santa croce florence italy platinum print by Ian Swann 

Platinum printing  has a long and treasured tradition, producing images with a soft gentle beauty and unrivalled longevity. The image is directly embedded in the paper and has a quality unlike any other photographic process. Because of this they are the preferred print for collectors of fine art photographs.

Platinum prints are in fact often made from both platinum and palladium metals. Pure platinum prints can have a rather cold tone and adding some palladium produces a warmer gentle tone. I use about 80% platinum in my prints. I add some palladium to get the tonal range I like. Platinum and palladium are noble metals and do not react easily with other substances and this is why platinum prints can outlast all photographs made with other processes.

All of my platinum pictures are hand printed by myself on ‘Arches Platine’ pure rag paper and are mounted and framed with the best archival materials I can obtain. It is my intention that they will last for many hundreds of years if cared for properly. They are archival tape mounted and the mounts are archival tape sealed to the super coated glass to give the best visual experience possible. A platinum print, properly made, is just paper and platinum/palladium metal and nothing else.

arches platine rag paper Ian Swann      hand painting platinum chemistry by Ian Swann

Every platinum print is an individual. All the prints in an edition will be very similar but because the chemistry is hand coated onto the paper each one is subtly different from the others. This individuality along with the tonal beauty and longevity, forms the properties of platinum photographs that make them so desirable.

If you would like to learn more about the platinum process have a look here at the  George Eastman House video:

One of the main beauties of platinum prints is that the image sits in the paper and not just on the surface as in a silver print, because of this the blacks in the image can be diluted by reflected light if lit from a poor angle. The super anti-reflective glass helps keep this effect to a minimum and if the image is positioned well the blacks look dark and rich.  This super glass also allows the beauty of the surface and the subtle image tones to show through as if the glass was not there.

All my platinum photograph are made in small editions. Always less that 25 and often 5 or 10, there are usually also 1 or 2 artist proofs.

Please contact me if you are interested in owning any of the pictures in the ajoining galleries or would like to talk about a commissioned portrait.

Platinum photographs carry beauty and knowledge into the distant future. Send a message!