Lundy Canyon, 1993, 4x5 platinum/palladium print. Photo © Kerik Kouklis
Photographers who work with the historic, hand-made or otherwise alternative printing processes know that a good print requires a good paper. Each process has different requirements for what makes a “good” paper, and those of platinum/palladium printing are among the strictest.
It’s been almost 30 years since Kerik Kouklis made his first platinum/palladium print, and in that time, he says there’s never been such a selection of new and improved papers coming onto the market at the same time.
Here, in his own words, Kerik reveals the best of the best from long-time industry stalwarts Hahnemühle, Legion Paper, and Arches.
A platinum/palladium print, Time Portal, Lucca, Italy. Photo © Mark Nelson.
Mark Nelson, photographer and developer of the patented Precision Digital Negatives process, says you always have to be on the lookout for an opportunity. Mark gave up a successful career in the mental health industry to pursue photography, and while he has a loyal following of galleries and collectors, he is known for a system for generating the best digital negatives for alternative processes.
Interment, from Waiting for Rapture. Photo © Daniel Coburn.
Photographer Daniel Coburn says photography is about ideas. “As image makers we have a valuable opportunity to engage with a variety of historical processes, to make images that are beautiful, unique, and rich in concept.”
Daniel first discovered 19th century alternative photographic processes as an undergraduate studying under the accomplished alternative process photographer Marydorsey Wanless. Although he has recently come to be known for his work with the cyanotype process, Daniel has worked in the full range of alternative processes. He says it’s not about the process; it’s about choosing the right process for the project.
Toned cyanotype. Photo © Daniel Coburn.
There are very few opportunities to study the alternative photographic processes like gum bichromate, platinum/palladium, or wet plate collodion printing—especially in the west. The Image Flow brings together the world’s best photographers and instructors to teach these processes on a rotating schedule.
“For anybody interested in the alternative processes, it’s a rare opportunity to learn them,” said Ed Carey, owner of Gallery 291 and the alternative process workshop liaison at The Image Flow.