Sep 012016

It’s always a thrill when we are commissioned to make an edition of Platinum Prints of a very well known image. This time it was one of Chris Steele-Perkins “Teds” series. Commissioned by Magnum Photos for an exhibition at their London Gee Street Print Room. The exhibition of Chris’s work runs from September 21st to the end of October and is open from Wednesday to Friday or by appointment.

Teds by Chris Steele-Perkins

Teds by Chris Steele-Perkins

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 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)

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