The Platinum Print
Of all forms of photography, the most luminous, archival and rare. Although difficult and costly to create, platinum prints are the sine qua non of photographic art.
Since pure platinum, like gold, is so stable and permanent, the platinum print is one of the most archival of any image made on paper. The well-made platinum print can last for centuries, as long as the fine paper that carries it.
Beyond their permanence, platinum prints also have a unique appearance. They are amazingly luminous, and even appear to be three dimensional. This results from the enormous tonal scale composing the platinum image. The platinum print with up to five times more scale, has by far the most expanded tonal range of any image, in any printed medium. This old process of hand coating platinum metals onto fine art paper creates the most enduring and luminous photographs.
Platinum prints have to be made from full sized, perfect photographic negatives, contact printed on specially prepared hand coated paper. The photographer must prepare the platinum printing paper, selecting among of the finest and purest papers in the world. The beautiful subliminal qualities of the paper will become intrinsic with the image.
The negative is placed in direct contact with the coated paper. To expose a platinum print requires hundreds of times more energy than a silver print. Special ultraviolet lights are used. The ultraviolet light reduces (purifies) the platinum salt to a darker, pure metallic state. The final image is formed out of sub microscopic crystals of pure platinum metals, embedded in the paper fibre.
Two aspects that make the platinum print so special, so loved by photographers and so treasured by collectors and investors are beauty and permanence. The unique beauty of a fine platinum print involves a broad scale of tones from black to white. The delicate, rich platinum tones range from warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone grays that are unobtainable in silver prints. In the deepest shadows the platinum print still presents information; the platinum whites are delicate and the depth of the image is alive and three-dimensional.
84 Chemin du Vieux-Moulin