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, Big Bend 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.
SHOOTING THE NIGHT SKY
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