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.
Nathan Lomas has been a photographer since the age of five. He’s dabbled in painting and a few other pursuits, but photography is the one that stuck. “My dad put an old Ricoh camera in my hands about that age. I didn’t really know what I was doing,” he says. Jump ahead a couple of decades, and Nathan has definitely figured it out.
Nathan is The Image Flow’s newest team member, a photographer, adjunct professor, and studio owner specializing in making antique tintypes modern again.
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.
The Image Flow hosted cyanotype guru Daniel Coburn of the University of Kansas this past weekend for a three-day workshop. The diverse group of participants from across the country was nine-strong; 14-year-old prodigy Zac Mosher was the youngest, while the oldest (we won’t name names) was somewhere north of 70. Fun, photography, and Sol Food was had by all!
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.
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.
Teacher and artist Brian Taylor talks about his education, teaching and the “voodoo” of alternative process photography.