It’s been a busy few months working with new artists aswell as upcoming co-publishing platinum printing projects. Those who follow news on exhibitions and events at the National Portrait Gallery may have noticed in the latest ‘What’s On’ guide (June-August 2014) the announcement and illustration of the next series of platinum prints from glass plates and negatives held in the NPG archive to be made available. More detailed information regarding this next portfolio of prints will be posted in early July when they are released.





National Portrait Gallery ‘Whats on Guide’ ( June – August 2014 )

Platinum prints on Silk

April 21, 2014



Following on from previous posts looking at different papers used for platinum printing, I encountered a new substrate whilst browsing through an old Christie’s auction catalogue. Two lots by Horst were on offer which stated that they were platinum prints on silk. It went onto to say ‘Although a formal edition was never realized, Horst made a number of platinum prints on silk – no more than five – of each image.’


horst silk

Christie’s 6th October Auction, New York. Click for larger image.


I would imagine coating silk with platinum sensitiser would be quite challenging and it almost sounds a bit like ‘Gilding the lily’ however I will reserve judgment until I have viewed the prints in person which I will try and locate. Am sure they would have an interesting and unique reflective quality to them. I believe Sal Lopes printed for Horst when he was alive, perhaps he might know.

Experiments with a new shipment of Japanese papers continue at the studio with some positive results working on recent images shot by Stefan Milev. The amount of detail that is able to be resolved far exceeds prints created on watercolor and printmaking papers that I have used in the past, coupled with the highest dmax I have come across for a single layer print gives the prints a wide and rich tonal range. The image below is a direct flat bed scan from one the many proof prints created.



Its always hard to illustrate how the prints look in person on various papers so in future i will upload video’s to give readers a better idea,  as shown below. Click the HD logo to view on a larger player. More to follow.

Platinum Print Texture (Japanese Paper) from DC Editions on Vimeo.


Following on from my post on Horst’s upcoming exhibition at the V&A, there is currently a show at the museum that has just opened called ‘Selling Dreams, 100 years of fashion photography’. I had a chance to view this exhibit yesterday whilst visiting the print room and could not help but notice one of Penn’s most celebrated platinum prints, Harlequin Dress, opening the show. I say ‘opening’ it does share it with the largest Richard Avadon silver gelatin print of ‘Dovima with Elephants’ I have ever seen, which is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s worth going just to see those two prints however there are many other great fashion photographers represented including, Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Helmut Newton and David Bailey, alongside contemporary images by Steven Klein, Corinne Day, Rankin, Miles Aldridge and Tim Walker. The majority of the prints are silver, however if you go upstairs to the permanent photography exhibition it includes many excellent examples of alternative photographic processes including platinum, carbon, cyanotype. albumen, that are well worth visiting. ( Including another Penn platinum print from his street findings series, shown below)



Further Information

The exhibition explores the range of approaches to fashion image-making from 1911 to 2011. It comprises nearly sixty photographs, including many rarely exhibited and recently acquired works by more than twenty photographers such as Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Corinne Day and Tim Walker. This is the first touring exhibition from the V&A’s Collection to showcase the work of international fashion photographers and to draw together such a broad range of important historic and contemporary fashion images.


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