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Author Topic: C2P: Question about Michael's Matte Comments  (Read 4447 times)


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C2P: Question about Michael's Matte Comments
« on: January 03, 2008, 08:01:21 pm »

In the paper type discussion portion of C2P Michael makes the comment that some images look better on Matte than Glossy. If it's possible to characterize these, even generally, what would the description be? When one looks at an image on the screen, what triggers one into preferring Matte? Subjects that look good with a reduced tonal range and reduced gamut seem obvious candidates, but isn't this a gross oversimplification?

Certainly, "better" is highly subjective. I'm not looking for an absolute answer by any means. Maybe it really is just my personal preferences, but when I see Matte prints next to Glossy (Luster is the version of Glossy I use) the Lusters always look better. Based on prints I've made, articles read, videos watched, etc., it seems as if folks decide to print on Matte for the feel/texture of the paper and consider the image reproduction limitations imposed by Matte a trade worth making. Surely there must be lots of images that really do look better on Matte - lots and lots of Matte paper is sold.

And so, let's assume we're the customer and that just saying it's on a Matte paper confers no special value. Let's also assume we intend to print both Matte (Epson Enhanced Matte) and Glossy (Epson Prem Luster Photo paper) and will look at them side by side, both covered with glass to simulate mounting. What kinds of images will lead me to pick the Matte over the Glossy?


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C2P: Question about Michael's Matte Comments
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2008, 01:54:26 pm »

Must be subjective to a large extent.  I'm not a fan of matt, and I wonder if Epson's new Exhibition Fiber Paper has swayed his opinion somewhat?  He did say he liked the feel of rag paper types.  To me, once the print is sealed under glass, feel is a moot point.

Brian Gilkes

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C2P: Question about Michael's Matte Comments
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2008, 04:57:11 pm »

It's very subjective, but also psychological. The consensus here is that matte has a richer look, especially in deep saturated colours. Blacks can appear very deep on matte, despite recording a lower DMax. You can fall into a matte black , a gloss black is like a shiny wall. This is expecially so as prints get larger, say above 1m x1m. At these sizes the eye/mind sets it's black/white points on the work. An increasing amount of works are now displayed with no glass or floating between glass or acrylic and the back mount. Properly lit , any glass will not reflect light to the viewer , so becomes invisible . In this case the surface texture of the paper gains dominance.
Many of our artists come from traditional printmaking eg etching , gravure , wood cuts etc., and are comfortable with the matte surface of papers in this area. At the very high end are the handmade papers , which are all matte.
As a matter of interest 80-90% of all work printed here is on matte papers.
In the case of monochrome images with a very long tonal range there is a good case for lustre/gloss. The application of supercoats  can be useful here to reduce ink reflection differentials common with such papers that can spoil the appearance by distracting attention.
Gloss is also used for hyper-real images, photographic or computer generated. Here the choice is more philosophical than subjective.
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