What is photographic quality?

What makes a print photographic quality? The answer is clearly more complicated than resolution or color reproduction. Even factors like paper weight are part of photographic quality. Another factor is gloss, which varies from the paper base to the image areas. Images with variable gloss do not appear to be photographic quality. Try this test with a digital print or photo book: Hold the print or book under relatively direct over lighting at various angles. If parts of the image appear glossy at certain angles but not at others then the print is not photographic quality.

Gloss is dependent on the paper, ink, and any lamination. Selecting the best materials will minimize gloss differences. At Creative Memories, we now have a gloss meter available to measure these differences. I expect that these measurements will lead to future improvements in photographic quality. After all, quality is important when it comes to preserving memories.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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