Platinum printing is a vintage process invented in the 19th Century. This printing method is one of the very first photographic printing processes. Platinum metal, in liquid form, is used as the emulsion to create a print with an expanded tonal range from the deepest blacks to the brightest whites. This incredible tonal range creates amazing and unmatchable detail in both the shadow and highlight areas. This is what gives the Platinum print a three-dimensional quality, which makes it unique when compared to other printing processes.

Platinum prints are considered one of a kind since each is individually created by hand. The differences in coating, temperature and humidity are just a few of the variables that characterize each print.

Platinum prints are very unique and rare and only found in the fine art photography genre. These prints are considered the most archival of all photographic processes.

 
 

The Process:

Each print is the size of the negative (a direct negative contact print).  Black and white film is used with large format cameras to produce large negatives.  The negative is the crucial part of creating a Platinum print.  It must be a dense, correctly exposed negative to achieve the expansion of tones. You cannot dodge, burn or manipulate the negative in any way to create the final print.

There are several methods in making a Platinum print. The primary method used for Julie’s prints are as follows: The Platinum, along with Palladium and Ferric Oxalate are measured out in drops in different amounts, depending on the negative size.  Then the liquid emulsion is hand painted directly on to a high quality watercolor or Japanese paper with a Hake brush.  Once the emulsion is dry, the negative is laid on the coated paper, then pressed under glass in a contact print frame. The negative and paper are exposed using a UV light source (sun or UV light box).  The exposed paper is placed in a contrast developer.  Then the print goes through 3 clearing baths, washed, and then air-dried.