Patented in 1873 by the Englishman Willard Willis, Platinum printing was immediately embraced at the turn of the 20th century by photographers of the Pictorialist and Photo-Secession movements. Prized by the masters, this entirely hand-made process exceeds all other in its physical beauty and longevity.
An image made in Platinum, or its sister metal Palladium, will vary in color and intensity from warm dark browns to cold neutral blacks, depending on the proportions of the metals used. Printing the image is a contact process, requiring a negative the exact size of the print to be made. The photographer, by brush, hand coast the pater with a solution of platinum, places the negative directly on the dried coated paper, and exposes the image to ultra violet light, (the sun or UV bulbs). The image is then developed, cleared, washed and dried. Each print is unique and will show subtle shifts depending on humidity, temperature and concentrations of sensitizers.
Because it is comprised of pure metal, the platinum process is one of the most stable and archival of any in photography. Unlike other process where the image in printed on a surface applied to the paper, the platinum image is literally embedded in the paper itself. It is often said the platinum image will outlast the paper upon which it is printed.
Technical Data: Camera, Tachihara 4 x5 Wood Field Camera.