Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper Has Proven To Be an Outstanding Paper

June 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Making AP Platinum & Palladium PrintsMaking AP Platinum & Palladium PrintsYou may also enjoy my free darkroom photography newsletter and my magazine, The Darkroom Underground, devoted exclusively to analog photography covering a balance of technical and creative topics. Paper choice is critical in the platinum printmaking process, arguably, more than all other photographic processes.  That may sound like a bold statement, but since the platinum print is the most archival of all photographic processes, the weak link in the process is the paper for skilled printers. 

I have been printing with Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper for almost a year now and I have made over 100 prints so far. Some of the key characteristics of my paper choice besides archival performance includes exposure range, texture, and color (tonal values).  

If my paper choice can't provide the archival characteristics I need, then nothing else really matters.  Hahnemühle Platinum Rag is 100% cotton, has no optical brighteners, acid free, and it is uncoated.  These are key elements that I believe a good platinum paper must have.  Hahnemühle Platinum Rag is a substantial paper at 300 gsm and has some sizing which allows me to easily make consistently high quality coatings with my very expensive platinum emulsion.  I coat with a brush and this paper is well suited to my coating style.  

Getting ready to make some Pure Platinum prints with Hahnemühle Platinum Rag paper.Getting ready to make some Pure Platinum prints with Hahnemühle Platinum Rag paper.Free Darkroom Newsletter for Analog Photographers - The Darkroom Underground, Your Analog Photography Magazine I have extensively tested Hahnemühle Platinum Rag from an exposure range perspective because it is critical that my paper can take advantage of platinums very broad tonal range.  I am able to make pure platinum prints with none of the issues often associated with pure platinum.  I think it is a combination of the paper and my choice of development chemicals and my printmaking methodology.  I am able to vary the tonality of my prints from classic pure platinum monochromatic to the warmer tones associated with palladium.  I find that Hahnemühle Platinum Rag warms up with just a single drop of palladium and the midtones are very smooth and gradual.  I love having the ability to make pure platinum, pure palladium, or platinum/palladium prints with this paper. 

In addition to exposure range, tonal values and density are important because I feel these aesthetics are the heart of the print.  I love showing my platinum prints to people that have never seen one before.  

The average person has no idea what they are looking at beyond the idea that it is a photograph.  It is a joy for me to watch someone look at the print and slowly start asking questions because they have never seen a platinum photograph in their life.  Most people instinctively know that what they are looking at doesn't look anything like a modern digital photograph.  Watching them realize they are looking at something very special makes all my hard work worth it.  

Enjoy the video below where I share some of my artist proofs.  I created pure platinum, pure palladium, and platinum/palladium prints on Hahnemühle Platinum Rag to explore which version I liked best for my project. 

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-Tim Layton 

The Darkroom Underground is your analog photography magazine produced on a quarterly basis serving photographers, artists, collectors, and readers around the world. Publications are released on Jan 1st, Apr. 1st, July 1st, and Oct. 1st.  The Darkroom Underground publishes a balance of technical and creative articles in every issue along with featured photographers and their portfolios. We are pleased to offer editorial from internationally recognized photographers and writers and also publish articles and portfolios from our readers. 

If you like this type of article then you will probably enjoy my free darkroom newsletter and my darkroom and large format training materials (Video Workshops, Quick Reference Cards, eBooks)

Tim Layton
B&W Fine Art Analog Photography
Darkroom Underground Magazine: www.darkroomunderground.com
Darkroom & Large Format Training: www.timlaytonfineart.com/workshops
© Tim Layton Sr. | All Rights Reserved

 

 


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