How to choose inkjet photo paper for home computer printing.
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How to choose inkjet photo paper
for home computer printing




In recent years a growing number of individuals have taken to digital photography as a hobby and pastime activity. While the vast majority of images remain in their digital format, many get what we now call 'special treatment'. Important images that the photographer cares greatly about are printed and often placed in an album or framed.


The progress of home printing technology together with more affordable digital cameras means that more and more people are expected to take on digital photography as a hobby and pastime activity. If you are new to printing photos at home, here are some tips to help you on your way.


Choosing The Paper Make - Despite common belief, printer manufactures such as HP, Canon and Epson do not produce photo paper themselves. External vendors often produce photo paper on their behalf. The fact that you own a particular brand of printer does not limit you to its range of photo paper. Many other brands offer universal compatibility so your options are far greater than you think. Choosing one brand over the other could represent significant saving. Simply read its description and ensure that your brand is supported.


Choosing The Paper Size - There are a few common sizes that are designed to meet different printing needs. Some are designed to fit photo albums, while others are designed to produce brochures or calendars. Common sizes include:


" 4x6" - Similar in size to 10x15cm, it is the smallest size photo paper you can obtain. It is often used to print photos that are than inserted into photo albums.

" 5x7" - Similar in size to 13x18cm, it is one size up from 4x6" and used to bigger photo albums.

" A5 - Half the size of an A4 sheet, it is used to print photos, greetings cards and invitations to fit into a C5 envelope.

" A4 - The most popular size for those who are looking to frame a picture, it is used as well to create greetings cards when a space for text as well as a space for an image is needed.

" A3 - Precisely twice the size of an A4 sheet, it required a special printer that most individuals won't poses at home. Most home printers can accommodate up to an A4 size.


Choosing The Paper Finish - Each size is available in three common finish types. While it is possible to rectify buying the wrong size by trimming a larger image, it is impossible to rectify purchasing the wrong finish. Common finish include:


" Glossy - The highest sheen and glare finish is glossy. When viewed directly, the sheen allows viewing small details in the images. When viewed from the side and under certain light conditions, the image will not be visible because of the reflection off the surface and the viewing angle might need to be adjusted.

" Satin - You may come across satin as Semi-Gloss finish. Different manufactures use one of the two terminologies. Satin contains less sheen than glossy finish and viewing angle is improved as a result.


" Pearl and Lustre - The two are variations of satin, distinguished by the level of sheen in the coating. Pearl is a satin finish with a higher level of glossiness, while Lustre is another variation with a lower level of glossiness.


" Matt - Unlike glossy and satin that include sheen to some extent, matt has no glare. This paper is mostly used for reports, booklets and presentations where there is no "keepsake" value to the image.


Choosing Paper Weight - The weight in GSM (grammes per square meter) of photo papers will vary immensely from 120g to 300g and even more. The weight is often an indication of quality, which translates into colour gamut of the receiving layer and durability of the print. The higher GSM the paper is, the more you would expect to pay.


Common Problems - From time to time, particularly if you are new to printing photos you may come up against feeding problems and jamming. Here are some common reasons and how to fix them.


Paper Weight Too High - Check the printer's notes for maximum paperweight which might have been exceeded.
Excessive Use - If the printer is used heavily, it is essential to clean the feeding wheels with a cloth soaked in alcohol or spirit to remove residue deposited on the feeding rollers which might reduce the feeding ability of the printer.



Excessive Feeding - Do not exceed the permitted number of sheets on the tray and ensure that only one sheet is fed at one time.
Paper Isn't Accepted - There are two technologies for home printers. Laserjet and Inkjet. It is imperative that you obtain the correct type of photo paper to accommodate your particular printer technology.


Enjoy your printing pastime and hobby.


Guide by London based vendor of over 2000 photos papers from HP photo paper to Epson, Kodak and others.

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