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Article: [How to choose photo paper] Choosing paper that brings out the appeal of your work

【写真用紙の選び方】作品の魅力をさらに引き出す用紙選び - PHOTOPRI【写真展・美術展品質のプリントサービス】

[How to choose photo paper] Choosing paper that brings out the appeal of your work

Thanks to the rapid evolution of smartphone cameras, we live in an era where anyone can easily enjoy taking photos.

"Print the photo you took on paper"

The quality of photography is once again on the verge of being swallowed up by the times.

Even if you usually look at it on a display, printing it on paper will make you even more drawn to the charm of “one piece.”

Print out your favorite photo, hold it in your hand, and look at it carefully.

The surprise in front of me reflected on the lens...

A fascinating moment emitted by the subject...

A picture of a casual everyday life

By daring to print in the age of SNS,

I think it will create more meaningful time.

However, when it comes to choosing paper, many people get confused because there are so many types...

  • There are so many types that I don't know.
  • Which one should I choose in the end?
  • What is the difference between the paper types?
  • Is there an optimal paper for the purpose?

I hear many voices like this.

Therefore, we will first explain the general characteristics of each of the many photo papers.

We will also list each form that can be ordered from "PHOTOPRI", so please refer to it.

(Please note that some of the papers explained are not available.)

Q.What is photographic paper?

A. Photographic paper mainly refers to paper for silver halide printing.

It is coated with a photosensitive material for developing film images taken with a film camera.

However, in recent years, photo paper for inkjet printers that can output high-quality digital images is also called "photographic paper," and there are two types: baryta-based and RC (Rasin Coating)-based.

Baryta refers to a paper support with an undercoat layer (baraita layer) applied to make the paper appear whiter, and a layer of photosensitive material applied on top of that.

One of its strengths is the beauty of its depiction due to its unique fine-grained texture.

RC refers to baryta paper that has a resin layer on both sides, eliminating the drawback of baryta paper that absorbs chemicals unnecessarily.

By changing the texture of the surface resin layer, you can create a strong shine or reduce the shine.

*We are currently considering which baryta-based paper to use, so we are also accepting requests. → Send a request

Q.What is matte paper?

A. Matte paper is a photo paper that has a matte coating that prevents light from entering when taking pictures.

There is no gloss on the surface, giving it a calm finish.

Suitable for printing classical photos or photos with a soft impression.

Q.What is glossy paper?

A. Glossy paper is generally known as photo paper.

It has a smooth texture and has a glossy surface.

It has good color reproduction, especially black, so it is ideal if you want to create contrast.

Glossy paper has a coated surface, giving it a luxurious finish.

Q.What is silky tone?

A. Silk grain is a semi-gloss paper with a fine grained surface.

It is characterized by its smooth texture and has a low gloss surface, giving your work a moist and elegant finish.

Because it creates a calm atmosphere, it is also used in photo books.

It also has high water resistance and light resistance, making it resistant to fading.

It can be said that it is a photo paper that can remain in good condition for a relatively long time.

Q.What is Japanese paper?

A. Washi, also called "Japanese paper," is paper made using an ancient Japanese manufacturing method .

Its characteristics are thin and durable.

It is attracting attention from overseas as one of Japan's proud traditional crafts.

There are many types of Japanese paper that can be used as raw materials, including hemp, grain, ganpi, kozo, dan, and mitsumata.

There are many Japanese paper producing regions across the country, so here we will introduce Awa Washi, which is available at PHOTOPRI.

Awa Washi (also called Awa paper) is a type of Japanese paper produced in Yoshinogawa City, Tokushima Prefecture, Ikeda Town, Miyoshi City, and Naka Town, Naga District, and is designated as a national traditional craft.

The raw materials are kozo and mitsumata, and its characteristics are that it has a gentle color and excellent water resistance.

One of the interesting things about washi is that it has different expressions depending on the paper.

Awa Washi is Japanese paper that is compatible with inkjet printers.

It is often used for professional production because it can achieve high image quality and rich reproducibility.

Q.What is fine art paper?

A. Fine art paper is one type of paper whose ``quality as paper'' has dramatically improved due to improvements in inkjet printing technology.

As it became possible to reproduce digital images with the same high definition and quality as traditional silver halide photography, the possibilities of this technology were immediately considered in the photography and art industries.

