Best Inkjet Photo Paper for Star, Astro, and Night Photography
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.
We've split this list of best papers for night sky photography into two groups, smooth and textured. Use smooth papers 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 if you has 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
Papers with a Smooth Surface
68lb. UltraPro Gloss® 2.0
Polar Gloss Metallic 255 (formerly 66lb. Polar Pearl Metallic)®
60lb. Polar Matte®
Papers with Some Surface Texture
68lb. UltraPro Satin® 4.0
Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag®
San Gabriel Baryta Semigloss™