Fine Art B&W and Platinum/Palladium Prints
The Platinum Print
In 1873, thirty-four years after the discovery of photography, the platinum process of printing photographs was patented. Since that time, platinum’s use in photography has had an almost unbroken continuity to the present day – being interrupted only by World Wars (Russia had almost 90% of the world’s supply).
Unlike the silver print process, platinum lies on the paper surface, while silver is in a gelatin or albumen emulsion that coats the paper. As a result, since no gelatin emulsion is used, the final platinum image is absolutely matte with a deposit of platinum (or palladium, it’s sister element which can also be used) absorbed slightly into the paper. The paper must be hand coated and is a contact printing process; meaning the paper and the negative are sandwiched together. Ultra violet light is transmitted through the negative onto the paper and a chemical reaction occurs which causes the image to form.
Two aspects that make a platinum print so special are beauty and permanence. The unique beauty of a fine platinum print involves a broad scale of tones from rich black to white. They are among the most permanent objects invented and platinum metals are more stable than gold. A platinum image, properly made, can last thousands of years; it will even outlast the paper it is printed on. Platinum & Palladium prints are treasured by collectors and investors.