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Making a Platinum Palladium Print That Will Last 1,000 Years


Photographer Tyler Shields recently paid a visit to Hidden Light LLC, a fine art printing business in Arizona. While there, he watched as printer Matt Beaty used the platinum/palladium printing process to turn one of Shields’ photos into a black-and-white print that can last 1,000 years or more.

You can watch the printing process for yourself in Shields’ 1.5-minute video above. The photo being printed is titled Swim Cap, and it was shot by Shields using the Hasselblad 503CW and staged to look as though it was created back in the 1930s.

“In short, the necessary chemicals are mixed and ‘painted’ onto the printing paper,” Hasselblad writes. “After the paper has had time to dry, the film negative is put on top, and together, they are placed in a special UV light machine. Afterwards, the image is put in a tub of water and the chemicals used to develop the image are thrown onto the paper. The image develops immediately.”

What resulted is a gorgeous print that Shields says is the “hands down best black and white print” he’s ever seen in his life.

“That thing will outlive me ten times over,” Shields says.

P.S. If you’d like to see more platinum/palladium prints, check out the work of Japanese photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi, who uses the process for gorgeous nature photos.

Image credits: Photographs by Tyler Shields and used with permission