Nov 192018

We have now moved into our new darkroom at the Haarlem Artspace in Wirksworth, Derbyshire. It’s in a wonderful 18thC cotton mill on the edge of the Peak District National Park. To celebrate our move, we are offering a 15% discount off our new range of Printing Workshops until the end of the year. Even if you are unable to attend your workshop until the new year, as long as you have booked before December 31st 2018 you will qualify for the discount. Remember these workshops are taught on a 1 to 1 basis with master printer Richard Freestone and can be arranged on weekdays or weekends to suit you.

haarlem139 Printroom is in the room with the blanked out window just below the name HAARLEM.

Keith Greenhough with one of his Platinum/Palladium prints

Keith Greenhough with one of his Platinum/Palladium prints made during his workshop at 139 Printroom

Apr 102017

Here are some more results from 2 workshops attended this time by photographers Thomas Main and Mark Hamilton. These are some of the sumptuous hand crafted prints they made.

Thomas Main with 2 of his platinum/palladium prints

Thomas Main with 2 of his platinum/palladium prints

Some of Thomas's landscapes in Platinum\Palladium

Some of Thomas’s landscapes in Platinum/Palladium

Mark Hamilton and one of his Platinum/Palladium prints

Mark Hamilton and one of his Platinum/Palladium prints

Brian Cox in Platinum by Mark Hamilton

Brian Cox in Platinum by Mark Hamilton




Jan 292014

Portraits make great subjects for Platinum Palladium Prints. With it’s subtle tonality and gentle warmth it is the perfect medium.

Hari by Jonathan Knowles. platinum print by richard freestone of 139 printroom

Hari by Jonathan Knowles

This stunning portrait was Jonathan’s entry in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize at The National Portrait Gallery.


Pete Postlethwaite by Paul Elton. platinum print by richard freestone of 139 printroom

Pete Postlethwaite by Paul Elton

Paul Elton’s wonderfully evocative and intimate portrait of the late and much missed actor Pete Postlethwaite





Nov 232012

It’s nice to take time out to work on our own prints. This time it was to make some Platinum/Palladium prints for my friend and colleague Jack Lowe. Jack has recently developed a new blog “Mr Jack Lowe” where these prints can be viewed and bought. Both of these images were shot on Kodak T400CN 120 roll film.

Great Gable. A platinum print by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom for Jack Lowe

Great Gable by Jack Lowe

ScafellPike. A platinum print by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom for Jack Lowe

Scafell Pike by Jack Lowe

Nov 142012

We’ve been rather busy of late at 139 Printroom and I’ve neglected this blog somewhat. So It”s about time I put that right.

Magnum Photos commissioned us again to make another edition of Platinum/Palladium prints. This time of James Dean, as photographed by the late Dennis Stock. The photographer and the movie star’s careers were closely linked back in the 1950s. In fact most of the iconic pictures of James Dean were shot By Dennis and here is one of them.

movie star james dean platinum print by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom

James Dean by Dennis Stock

We were also asked to make a series of four Platinum/Palladium prints for Ian Aitken. The subjects are four of the last seven remaining Northern White Rhinos left in the wild. Once printed they were beautifully framed and exhibited at the Royal Geographic Society. If you would like to know more have a look at Ian’s website.

4 Northern White Rhinos platinum prints by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom for Ian Aitken

4 Northern White Rhinos in Platinum/Palladium


Rhinos at RGS

Rhino prints on show at The Royal Geographic Society

I’ve also taken the time to make some prints of my own images. The delicate, soft subtle tones of 19th Century Platinum Palladium prints have always captivated me. Jack and I once spent a very enjoyable few hours in the research room at the National Media Museum in Bradford, studying Platinum Palladium prints by such luminaries as Frederick Evans and Peter Henry Emerson. It’s that delicacy that I am now endeavoring to bring to my own prints. Here is a couple of examples. You will notice that these prints have straight edges rather than the brushed or coated edges of some Platinum/Palladium prints. This is achieved by masking the negative with Rubylith film. A red film that stops any light reaching the print during exposure. So the unexposed sensitizer is simply washed away during processing.