A major feature of fine art paper is that it has both ``preservability'' and ``texture.''

Raw materials include cotton, wood, and bamboo, but PHOTOPRI uses cotton-based fine art paper.

Cotton-based fine art paper is made from lignin (a component that makes up 20 to 30% of wood. Paper derived from wood naturally contains lignin, so it deteriorates over time. By the way, books change color because of lignin. (Due to a chemical reaction between ultraviolet rays and lignin), it can be stored for a long time.

In the past, cotton-based paper was widely used in Germany, from general paper to art paper.

Renaissance paintings, Shakespeare's works, Gudenburg's Bible, and other works written on cotton-based paper still exist.

There are many fine art paper suppliers, such as Hahnemuhle (Germany), PICTORICO (Japan), and Canson (France), and there is a wide variety of paper types.

Fine art paper, which has evolved in Europe, is expected to evolve further, and at the same time, new fine art paper may be born from Asia in the future.

There is a possibility that Japanese washi paper and Chinese bamboo paper will be made compatible with inkjet printing in the future.

All of the fine art papers used in "PHOTOPRI" have a nice texture and are perfect for photos that aim for detailed expressions and calm finishes.

The reason why we have provided a deeper explanation of Fine Art Paper is because we wanted to recommend the rich expression of the paper and its ease of use as photo paper to those who have never used this paper.

In addition, it is believed that fine art paper will not only be used by people in the art industry, but will also be popular among individual creators.

Along with this, there is a high possibility that the types of paper itself will increase further and become more segmented.

We must continue to keep an eye on the high potential of fine art paper. Why not take this opportunity to try it out?

Q.Is there a recommended thickness and type of paper for printing photos?

A.For photographs that are simply for record purposes, a thickness of around 0.23mm is good.

For those entering photo contests and for professional use in photo studios, many use photographic paper type photo paper, so we recommend a paper size of around 0.27 mm.

Which print is suitable for photographic paper?

If a high quality finish is important, such as for producing photo books, albums, large photo papers for photo contests and exhibitions, pamphlets, catalogues, etc., we recommend photographic paper or silk-grain paper.

Which prints are suitable for glossy or matte paper?

For digital camera photo prints, product catalogs, postcards, restaurant menus, construction photos, direct mail, etc., photo glossy paper and matte paper are recommended for cost performance.

Q. I would like to print photos, but what type of paper is recommended?


If you want easy handling and the same quality as a professional, choose RC-based photographic paper.

If you want classic photo printing and a calm finish, use matte paper.

If you want rich contrast and clear expression, use glossy paper.

If you want a moist finish with a slightly less glossy look, go for a silky finish.

If you are looking for a Japanese design or a fleeting, light atmosphere, choose washi paper.

Fine art paper has an attractive history and has been loved by the people of an art-rich country for many years.

I have written down some recommended papers, but some of you who have read this far have decided on a direction, saying, ``Okay, I'll try this,'' while others are still unsure. I think there are some people.

I myself have seen, touched, and printed on many types of photo paper.

There have been times when I have been confused about which paper to print a photo on.

Many customers often ask us, ``Which paper do we recommend?'' and I completely understand the urge to ask that question.

When people change, their eyes change, their sensibilities change, and their preferences change.

``Which photo paper should you use?'' It often depends on your own preferences.

I think some people may not find the fine art paper that I recommend very appealing.

This is because people have different eyes, sensibilities, and preferences.

We recommend trial printing for those who are still unsure, as well as those who have decided on a direction.

About trial printing

I think you will be more satisfied if you compare multiple sheets of paper using a single photo and get a feel for the characteristics and atmosphere of the paper before ordering the book, and it is a good idea to keep them on hand as paper samples. I think you can use it effectively when ordering again.

Please use this as a peace of mind when using "PHOTOPRI".

Click here for trial printing

Trial print


Free trial print

PHOTOPRI, a large-format print service with photo exhibition quality, supports prints up to B0 size, and our professional staff, including myself, use skilled color matching to create high-definition and beautiful photographs, illustrations, and paintings. .

The A1 size is about 3,800 yen, which is reasonable despite the quality, so please consider it!

We also offer free trial printing for A5 size prints, so please check the quality first!

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