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.