Explorations Chapter IX — Figure & Form in Platinum
Platinum and Palladium prints give images of figure, form and portrait a stunning new/old look. They have a delicate but wide tonal range, a bit more diffuse in quality than silver gelatin or archival inkjet, and are the most permanent form of photographic print.
My platinum/palladium images of women are constantly evolving over the years, but the characteristics of the print medium give these a unifying theme, as does the subject. Subtle tones of black, red and grey influence the tonality, and the matte cotton paper and brush strokes enhance the natural textures.
These images range from simple portraits through sensual portraits to full figure nudes. Natural light, mostly directional, in all of these images give a soft yet somewhat dramatic effect.
About Platinum/Palladium Prints
Platinum/Palladium Prints are renowned for their depth and quality, and were made by the photographic masters of the early 20th century such as Steiglitz, Weston and Steichen just to name a few. For people who collect photographs, platinum/palladium prints are known for their beauty, archival stability and unique, one-of-a-kind print statement. Made from the salts of platinum and palladium, these prints are also called “platinotypes” or “platinum” prints. Fine matte watercolor paper is coated with an emulsion of these metals and ferric oxalate. A negative the size of the print is placed on the dried paper, exposed to UV light. Various developers can give slightly different tones. The prints are then washed and cleared.
Platinum prints have a different quality than silver gelatin darkroom prints or archival pigment. The surface is matte and the image lives within the fibers of the paper, giving a soft depth to the image.