The choice of inkjet media is usually a matter of personal aesthetics. Some images cry out for slick, glossy paper while others are a better match for a matte fine-art paper. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available for photographers, including a new fine-art matte paper from Red River Paper: Palo Duro Etching.
Crafted from 100 percent cotton rag that's touched with texture, it's important to point out what Palo Duro Etching lacks, including no optical brighteners, for one, and it's lignin- and acid-free. With no OBA chemicals to boost the whites, the paper provides a warmer, more natural base that's perfect for reproducing lovely skin tones. Thanks to a barrier coating between the paper and inkjet receiving layer, Palo Duro Etching produces deep, rich blacks (as expected, the paper uses matte black inks).
This 31.1 gsm (84lb) paper is 21 mil thick, giving the paper a nice feel. While it's printable on two sides, it's only coated on one side, leaving the back available for plain paper printing. Red River recommends using printers with specialty paper feeds. If your printer only has a top paper tray, the company suggests placing a single sheet at a time in the tray. (Click here for official Red River paper handling information.)
The Palo Duro Etching paper is available in a variety of sizes from 4 x 6 inches to 17 x 22-inch cut sheets, with prices ranging from $20 to $93. (If you're interested, hurry over to the site—at the time of publication, the paper's on sale for $16-$75.)
As an aside, Red River Paper is an excellent resource for photography, inkjet printing, marketing your images and printer reviews. I've found that when I've had a printing question, the best—and sometimes only—answer was found on Red River Paper. There are papers in difficult to find sizes, from 9 x 13-inch cut sheets to 8.5 x 25-inch and 13 x 38-inch cut sheet panorama sizes. The latter is a favorite of mine—those sizes are not only great for panoramas, but, if you're feeling extra creative, they're perfect for printing and folding accordion books.