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Platinum and Platinum-Palladium Prints

Invented in 1873, the platinum print is made on paper sensitized with iron and platinum salts, placed (usually) in contact with a negative, exposed and then processed to produce an image of fine particles of platinum. A range of image hues can be achieved by varying aspects of the processing. Platinum images, held in the surface fibers of the paper, are permanent and highly detailed, with a wide tonal range and a velvety, matte surface. Use of the process waned during World War I when platinum's cost rose, leading to the use of palladium. With their distinctive aesthetic, both materials enjoyed a renaissance in the latter decades of the twentieth century and are still used today by some photographers who prepare their own papers.

Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs

ca. 1926, platinum print

Laura Gilpin

born Colorado Springs, CO 1891-died Santa Fe, NM 1979