For its roughly 140-year history, the platinum and palladium process has been regarded as the pinnacle of photographic printing technology. This matte-finish artisinal medium, with each print individually hand-coated by brush, bestows warm, velvety blacks, and a sense of atmosphere and distance utterly unlike today’s mass-produced inkjet, Giclee or silver prints. With the precious metals embedded in the fibers of the cotton paper, the image cannot fade. Our unique proprietary technology transfers your digital images direct to the paper without the traditional need for a negative, so we can focus on the finished print and providing the individual service and attention your investment deserves.
A History of Platinum-Palladium Printing
The platinum process was developed in Britain in the 1870’s by William Willis, Jr. from attempts to create a more stable alternative to silver prints. Between then and World War II, numerous practitioners, including notables like Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston and Frdederick H. Evans, tweaked and improved on it. From early on, these prints received warm reviews at exhibitions, and became the process of choice for its warm, subtle tonality and matte finish.
Edward Steichen (American) – (Moonlight – The Pond) 1904. The platinum print version of this image sold at Sotheby’s New York for a record-setting price of $2.928M in 2006.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, platinum print, 1920
Unlike silver prints, which have their sensitizer suspended on the surface of the paper in a gelatin emulsion, platinum and palladium prints have their noble metals embedded in the paper fibers. Not only are they archival by their essential nature, but many find them prone to a more gentle, less harsh appearance than silver or other media. From the 1970’s, an effort led by Vogue photographer Irving Penn found that combining platinum and palladium created an even finer result than either metal alone. Artifact Foto prints use a palladium-dominant sensitizer for the rich blacks.