Best Inkjet Photo Paper for Star, Astro, and Night Photography

Earth and Sky Photography
© Ron Risman

The night sky has been a source of fascination for millennia. From the city to the middle of nowhere, you can probably look up and see something interesting. Photographing the night sky can be daunting - do you need special gear, expensive software, and time to get to a "dark sky location"? The reality is that you probably have the gear you need to shoot fun night sky images. If you live in a city, try to incorporate the "light pollution" into your work. See if you can capture buildings or trees lit by street lights into the same frame as the stars. You might be surprised at what you can do.

Papers that are bright white, such as UltraPro Gloss, UltraPro Satin and Polar Matte will give you the best contrast ratios. This means your blacks will seem darker and whites more bright. Both are good attributes for night photography.

The warmer papers, San Gabriel SemiGloss Baryta and Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag are listed if you wish to include a fine photographic touch to your work. Both products are designed to mimic the old school darkroom look.

Use smooth papers, Ultrapro Gloss, Polar Gloss Metallic 255 or Polar Matte when small details are critical to your image. For example, if your image is of a constellation and your goal is to have every star sharp and clear. Consider the textured papers, Ultrapro Satin, Palo Duro Softgloss Rag or San Gabriel Baryta Semigloss if you have a number of elements. An image like the one to the right is a great example.


Get the best tips, tricks, and expert advice on night sky photography in this three part blog series by Ron Risman. Start reading Part 1 - The Night Sky

68lb. UltraPro Gloss 2.0

68lb. UltraPro Gloss prints vibrant colors and deep blacks with any inkjet printer. 10.4mil thickness gives your prints true photo lab quality. Compatible with any inkjet printer, this paper dries instantly for immediate quality and resistance to smears.

  • High gloss, smooth surface
  • Acid free base stock. Coating slightly acidic. (explain this)
  • There are no markings or logos on the back
  • Back of this product is not printable

Polar Luster Metallic 255

Polar Luster Metallic gives you the unique metallic look with a classic luster surface. (Combine our Arctic Polar Luster with Polar Gloss Metallic 255)

  • Satin Texture: Deep
  • Paper Tone: Metallic pearl
  • Paper Weight: 255gsm (66lb)
  • Thickness: 10.4mil

60lb. Polar Matte

This Archival Matte paper brings you professional quality in every sense of the meaning - from the coating to the base stock, Polar is the go-to photo matte when you want the best.

  • our finest photo grade matte paper
  • universally compatible with dye and pigment inks
  • acid free coating and paper stock
  • ultra smooth, white surface
  • 230 gsm weight / 10 mil thickness

68lb. UltraPro Satin

The Top Selling Red River Paper
If you print, you have to have UltraPro Satin in your paper inventory. It produces professional quality results and works with virtually any image. The UltraPro Satin looks and feels just like photo lab satin - a lightly textured surface that breaks up reflections and minimizes fingerprints.

  • RC photo paper
  • Medium depth satin texture
  • Bright white tone
  • 270 gsm weight / 10.4 mil thickness

Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag 315

Made from 100% cotton fiber and featuring a lightly textured soft gloss surface, Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag fine art paper gives you the classic look of a darkroom photographic print with the performance of modern inkjet technology.

  • 100% cotton fiber
  • Lightly textured surface / semigloss coating
  • Deep blacks, smooth gray tones, true saturated colors
  • For fine photographic reproductions
  • 315gsm weight / 16.5 mil thickness

Palo Duro Baryta Fiber 300

Palo Duro Baryta Fiber is a pleasant neutral white semigloss that adds natural richness to portraits and landscapes. Black & White images also benefit from Palo Duro Baryta Fiber's deep blacks and exceptional contrast. It offers all of the rich tonality, depth, and feel of a traditional wet darkroom fiber fine art paper. It has a lightly textured semigloss surface, which adds depth and an elegant reflectivity to the finished print.

  • Semigloss texture with medium reflectivity
  • Made from 100% alpha-cellulose base stock
  • Neutral white paper tone.