The Dark Challenge

To photograph a deep red dahlia in monochrome against an almost black background.

Even with a careful blend of natural and artificial light this is still a challenging proposition. The obvious choice of printing method to reveal the subtle tonality of this image is the Platinum/Palladium process.

Here is Richard’s finished result.

Dahlia 1. A  Platinum/Palladium Print by Richard Freestone

Dahlia 1. A Platinum/Palladium Print.


Platinum/Palladium Printing

I’ve always enjoyed the craft element to photography. No matter how the image was captured, on film or digitally, it is in the darkroom, crafting the print that I’m happiest.

The printing method that I use almost exclusively for my monochrome prints nowadays is the Platinum/Palladium process. If you would like to know more about this 19th Century process, please have a look at my website and blog that deal exclusively with Platinum/Palladium printing.

Although they are quite expensive to make, they have a number of advantages over other printing methods. Primarily they are so stable they will outlast the paper they are printed on. Secondly they display more information than any other monochrome printing method. They are quite simply the most beautiful prints you will ever see.

Here are a few of my own Platinum/Palladium prints and yes they do come from my garden. A place where you might gather I get a lot of inspiration.

dried acer seeds

Dried Acer Seeds

leaf from a fatsia tree

Fatsia Leaf

dried sunflower heaads

Dried Sunflower Heads

japanese anemone seed pods

Japanese Anemone Seed Pods

And here is a print we made recently for Magnum Photos. It is an early (1966) photograph of Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker.

Muhammad Ali By Thomas Hoepker

Muhammad Ali By Thomas Hoepker