What Is the Difference Between a Matte and Glossy Finish?


Quick Answer

A glossy finish shines, reflecting light well. Matte-finish photos reflect less light and are easier to view in bright conditions. They also are resistant to fingerprints during handling.

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Full Answer

With color photos, glossy prints display rich, vibrant colors, producing a high-quality feel and impression. In intense light, however, glossy prints can be almost blinding because of light reflection. The glossy finish also attracts fingerprints and dirt when photos are handled. For black and white photographs a matte finish gives better looking results, while color photos look duller and not as rich on matte finish paper. Choosing matte or glossy photo paper depends on the photographer’s preference and the intended use of the photos.

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