Platinum  Printing

 

Platinum  is  an   early  photographic  Process   in  which   an   image  is  formed   by   platinum metal, instead of silver used in conventional analog photography. The process was popular in the late 19th and early  20th  century, when commercially  produced  platinum paper  became  widely  available.  It  was  the  medium  of  choice  by  great  masters  like  Alfred  Stieglitz,  Edward  Steichen, and  Paul Strand. 

 

Modern  Platinum  printing  is  an   entirely  hand made process. It begins by preparing a light sensitive solution containing both platinum metal and palladium salts. the solution  is  brushed   onto   specially  selected  art paper, dried, and exposed in contact with a negative to ultraviolet light. the exposed paper is placed in developer, where metal salts are reduced back to a metallic state forming the image, and then carried through  a  series  of  clearing  baths. the  print  that  emerges  from  the final wash consists of particles of precious metals permanently embedded into the fibers of the paper   giving  it  an   almost  velvety texture. 

 

Platinum Emulsion has a unique response to light producing the most beautiful tonal range in black and white photography. It also happens to be the only true archival photographic  process. Platinum, long referred to as the "noble metal," resists combining with other chemicals creating an extremely stable image. The platinum print will remain  unchanged  as  long  as  the  paper  it  is   printed on exists, thus making the image virtually immortal.

 

SILVER  GELATIN  PRINTS, what  is  the  difference?

The  tonal  range  in  the  silver  gelatin  prints  are  limited,   compared   to  Platinum.   Silver sits   in  an  emulsion  that  coats  the  paper,  Platinum  is  directly  embedded  into  the  paper with the precious metal platinum. Platinum prints do not have any tendency to curl because there is no emulsion. Platinum is said to have a longer archival life span, with decreased  levels  of  deterioration.