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Prints for Display: Matte vs. Glossy

Roger Wong , Nov 16, 1997; 11:19 p.m.

When enlarging a print for framing, should I ask for a glossy or a lustre/matte finish? I prefer matte prints for my proofs, because I view them with direct light and don't like being blinded by the reflection.

But, will the non-reflective quality I like in my matte proofs reduce the amount of light that is reflected back when the shots are framed and hung on a wall?

Responses

Roger Wong , Nov 16, 1997; 11:51 p.m.

Or, I should ask, will a matte print reduce the amount of *ambient* light that is reflected back when the shots are framed and hung on a wall?

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu) , Nov 17, 1997; 01:00 a.m.

My recommendation is order your enlargements in the standard whatever it is called finish, but have it sprayed with a light- lustre film laquer coating spray. This is for protection, but knocks off some of the glare, without killing the contrast. Or buy the spray in different variations in aerosol cans, CFC free of course, and experiment yourself? Cinch job for any pro lab and adds maybe five bucks to the print cost.

Bob Hawley , Nov 17, 1997; 05:59 a.m.

Largely a matter of personal taste...The glossy print will give a greater density range that matte, due to specular reflection from the glossy and diffuse reflection from the matte. If you have low contrast image it will probably look better on gloss while a contrasty image may look better on matte....by the way, matte and lustre prints are touted here as being free of fingerprints...rather specious, but it sells.My OWN preference is for glossy 97% of the time....Bob

jeff -- , Nov 17, 1997; 03:01 p.m.

Glossy is the standard for exhibition prints, unless you are doing Ilfochromes to be mounted on canvas (the RC prints are canvas-mountable after peeling off paper backing). Or, unless your work is "avant-garde." Putting glass over a matte/lustre print defeats the purpose, anyway.

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