Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/04/30

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Platinum printing and Alternative Colour Processes (was an introduction and some book recommendations)
From: "Gareth Jolly" <>
Date: Sat, 1 May 1999 09:57:26 +1000

Mark E Davison wrote:

>In my photography I have
>gone half digital: I shoot conventional 35mm film,  scan it (via a Nikon
>LS2000) into PhotoShop for processing, and then print to an inkjet printer.
>The results are way better than drugstore prints, but not quite up to the
>quality of a good platinum print <grin>.
>I love natural light, and living in the Pacific Northwest
>gives me a chance to sample the whole gamut, from brooding dark gray, to
>lovely soft diffuse, to stark sunshine (the last is a secret--it is
>sunny here part of the year!)

Are you a platinum printer?

It is a truly beautiful medium.  Difficult to do well.  Also awkward with
35mm as you have to contact print.

It should work beautifully with the light and tones you describe.  Platinum
seems to bring up mid tones extremely well and (at least with the paper I've
used) have an unusual grain / texture.

I did a course in it a few years ago.  Unfortunately, I haven't really done
any since the course.  But I have the notes kicking around somewhere and
would be happy to outline the process I was taught if anyone's interested.

Speaking of early photographic processes, has anyone's eye been caught by
Autochrome?  A colour process from around the turn of the century
(apparently from the Lumiere brothers) until around the 1930s, essentially
using RGB dyed starch molecules on a glass plate.  Grainy, soft, muted
colours.  No doubt you could do the same in 2 minutes in Photoshop, but I
tend to regard that as cheating.  Some polarchrome shots I have seen have a
similar effect.