Platinum/Palladium Prints

 

Developed by William Willis in 1873, the Platinum Print is, for many, the epitome of photographic printing. Famed for it’s long tonal range and delicate warm colour, a Platinum/Palladium print possesses a luminosity not seen in more contemporary printing processes. Like most historical processes, the sensitizer is absorbed into the paper’s fibres rather than suspended in a flat emulsion on the surface of the paper. An idiosyncrasy of the process that also contributes to it’s unique qualities. Falling out of favour between the World Wars due to the huge increase in the cost of the raw materials (used for making bomb fuses), this printing method was resurrected by a few dedicated individuals in the 1960s. The American photographer Irving Penn famously spent many years perfecting the technique and, in the process, produced some of the most beautiful Platinum prints ever made. Regarded as the ultimate collectors print, Platinum/Palladium prints are so stable that they will literally outlast the paper on which they are printed.

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