Photo Paper in classical Film photography was a light-sensitive coated material, but with time in Digital Photography they are papers for photo printers. There was request for continuing articles on Digital Photography, for various reasons we could pay the required attention to write on Digital Photography. Writing on Photography needs a different mood than writing on other technical guides. So restart from Photo Paper.
Photo Paper and Digital Photography
We are not mentioning the almost historical classic photo paper for black and white images, color photos etc. those were used once in Film Photography. They are fully different and today’s Photo paper are actually optimized version of the papers intended to be used for a computer’s Laser Printer or Ink Jet Printer. Only few things has remained constant – they are the sizes and surface structure.
You must know that, a Photo Paper for Ink Jet printers might not suit a Color Laser Printer (Photo printer) and might not produce good result or even might get burned as Laser Printers uses high temperature.
Photo Paper : Sizes
Sizes of Photo Paper or rather the end result print size has remained the same. 4.5″ × 6″ is probably the only size that is specially developed for Digital Photography for the aspect ratio of 4:3. Normally we use 3¼” × 4½, 3½” × 5″, 4″ × 6″ sizes as print size. Orientation can be landscape or portrait.
Photo Paper : Surface Structure
Image : HP's Glossy Photo Paper's carton, notice the features mentioned
The traditional film photography needed various complex technical points for production of Photo Paper. Some had specially decorated corners, in this era of Digital Photography, we mostly use A4 sized Photo paper and clip them out after multiple photos on one A4 paper, although for professional usage, per-defined standard Photo Paper are available.
Glossy Photo Paper : The most widespread photo paper is the glossy photo paper and is now used by many photo services. The surface is generally smooth and the reflections are sharp, similar to a film or a glass plate. With glossy photos, the colors are brighter and more contrast is perceived versus matt finished. Objectively, this impression is based on an illusion. Looking at a glossy photo, the human brain due to the spatial vision in certain a position to filter out the disturbing reflections. But the problem is, Glossy Photo Paper after print is well known to get stickied with other photos of same nature or even other materials including paper.
Matt Photo paper : It is a special Photo paper with a matte surface. The reflections are diffuse. Matt is taken as elegant paper, costs more and for archival purpose it is more suitable as it do not get stickied. But the Photo Paper needs to support the paper at hardware level.