Alternative Process Photography

Alternative, or non-traditional, processing allows the photographer to interpret an image in a unique way, creating a one-of-a-kind work of art, rather than an infinitely reproducible image.
 
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Platinum Palladium

Platinum Palladium prints are considered to be the finest of monochrome photographic printing techniques and are favored by collectors for their appearance and archival qualities.  The tones are rich, with velvety blacks, expansive mid-tones, and soft highlights.   Invented in the 19th century, the technique was used extensively in the early 1900's.  It then fell out of use until it was revived by Irving Penn in the 1960's. 

The platinum palladium print starts with paper that is hand coated by the photographer.  Once the print is exposed and developed, the brush strokes are visible.  Because each print is hand coated, no two are identical and the brush strokes make each one a unique piece.  Galleries typically frame platinum palladium prints so that the brush strokes are covered by the mat, but some prefer to leave them exposed.  It is really a matter of personal preference.  I print a limited number of my platinum palladium prints, with editions not exceeding 25 per image.


 
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Photogravure

Photogravure is a very old method of reproduction, dating from the mid 1800's.  Traditionally, the photographic image is transferred to a copper plate, which is then etched in a series of acid baths.  The print is then made from the etched plate using a traditional printing press and acid-free paper.  A wide variety of papers can be used, ranging from traditional pulp paper to delicate Japanese washi papers.

A more modern process uses photopolymer plates that can be etched in water.  I've worked with both, but have transitioned to photopolymer because it is less toxic and kinder to the environment.

My photogravures are signed and numbered.  Once the edition is completed, the plate is retired.