print in whatever the brings out the best in the image and have printed on Gloss/satin/Matt & canvas and have been happy with all of them.
    From experience I do think photos of cars look better in Gloss, as they bring out the gloss of the paint. ( unless of course the image is of an old rusted car, then I would print in Satin).

    Well that's my 2c worth!

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    The few I print are 99% Gloss.

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    When I print it has always been non gloss paper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ooooops0 View Post
    HI,
    just wondering who prints in gloss or matt? is there pros/cons etc.

    I like my car photography so I think the gloss would show colours better but are there any drawbacks?

    thanks
    jas
    Gloss provide better contrast than Matte !

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