Continuing the theme of Tuesday’s post about alternative printing processes is another short video, The Platinotypist, about the platinum palladium printing process. What appeals to me very much about working with alternative materials is the hands-on nature of the process. Unless you are printing digital negatives, the process doesn’t require a computer and only a minimal amount electrical equipment. I wouldn’t call it a minimalist process as you need a darkroom facility of sorts and other specialized equipment. I think what is different is the element of craft. That isn’t to say digital photographers have no craft, quite the opposite. But this is a visceral, tactile craft; alt. processes require one to mix chemicals, work with cotton paper and gums and carbon and silver. And the output is unique. You can’t just print the file out again. Along with the craft comes a bit of chance, of risk. If things go badly (as they are wont to do) you have to start anew. But when you have that finished piece of art, it is one of a kind, there is no duplicate of it. That is more than a piece of art, it is a piece of a nearly forgotten history.
Vimeo link here.