Fall Colors, Whitefish, MT - 8x10 hand tinted platinum print

Platinum prints harken back to the early days of photography, and whether contemporary or vintage, remain popular with art collectors due to their characteristic long scale and 1,000+ year archival lifespan.  I utilize a hybrid process, shooting film for the most part, scanning and enlarging in the digital domain, inkjet printing a negative using the latest technology, and contact printing onto hand coated watercolor paper.  This allows me to taylor my shooting to the situation at hand, using medium and large format film, as well as digital cameras, as the situation dictates.

Steam Engine, Kinzers, PA - 11x14 platinum print  

Traditionally, photographers not using a camera outputting a negative in the desired print size, would enlarge the negative by creating what we call an interpositive using an enlarger and film, and subsequent internegative generally degrading the quality of the final image.  The hybrid process I employ not only allows me to more completely exploit the level of detail in my already sizable negatives, but also gives me granular control of the contrast and midtone values of the print while in the digital phase, freeing me to shoot with exposure values appropriate to optimally capturing the overall scene instead of tailored to a particular print medium's idiosyncrasies, a departure from the Zone system in my pre-visualizations.

Tools of the trade - Each print is sensitized with a combination of platinum, palladium and iron salts. 

The long scale, or many discernible shades of tone between the darkest black (MK) and paper white, allows for greater degree of latitude shooting in high contrast situations than silver, and along with the matte finish, lends an atmospheric, almost three dimensional quality to each print.  This is due to the metallic platinum imbedded in the paper fibers instead of in a gelatin layer above the surface as a silver print would have.  Unfortunately, platinum prints do not lend themselves to reproduction well at all.  Scanning is such a disaster with my otherwise marvelous Epson V750 that I now use a copy setup and my Nikon D90.  It just doesn't translate into any web graphic file well.  If you have a chance to see a platinum print in person, you will see for yourself, and I suggest you do so no matter the opportunity.  I was lucky enough to catch the Paul Strand exhibition curated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art last winter, and it was life changing (for me).  The last stop on its itinerary is The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (March 19–July 3, 2016)...don't miss it! 

Antique Auto, Kinzers, PA - 11x14 platinum print

My handmade platinum and cyanotype prints are currently available exclusively through Art On Main in beautiful, historic downtown Fairmont, NC.