Poppy Duo platinum print by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom

Poppy Duo


Acer Seeds platinum print by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom

Acer Seeds

Jul 242012

We were delighted to be commissioned by Magnum Photos to print an edition of Thomas Hoepker’s iconic image of a young Muhammad Ali. The shot was made in 1966 and I asked Thomas what it was like working with the legendary boxer. Here is his reply.

“I got this shot when I worked on a reportage on Ali in Chicago in 1966. I watched him during training in the gym and during a short brake he saw me sitting there in a corner. He danced up to me, stopped briefly in front of my seat and threw three quick punches in my direction. Then Ali turned around and was gone. Only one shot is sharp, the other two underexposed. There was very little light.
Later I visited with Ali in different years and places, also shooting color. But this snap became the Signature image of my series. I have just published a book on Ali, called CHAMP”.
Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker (Magnum Photos) a platinum print by Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom

Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker (Magnum Photos)

Feb 122012

It’s always nice to work with a new client, especially when they have found 139printroom from another country. Martin Sundstrom is a photographer from Stockholm, Sweden and he asked us to make some platinum prints of partly decomposed leaves.

A few weeks ago I’d been studying some Irving Penn platinum prints in the V&A Museum and saw his print of a decomposed Camel cigarette packet on a white background.

Martin’s leaves reminded me of it.
Here is the first print we made for him. Originally shot on a 39 megapixel Hasselblad.

Leaf. by Martin Sundstrom

Leaf. by Martin Sundstrom

 12 February 2012  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Oct 282011

To make a Platinum Print (or any other alternative print for that matter) we need a monochrome negative the same size as the finished print.

These days, the majority of our clients use digital cameras to capture their images which are of course colour by default. As we need a black & white image to make the negative from, I thought I would mention the method I use for making the conversion.

I know there are many ways of doing this and I”m not saying my way is the definitive way, but it gives me results that I like and that print well in Platinum and Palladium. Although I describe it as “my way” it was in fact taught to me by my friend and colleague Jack Lowe.

It is a method of blending 2 hue/saturation layers in Photoshop. I’m not going to outline it in detail here because Jack has done just that on his Digital Basics website. So I would urge you to pay it a visit where there is also a lot more information on digital photography matters.

What I will show you though is the result of this method on an image I shot recently.

Sculpture in the garden at Chatsworth

Sculpture in the garden at Chatsworth

Aug 252011

As most of you will know, contact printing is the only way a Platinum print can be made. It isn”t possible to use an enlarger as in Silver Gelatin printing. This means that a negative the same size as the finished print is required. This is then held against the sensitized paper in a printing frame and exposed to ultra violet light before being processed. There are a number ways to obtain a negative large enough for your print. You could shoot on a large format camera and print from the negative produced. You could shoot on a smaller format and have an inter neg made at the size required. Or, particularly if you shoot digitally, it is now possible to have a high quality large format negative made from your digital file. All our digital negatives are made for us by Jack Lowe with whom we have worked for years now. So here is a digital negative, produced by Jack.

Digital negative

Digital negative

So why is it green? I’ll hand you over to Jack to answer that. “Well, this is the beauty of Hewlett Packard”s process; researchers and engineers on the project have found the green channel on the DJz3200 to act as the perfect UV cut for making Alternative Process Digital Negatives, hence their green appearance.” Here is the finished Platinum/Palladium print.


Children at Goswick by Jack Lowe

And another Platinum/Palladium print from one of Jack”s digital negatives.


Chris by Jack Lowe


Aug 082011

This is the new blog of the 139 Printroom.

It’s a little basic at the moment but will develop as it grows.We specialise in historical, photographic printing processes, mainly Platinum and Palladium. Not only will we be showing the prints we make for our clients and ourselves, but revisiting prints made by ¬†the pioneers of these processes such as Peter Henry Emmerson, Frederick H Evans and more recently, Irving Penn. Also I hope to show something of the process of print making. To start with I’d like to show you 2 prints we made for Andrew Shaylor.¬†Thanks to Jack Lowe for the scans and close-ups of the prints.

Platinum Palladium Print of Ga-Ana Theatre USAGa-Ana Theatre USA

close up of Ga-Anna theatre

Close up of Ga-Ana Theatre

close up of Ga-Ana theatre

Close up of Ga-Ana Theatre




Close up of Robbie

Close up of Robbie


 8 August 2011  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »