There are only a few precious remaining historic cabins, mills, barns, and other buildings in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are under serious threat.
Not only do these buildings represent a unique time in American history, but they symbolize the pioneer spirit that America was built on.
Join Tim in helping protect the last remaining historic buildings in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Tim is using his 8x10 large format view camera and film to photograph the historic cabins, mills, barns, and other buildings so he can make handmade archival platinum prints. Why use large format film and make handmade platinum prints? Because platinum prints made in this way can last for thousands of years and ultimate help protect the natural history of these historic and quickly dwindling buildings.
Analog Film Photographer, Tim Layton is using an 8x10 large format view camera and film to photograph the last remaining remnants of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park historic buildings before they are gone forever.
Tim is using large format film so he can make handmade archival platinum prints to ensure the prints will be available for a thousand years or more into the future and possibly longer if properly cared for.
In the section below, learn why it is important to complete this special project and preserve the important history of these historic buildings in the park.
WHY IS THIS PROJECT IMPORTANT?
As you can see from the heartbreaking photos above, visitors are literally destroying the last remaining remnants of our Great Smoky Mountains National Park historic buildings.
As terrible as that is, there are additional threats to include the natural aging process and even natural disasters.
We were very fortunate the raging wildfires of 2016 didn't destroy many of these historic buildings. Over 2,000 regular buildings were destroyed from the fires and that easily could have included many of the historic buildings.
The fires started in November of 2016 and by December 12, more than 10,000 acres (15 square miles) had burned, killing 14 people and seriously injuring 190 other people. These wildfires are the largest natural disaster in the history of Tennessee.
Between the senseless destruction of the historic buildings by visitors and the natural aging process along with the threat of natural disasters, time is of the essence to create archival platinum prints before the buildings are gone forever.
Contact Tim directly if you would like to help bring this project to life. Everything from your generous financial support to helping with many other project related tasks is needed.
WHY PLATINUM PRINTS?
Although difficult and costly to create, platinum prints are the sine qua non of photographic art.
Discerning art buyers and collectors value platinum prints because of their ethereal beauty, permanence, and rarity.
Once a platinum print is experienced in person, it is usually a visual revelation because of its tremendous tonal range and delicate characteristics.
Platinum prints are also referred to as Platinotypes in the historic literature.
The platinum print dates back to the mid 19th century when chemists and photographers were exploring ways to make more permanent photographs. It all started in 1842 when Sir John Hershel discovered an iron-based printing process. Fast forward about thirty years and William Willis Jr. patented the platinum printing process that builds upon the light-sensitive research of Hershel.
Platinum is a noble metal and is one of the most stable known to science.
It is more precious than gold and because of its stability, a handmade platinum print that is made to archival standards can last for thousands of years as compared to 100 or 200 years for regular photographs.
Palladium is less stable than platinum, but it certainly is considered to be an archival print because you may be talking about.
Art buyers and collectors are well served by the archival properties of these noble metals.
In the 21st century, the vast majority of life and photography have been digitized.
There are only a small number of dedicated platinum printmakers actively creating artist original work with platinum and I am one of them. Many contemporary artists have chosen to work with palladium because it is easier and less burdensome on a technical level.
Since platinum prints are made entirely by hand, each one is unique and this is important when considering original artwork.
In the right hands, platinum prints are unparalleled in their beauty and many people describe them as having a three-dimensional appearance. When a platinum print is made, the light-sensitive iron particles chemically react with the platinum to form fine elemental platinum particles into and on the top fibers of the paper.
Because the resulting platinum is both woven into the fibers and sits on top of the paper, platinum prints have a depth about them unlike any other type of fine art photograph.
BEHIND THE SCENES