More beautiful wall images on photo paper

What makes the difference?
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For enthusiastic photographers, there is hardly a more beautiful wall decoration than their own full-size photos. The only question is how it's presented. Even for experts, there is a bewildering variety of photo papers and finish options - but which are the best for your photos?

In the photo paper "jungle" you can easily lose track: Protective varnish and coating, matte or glossy, dispersion varnish or UV ink. Sounds confusing? For photo printing, there are indeed many finishes and printing options.

In an acrylic photo print gloss comes naturally all by itself, and the photo is protected on top of that. A photo on canvas with UV ink has the advantage that your motif remains permanently colourfast - at even up to 75 years!

But what should you choose for a print on real photo paper? The most popular finishes are glossy and matte, satin matte and metallic. Primarily it all boils down to your personal taste. But now you can find out what choosing the right paper means.

High gloss paper

With this option, you will receive a photographic print on coated paper with a very smooth and shiny surface. Therefore your photo is highly reflecting– the typical photo gloss. The colours appear rich in contrast, lively, brilliant and saturated; the details come out razor sharp (more specifically, your photograph will not be sharpened, but the illusion of sharpness increases with this special paper).

Sounds exactly what all the photographers wish for! But there are also some disadvantages: namely the maintenance. The extremely smooth surface (which is even a bit sticky to the touch) is highly sensitive to dirt and - if it is touched without gloves - to fingerprints.

While it is possible to remove these stains with a photo cloth or a special cleaning solution. But if you have small children in the house, you know without a doubt that even your wall photos are not safe from them - and then the need for frequent cleaning can become extremely annoying.

Now one could argue that the photos can easily be presented behind glass. But even here, there is a downside: The surface of high gloss prints will most likely stick to the glass.

He who does not mind regularly cleaning his photo benefits from the excellent characteristics of high gloss photo prints. And because your motif should look noble, there is an option at for you to get an elegant aluminium print with high gloss photo paper. Or even better: as an add-on – placed behind acrylic glass.

Matte photo prints

Photo prints with matte finish have a slightly textured surface. The contrasts are somewhat weaker than with high gloss prints, because the matte surface does not reflect as much light. Therefore, the pictures appear dark, and perhaps a little duller than on smooth high gloss paper.

But the matte surface is much less sensitive: children's tapping hands and the dust don’t affect it very much. It is also relatively safe from minor scratches.

Sometimes the pictures obtain a slightly grainy appearance due to the structure of the paper. This does not have to be a disadvantage: For black and white prints, who perhaps should receive a classical-screen look, matte photo paper is much better than the high gloss version. Therefore, a lot of professional photographers opt for matte prints.

Many people also like the reduced gloss of a matte photo prints better than the high gloss version. In terms of elegance your images, when printed on matte photo paper, are not at a disadvantage. If you are also a fan of matte photo prints, then Forex® prints are just right for you!

Satin matte or Silk finish

Satin matte prints are characterized by a light gloss and a fine, pearly structure. The colours come out stronger than on matte paper, the contrast is higher and the paper is thicker. In addition, silk matte paper is relatively insensitive to fingerprints due to its structure – that's a plus for small prints. Because the paper can be slightly more expensive, it is certainly a disadvantage to when choosing large prints with satin matte as room decorations.

Metallic finish

If you like extravagant Wall Art, you might probably be interested in a metallic finish. Brilliant, high-contrast, three-dimensional looking images are possible. The surface has a metallic shine, almost like chrome. Especially in darker areas, the highlights can be set this way. This effect is quite polarizing and therefore not everyone likes it – definitely not recommended for too many images.

It's all about the motif...

So: which photo paper is the best for your photo? While deciding on this, you should also consider the motif. Certainly there are many subjective factors involved; however, professionals generally advise this:

  • The high gloss finish is recommended for coloured landscapes and nature photographs (such as flower macros). Even everyday snapshots and vacation photos with vibrant colours usually look best in high gloss.
  • Matte photo prints, on the other hand, are well suited to (colour or black and white) photos with strong, clear structures such as architectural or city shots. These will be highlighted particularly well and not suppressed by excessively bright colours in the background. Portraits are also predestined for matte or satin matte prints: As mentioned, the contrasts here have less effect than with high gloss photos and the slight grain goes one step further to cover up irregular skin structures such as age spots or signs.

Also, the purpose decides...

Another tip from professionals: The larger the print, the more likely you should tend to use a matte photo paper. The contrasts and transition effects of high gloss papers often acts too strong on large-format wall art, especially with super-high gloss papers such as Fuji Flex.

It can then be difficult to find a suitable place in the room: If your wall surface is illuminated by an intense light source such as the sun or a strong artificial light, unsightly reflections appear on the image. With matte prints that reflect little light, you do not have these problems. They can be viewed easily from almost any angle and under any lighting. Therefore the large photo posters come with a satin matte finish.

For room settings with more moderate or less intensive light, high gloss photos are however better suited: Especially due to their shiny appearance, they set beautiful accents.

Conclusion: Try it yourself!

Ultimately, the choice of the paper and finish is your personal decision and a matter of taste. It is ideal of course, if you can draw a direct comparison. After reading through this article, you now know what to consider. And now it's your turn – decide for yourself which photo paper is the best for your image and get it as a very shiny aluminium or satin matte on Forex®!

Photo paper is not just photo paper: The finish decides

Photo paper is not just photo paper: The finish decides

Known and loved: Photo prints with high gloss paper

Known and loved: Photo prints with high gloss paper

For the sharpest images: Photo on aluminium with high gloss paper

For the sharpest images: Photo on aluminium with high gloss paper

Less reflections: Photo on Forex with matte paper

Less reflections: Photo on Forex® with matte paper

Satin matte photo print in XXL size: Posters from

Satin matte photo print in XXL size

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