satin photo paper vs glossy

Photo Gloss vs Semi Gloss – What Should You Print?

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Photography is an art and a profession. Unlike many other hobbies, photography requires education and skill to capture the best picture. However, it does not end there. The outcome of the art of photography is in the print you see.

Photos are printable in many kinds of papers, ranging from matte, gloss, semi-gloss finish. Although it may seem confusing in choosing the printing paper, a lot would depend on the type of finish you would want. Many artists incline to choose photo paper finish with gloss and semi-gloss because of the rich color of the picture. If you want to take snapshots gloss and semi-gloss photo papers are just perfect.

What is Photo Gloss?

Do you want your poster design to pop up in low light? Framing in photo gloss paper is the solution as they are most suitable for posters. The photo paper with a glossy finish creates a glare. The premium gloss papers produce crisp and beautiful pictures, showing off the colors with brightness. The deep color of the images glows in a powerful light. However, bright light reflects some parts of the image and makes it invisible.

Photo Gloss vs Semi Gloss

Glossy prints suit the vintage by photo artists because of the extra finish. The vibrant images create a play with the angle of the light, loved by many photo artists. The black and white create a different kind of beauty to the glossy paper prints of photos.

What is a Semi-Gloss Finish?

Semi-gloss papers suit well posters for framing with glass and are placed in a position where there is less reflection of light. Semi-gloss printed posters look great in areas with a dark background. The semi-gloss paper photos create a clear, smooth, and colored image.

staples photo gloss vs semi gloss

The semi-gloss paper also known as satin or pearl is in between matte and gloss finish. The photos do pop out in the light but with less glare. Much of the use of the type of paper for posters depends on the individual’s choice and the conditions of the space in which the posters will be on display.

Photo Gloss Versus Semi-Gloss

To a photo enthusiast, the use of photo or gloss paper depends on the taste of the paper. However, your skill to create the best photograph is more important. The posters attract people and convey messages, so the vehicle that displays them is important.

You may wonder if location and light affect the paper, on which your image is printed. The answer is, yes, it does. The light conditions matter while choosing the printing paper. High gloss photo papers glare in bright light but pop up in dim light. Semi-gloss are in between matte and gloss finish and do pop up in light with much less glare.

Both gloss and semi-gloss photo papers are good for indoor as the light reflection would be suitable for the pictures to show their beauty. Therefore, the place of mounting plays an important role in choosing the king of photo printing paper. Further, if you are into a business selling posters, the choice of the buyer is important. If glass-mounting photographs were in demand, your suggestion would be the use of semi-gloss photo paper.

soft gloss vs semi gloss photo paper

Gloss papers come with a high gloss finish, moderate thickness, the opacity of 96%, and brightness of 92 ISO, and a weight of 260 gsm. This paper kind is compatible with both inkjet and laser printer. The gloss creates a shimmer to the photos. As it produces vibrant colors, creating colored pictures is quite remarkable. If you are printing high-definition pictures for Christmas, gloss paper will give you bright, crisp poster photographs.

However, there are inconveniences of gloss photo paper. Printing large-sized photos because of the high light reflection. Viewing the high-reflective photographs may be distractive. Especially, the glass-framed photos with glossy paper are not comfortable for the eyes. To view the photos in the frame you may need to wear Polaroid glasses. Therefore, it is better to use paper that is less shiny, matte, or semi-gloss finish.

The glossy finish is also prone to scratches with fingers or keys. The sticky nature of the glossy photo paper also retains fingerprints. Further, the glass easily sticks to the paper, so removing it to change the glass is likely to ruin the glossy printout.

Semi-gloss photo papers also known as satin or pearl are soft and between glossy and matte finish. The paper has minimum reflectivity, producing smooth and clear images. Because of less reflection, semi-gloss paper photos enable framing with glass with no problem in viewing. It is appropriate to print posters to frame with glass because of less reflection.

Displaying the posters by printing them in semi-gloss photo papers is best in dark areas around the house. The benefit of semi-gloss photos is less popping of color and insignificant light reflection. Some artists prefer the semi-gloss paper because of the perfect viewing by the customers.

Final Words

Photo printing on gloss and semi-gloss paper is enjoyable once you are aware of the intensity of the shine, the size of the poster, and the light conditions where you will display it. Posters created in these two types of papers are usually suitable for indoor hanging. Besides the printing paper, the skill of shooting pictures, the printer type, and the quality of the colors are of importance to create eye-catching photos. This little narrative if followed well is a guide to realize the pros and cons of using gloss and semi-gloss photo printing paper. We wish you good luck in your printing!