An Alternative Process
Platinum Palladium Prints posses beautiful tones with prints ranging from a cool, slightly purple black to split tones of brown and warm black, to a very warm brown. The elements of platinum and palladium are mixed together with ferric oxalate in varying quantities, couple this together with variables such as paper, temperature, and humidity and it creates prints that are unrivalled by any other photographic printing technique. Each print is totally unique, and each artist will possess their own individual aesthetic.
A brush, or coating rod, is used to apply the light sensitive emulsion to the paper, then a contact negative is exposed under intense ultraviolet light. Unlike silver gelatine prints, all work can be conducted under normal tungsten or fluorescent lighting, so no safelight is necessary.
Precious Metals and Japanese Washi Paper
Platinum Palladium prints have a unique beauty all of their own; combine this with a delicate translucent paper, such as Japanese Tosa Washi, and the beauty of this printing process is elevated to another level.
Gilding the reverse of the translucent print with precious metals such as gold, silver or bronze creates a print that is more akin to a work of art, than a photographic print.
Old Family Photographs
Looking through a box of old family photographs is one of life’s pleasures, especially when shared across the generations, but will we still be able to share these memories in the future, when the photographs have been taken and stored digitally? Whilst digital files will not degrade or fade over time, they are often lost due to technical issues, or the format on which they are stored becoming obsolete.
When it comes to photographic prints, almost all black and white processes are stable and relatively permanent over the long term, but damage often occurs due to handling, or environmental issues. This damage can be ‘repaired’ digitally before making a new archival print ... and Platinum Palladium Prints are the most archival prints we know of today, as long as the paper is cared for, the images themselves will last forever ... meaning family photographs can be enjoyed by many generations to come!
Original Family Photograph
This tiny 2"x3" photograph of Eva, my grandmother, had been in my grandfather's wallet for many years and was very badly damaged.
It had, not only tears and creases, but the photographic emulsion had also discoloured and deteriorated.
8x10 Platinum Palladium Print
The original print was scanned at a high resolution, taken into Photoshop and 'repaired'.
This is a skilled and time-consuming process, where retaining the qualities of the original photograph are balanced with repairing the deterioration seen over time.
An 8" x 10" digital negative is then made, before the archival platinum palladium print is hand crafted in my darkroom.