Choosing An Inkjet Paper – PXL Print Series

You can’t make a print without a paper to print it on. There are so many papers out there it can be a confusing process to choose the paper that works best for your image. I know personally that I have tried dozens of different papers and over time; I have narrowed my choices down to a few papers that work for me.

Choosing a paper can make you crazy
Choosing a paper can make you crazy

Until we made this video, I thought I was thrilled with a Baryta paper and since the making of this video, I have now settled on two papers that are my primary choices. Cutting to the chase, I have fallen in love with the Epson Legacy Platine surface and Epson’s Legacy Fiber for a matte surface.

I also really like the Hahnemühle papers in the Photo Rag and Fine Art Baryta. I also use the Hahnemühle papers for my Portfolio Tins. Making a choice for a paper that works for you is a hard one. In this video we tryt to help you understand a few things that will make it easier.


Epson Legacy Papers
Epson Legacy Papers
Epson Signature Worthy Papers
Epson Signature Worthy Papers

Deciding On A Paper

• Traditional Photographic or Painterly Illustrative

• Thickness and Feel

• OBA or OBA Free

• Smooth Surface or Textured Surface

• Canvas: Matte, Satin or Glass

One of the best way to choose a paper that is right for you is to visit different paper company websites and see if they offer a sample pack. Then, using your own images or color test target, print the same images on each type of paper. Jeff has done this and has an album of reference images he can refer to as you will see in the video.

Don’t forget if you are a silver or gold member, you can click on an image and see it larger.  Also, you can use night mode.

Make test prints on different papers to help you find a paper that works best for you.
Make test prints on different papers to help you find a paper that works best for you.

The Video

Final Words

Deciding on a paper that you display your images is important. Try to narrow your choice down to two paper types. By selecting Legacy Platine or a Baryta, I have a paper surface with a slight texture and a lustre look. The papers feel good to hold and spending on the way the light hits it there is a subtle texture.

It has really surprised me at how much I like the Legacy Fiber for a matte surface. It has good blacks and color vibrancy. You owe it to yourself to look at this surface. I have now produced several 16x20s on Legacy Fiber and have framed them without glass. They look absolutely exceptional. Thank you Dano for the idea.

Order sample paper packs from different paper companies so you can see your own images on these paper surfaces
Order sample paper packs from different paper companies so you can see your own images on these paper surfaces

If you are interested in how many inkjet papers perform, our own Mark Segal has done some of the most comprehensive paper testing out there.

Compared to the analog days we have a large variety of paper surfaces and sizes to make prints on. Printing is getting so easy that if you aren’t printing yet you owe it to yourself to keep watching these videos and get yourself set up for printing. Soon we will announce our fine art printing workshops at the PXL Studio in Indianapolis.

We have a lot more on printing coming your way. Stay tuned and thank you for being part of the photoPXL family.

Kevin Raber
MArch 2022
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: Tutorials, Columns, Videos, MISC

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