How to Choose the Right Inkjet Paper for Your Images
It doesn't matter where PermaJet exhibit in the UK or abroad, my colleagues and I are always asked "what is the best PermaJet media for my work?"
Before answering, every single time I have to stop and think. It’s not as simple as saying there is a paper out there that will suit every image. That is not true. Whilst there are some papers that lend themselves to a variety of styles, there will likely be a more unique surface that suits the subtle features you can find in every photo.
Sometimes the image will choose the paper and sometimes the paper will choose the image. We have 22 different papers to choose from in our PermaJet range, so making sure you choose the right paper is really important to us.
First, let’s have a think about the image that you are going to print. What is the subject and what is the mood of the photo? You should also remember, not all whites are white. We have paper that is designed to provide brilliant whites in the highlight areas of an image, such as the FB Distinction or Matt Plus, and other paper that produces a warmer, more natural tone like the incredibly popular Smooth Pearl. So be sure to think about what you want from your final print.
At PermaJet we face the same question when developing our swatch books and gallery walls so we know how important that choice can be. But when you do make the right choice... it will look incredible!
I don’t claim to be a great photographer, but I know what I like. When I have a camera in hand, I usually choose cityscapes or candid portraits. I also tend to either shoot in, or convert to, black and white.
For this image, titled Bikes, I look at it and think to myself, "what is it that I would like to come out of this image?"
There are three things I see straight away:
1) It is quite a gritty image, with a wide tonal range
2) The chrome reflections are not the dominant area in this image
3) The path and road both have a a rough texture.
For this, the perfect paper is the new Museum Heritage. It is the excellent D-Max and print sharpness that make this unbeatable for most types of work requiring a textured finish.
When I actually printed this image, I was really happy with the way it turned out. It had just the right feel and detail was retained in both the deepest shadow and brightest highlight areas. I had something that I might not achieve on a gloss surface. It is a black and white, with a lot of intricacies. I wanted to retain that gritty feel of the path and the roughness of the bike. The texture and the warmer colour of the paper helped achieve that.
For my other image titled Blue Skies Southampton, I noticed all the highlights and the metallic objects, with some reflections in the water on the ground, that Titanium Lustre would be the perfect paper. Its expert handling of a large tonal range, wide colour gamut and high D-max works extremely well with images that have vibrant colours, deep blacks or that contain reflective metal surfaces such as chrome, silver or even gold! It also works to great effect on water reflections and other surfaces.
When I printed of this image on Titanium Lustre, I thought "WOW!" It popped off the paper! It showed the highlights and really brought out the colour and detail of the scene.
When choosing your paper, it may seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be! Think about what you want to achieve and the image you have. If you have something shiny as a feature of your image, you might want to use something glossier in the Digital Photo range of papers. If you have something distinctive and needs to hold a lot of detail the Fibre Based range is what you need (this range is particularly important for monochrome workers). If you have an image of landscapes or portraits, you might consider the Smooth Fine Art range but if you have something that has a lot of texture coming through we have the paper for that as well, in our Textured Fine Art range.
If you're still not sure then try one of our four Test Packs from only £11.95 before committing to a full box of your chosen media.
Be adventurous and turn some of the images on your phone, computer or tablet into something you can put on a wall and be proud of!
Should you have any questions, please call or email any of the team, we can be able to point you in the right direction: 01789739200 / firstname.lastname@example.org