Like photography, printing the photos is an art. Not knowing about its intricacies can cause you a severe headache when you try to print them. There are many factors and aspects to consider, like the file format, size, color profile, and resolution.
Printing paper and the printer will help you reach the goal of printing photos at home. You will find a lot of information about printers on the internet. Our primary focus will be to teach you how to choose the best papers to print photos.
Why is it still popular?
Digital photos are very popular. But still, there are many who prefer to have their photographs printed on real paper. The use of print papers is not considered obsolete by any means, despite the popularity of digital cameras and printers. So if you are planning to print photos at home then keep in mind that this option will always be available for you.
Printing photos has given a new dimension to the photographs. This makes them more vibrant and gives a real feel. It adds glitter, luster, and shine making it look appealing.
In recent years many things have been done in the printing industry which has made this possible. The papers used nowadays are of very high quality and they add an elegant touch to any photograph you print on them.
If you really wish to get your photographs printed but do not want to spend a lot of money on them then it is better that you get expert advice from someone whose knowledge about photography is unquestionable. You can ask anybody, or search the internet for information related to this topic.
There are many firms that offer photo printing services online these days, so choosing one among them won't be a tough job.
Which type of paper should you use?
These are some of the papers that you can use for printing. Let’s check their pros and cons.
Gloss and Semi-Gloss
We can tell from the name that this paper has a shiny surface. Moreover, it is mainly picked by beginners due to its ability to show vibrant colors. It is an excellent choice if you want to print snaps to show your family and friends.
Keep the background and light condition in mind. If there is black color and shadows in the photos, you must not use gloss paper because its shine will make your picture murky.
So if you want to print the images for an exhibition, gloss paper is not for you.
Hot pressed fiber is a major component of Matte which gives the photos a dark black shade. However, it’s not because of the shine like in the previous case.
There is a vast range of textures you can choose from. There are textures like dimpled and thick versions that can make your photos appear like paintings. It’s a great choice for photos that are rich in texture and detail.
If you are a fan of big-size images or you want to frame your photos, then Canvas might be your best option. It offers a matte-like finish enhancing the colors and contrast. Your photos will appear more vibrant from a distance.
Made for the inkjet printer, canvas also has a little extra weight, so you have to handle it carefully.
Giclee, meaning ‘to spurt,’ is a French word. This top-quality inkjet printing technology can make your photos a piece of art. The Giclee is different on a fundamental level, and the ink used for it is pigment-based and not dye base like other papers.
The photos printed using Giclee have very high resolution. This is a museum-grade paper.
Finding the Right Paper
Finding the best printing paper can be very difficult. Here are some areas to pay attention to.
Durability and Longevity
Everything depends on your needs; let me give you an example. If you want to hang the printed photo where it will be exposed to the sun, the art (colors) will fade over time. Especially the dye-printing techniques are more vulnerable to these physical conditions like sun, humidity, and heat than the ink-based printing techniques.
The main point is using a combination of good paper and printing techniques. For this, check the manual that comes with your printer. You will find the best recommendation about the paper there.
The whiteness of a paper is another factor you should keep in mind. Whiteness is due to the number of whitening reagents the paper contains. If you are not careful, these agents can react with the print and change the paper from white to yellow.
If you are not sure, then go for artificial brightener-free papers.
The last factor is the brands like Inkpress, Innova, Red River, and many more. Some brands offer samples for you to experiment with. Our advice is to choose one of those brands after experimenting.
Where can you use printed photos?
A lot of people use prints as a diary. They write about the events and make it a scrapbook. It’s a unique way to preserve memories which you can enjoy through your old age.
You can give these printed memories to your loved ones as gifts or decorate your house with them. In this digital era, where everyone is crazy for photos on Facebook, Instagram, etc., having these snaps printed will create a different impression. It reminds us how good it used to be back then when we clicked those photos using our hands and not mobile phones!
Designers use printed photos as a medium to express their creativity. There are many designers who experiment with printed images, you can check some famous ones like Alejandro Lascano or Erik Johansson for inspiration.
Pictures of objects that you want to be reproduced into physical form can also be printed on custom t-shirts and other products. You can even make miniature models using these prints.
How can you make a copy of printed photos?
The best way to make a copy of these photos is to use dedicated photocopiers. Usually, all printer manufacturers have separate sets of printers and machines for printing photos. You can also scan them using scanners if you don’t want to waste your time with photocopies. You can then use it on any other compatible device that accepts scanned documents.
Remember, photos printed on paper look best when you frame them. You can use this digital copy to print another set of pictures using your printer.
Printed photo to a digital one
If you are planning to make a digital copy of these photos, then you need to use the best printing paper. The resolution is the most important factor for this purpose. You can also scan the printed sheets using some scanner software and print them later on some compatible printers like HP or Canon products.
Alternatively, you can go for some photocopiers which have an inbuilt scanner available at some shops near your place. It may be expensive than other methods but worth giving it a shot if you really want that perfect picture!
If your computer’s camera can capture clear images, then try capturing them with your laptop by just taking out the memory card from your printer and inserting it into the card slot of your laptop. You will find the captured images in the default folder.
You can then edit those pictures as per your wish and send them to other devices that accept such files as an email, application, etc. Keep in mind that only the highest quality of printouts can be copied without any loss.
Repairing printed photos
If you feel that your printed photo has some damages, then you need to make them look like new ones. There are many ways to do this depending upon the nature of the damage.
- You can touch up old photos where there is yellowing or discoloration. This process involves adding some paint over the affected area using computer programs.
- If there are some tears or holes, then you can use tape or glue to cover it up. Similarly, if some half-cut images are seen, then you can cut out another image from any digital picture and paste it on top of it again using a magnifying glass/loupe! It will look exactly the same as before with no one being able to tell this trick
- If there are stains on the surface, then you can stain remover sprays which are specially designed to remove these kinds of marks.
- For minor damages like superficial scratches, use some scratch-repair kits over it to make it look original. You can even buy new prints for this purpose if you don’t have sufficient time for repair!
These were some tips on making copies of photos printed on paper. Some other methods include transferring them into digital files using scanners or photocopiers that are available at your place.
Store photos for generations
You can also store these photos on your hard drive or CD. However, the best way to keep them safe for generations is by printing them on paper. It creates a sort of collection that your friends and family will enjoy looking at in years to come.
First, you should store your prints in a dry and cool place. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight which will cause fading of colors.
It's also important not to bend or fold printed photos while they are still wet. The quality will be affected if you do so. After the print is completely dried out, you can safely store them flat in an album or photo box.
As a last tip, avoid wearing perfume or holding printed photos with sweaty hands as it may leave some greasy marks on them that cannot be removed easily.
Inkjet printing machines have advanced a lot over time and have given us the new giclee printing techniques that create beautiful prints at home with ease! These methods give your images a professional look.
The best paper to print your photos on will vary depending on the desired result. Use the right method that gives you perfect results while keeping them safe from harm and damage! Take a look at these recommended photo papers for an easy printing solution.