Right now I am using the Itoya Art Profolio Expo 8.5X11 ("XP-12-8") and have my prints (Kodak Endura Lustre) and tear sheets sitting loose inside. The good thing is that the tear sheets are safe (I only have so many of them!). However there is a noticeable impact on my photos:

  • Excessive glare
  • It looks underexposed (90% black or darker as just looks "black")

Am I using an incompatible paper medium and presentation book, or should I print the photos brighter to compensate for this combination display format?

  • 1
    Glossy finish gallery prints that receive proper illumination can rock the full greyscale gamut. The lighting is even, directional, and around 2000 lux. Office illumination is diffuse, glare-prone indirect, and only about 500 lux at the desk surface which isn't enough to view nice shadow detail. – Stan Aug 6 '17 at 23:00

I have a few gallery prints that may or may not find their way into my physical portfolio. Whether or not I include them is influenced by the client.

I also use the same portfolio solution that you do for tear sheets, other samples, and printed work.

I show my commercial portfolio but have giclee and glossy fine prints on flapped boards separate. I show them in person if the circumstances (and viewing conditions) permit. (See comment regarding viewing conditions in the original post.)

It's important to keep in mind that any surface, other than a high gloss, has minuscule highlights on the ridges and peaks of the print surface that trashes the compressed shadow values.

Sprays, and finishes that attempt to diminish specular reflections do you no favour. Better to use oblique illumination rather than diffusion to diminish reflections to ensure greatest contrast range.

You may choose to change the (contrast) gamma of the print to enhance shadow detail to show what you wish under sub-standard conditions.

My mentors used to harp on "conform to practice." In other words, if you know how (location, lighting, position, size, etc.) the print is going to be used then prepare it to look its best under those conditions.

It's wasted effort to prepare some product that will not be used optimally by its intended user.


I don't think compensation is a good choice - maybe Krylon Acrylic Satin Finish?


  • The link is dead (404 error). – Stan Aug 6 '17 at 22:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.