Platinum process and Japanese washi

March 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

If you have ever wondered about how a platinum palladium photograph is created, here is a link to a fascinating video about Japanese photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi  https://vimeo.com/91495217 

There are so many challenges to alternative photography and I am often tempted to give up the whole large format camera/film  and darkroom stuff. But I have started testing Japanese handmade Kozo papers and am enchanted with the texture and the translucent quality. The images printed on this paper are unlike anything you have seen. There is a clarity to the image because of the larger negatives and at the same time, a texture to the papers that at first seems unrelated to the concept of LF photography!  But working with these papers is a joyful experience. They are fragile and yet, strong when wet. The fibres are obvious, unlike traditional photo papers. They can be translucent or almost opaque, natural in tones or creamier like the Arches Platine that I have used in the past.

At this time, I am still experimenting with 6 different kinds of washi. 3 have emerged as front runners- I find I am partial to the more lightweight, translucent and natural colour.  Today I continue Day 2 of my testing and am excited to be able to use these  beautiful papers. They all have different special qualities but I do need to narrow down the choices. I will let you know what I decide when all the experimenting is over.

I hope you are able to watch some of the video. Although about 30 minutes long, you will see the whole process, from shooting with a large format camera to processing the film, coating the paper and printing the images. I watched it today for the second time and found that it reinforced my choice to photograph this way. It is truly inspiring.


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Cory Stickley Photography

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