There is no shortage of paper choices for photographers that make inkjet prints. While both Canson and Hahnemüle are well known in the fine art world, I have discovered that many of the printmaking papers offered by Red River Paper offer the same benefits and characteristics at a more affordable cost. This permits me to engage more freely in developing the craft of printing. When a client requires a specific imported paper from France or Germany, I am happy to provide a high quality print on Canson or Hahnemüle paper. Understanding that no two photographers are likely to agree on the same paper choices, here are my favorite inkjet paper from Red River Paper.
UltraPro Luster 300 – 300gsm
Similar to the lighter weight UltraPro Satin 4.0 (68 pound, 260gsm), this luster paper has an acid free base stock with a slightly acidic coating and a deep luster texture. It is a bright white paper producing deep blacks and high contrast. It has a wide color gamut and smooth tonal transitions making it suitable for both color and black & white photos. The heavier weight and thicker (11.6 vs 10.4 mil) than a lab paper, prints feel more substantial. Load through a sheet feeder or as a fine art paper.
Arctic Polar Luster - 300gsm
A bright white paper with an acid free base stock, a slightly acidic coating and a deep luster finish. It offers a balance between deeply saturated color and minimized gloss reflectivity. Its extra weight and thickness (11.8 mil) gives the assurance of a fine photographic print. It is twice as expensive as UltraPro Luster 300. Like other heavy weight papers it should be loaded as a fine art paper rather than through a sheet feeder.
Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag - 310 gsm
Palo Duro SoftGloss Rag is made from 100% cotton rag (no optical brighteners, acid free, lignin free) with a lightly textured soft gloss surface like a traditional F-Type print. It features deep blacks from a barrier coat between the paper and inkjet receiving layer. A neutral white with a paper tone that is neither warm nor cool. Like other heavy weight papers it should be loaded as a fine art paper rather than through a sheet feeder.
San Gabriel Baryta SemiGloss 2.0 - 315 gsm
This SemiGloss paper is made from alpha cellulose with a layer containing a barium sulfate. The coating and base stock are acid and lignin free. The paper has a lightly textured surface, similar to a fine satin. This finish adds depth and subtle reflectivity to the finished print. A warm tone adds natural richness to portraits and landscapes. Deep blacks and exceptional contrast for exhibition quality color and black& white photographic prints. Like other heavy weight papers it should be loaded as a fine art paper rather than through a sheet feeder.
Polar Matte – 229gsm
This is economical photo matte paper is a favorite because of its bright white tone, smooth printing surface and ability hold ink and sharp detail. A lack of surface reflection means that details are the primary focus of the print. It easily loads through a sheet feeder.
Aurora White and Aurora Natural – 285gsm
Aurora White matte paper is made with 100% cotton rag content with a fine art semi-smooth surface. The base stock and coating are acid free with minimal optical brighteners. It has a bright white shade for crisp color tones and is also available in a warmer, natural tone with no optical brighteners (Aurora Natural). Like other heavy weight papers it should be loaded as a fine art paper rather than through a sheet feeder.
Palo Duro Etching - 315 gsm
100% cotton fiber, acid, lignin, and optical brightener (OBA) free with a textured surface. Ideal for museum quality and conservation grade prints. A barrier coat between the paper and inkjet receiving layer creates deep blacks. A natural white paper, benefiting images of nature, skin tones, landscapes, rich black & whites and artwork reproductions. Like other heavy weight papers it should be loaded as a fine art paper rather than through a sheet feeder.
See ya around,