platinum / palladium printing

platinum printing is a contact printing process originally patented in 1873. at the time of its invention photographic enlargements weren’t practical, which meant you had to use a camera the size of the finished print you preferred.

i began making platinum prints in 1996. this labor intensive printmaking process soon became the medium i would use exclusively. it involves hand sensitizing individual sheets of paper that are then contact printed from a film negative in direct sunlight, or through strong ultraviolet light indoors. print exposures average anywhere from two to ten minutes and yield a print with a long tonal range, rich dark blacks with delicate whites. this tonal range is the hallmark of platinum printing and is why photographers in historic times used it to print their finest images. the quality of a platinum print is sometimes described as “holographic” since the coating absorbs deep into the paper and yields a unique, three dimensional quality that is not seen online or in other print media.

in 2013 i began placing sensitized sheets of platinum into large format film holders, exposing them as one would traditionally do with film. the resulting paper negatives are unprintable and reflect my interest in the perceptual limits of the medium while exploring the light and space that defines the desert spaces where i work.