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02-10-2012, 12:53 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
And if you know how to make platinum prints you could milk the use of B&W film it for all it is worth, who wants a silver gelatin print these days? producing one 8"X10" platinum print typically sets me back about $150 in time and materials so upscale the print size to 16"X20" and the cost works out to closer to $900.

I'm amazed wedding photographer lensmonkeys have never figured that one out, I have heard of wedding photographers getting their prints done at Big-W and places like that....perhaps because platinum printing involves a big investment in time and a substantial amount of skill.

/rant - sorry I couldn't help myself I know wedding photographers who are just in it for the money, and personally that is abhorrent to me.
Platinum and palladium prints are amazing but a hellish amount of work (and very expensive - great for art gallery work where you can price to meet costs (and in fact if you price an 8x10 at anything less than $250-300 minimum you will fail and your work will be deemed more suitable to a home furnishing store or craft show )
Platinum prints priced at $450 for a limited edition of 25 8x10 would sell very well in a gallery situation in fact you can start pricing at $450 for 1/25 and raise it to double that by the time it's 25/25 without issue. the 16x20 could easily start at $2-2500

Any collector of photographic art will know the process and value

You would think the high end wedding guys (many of whom still shoot some B/W film) would actively market this idea wouldn't you? The only Platinum work i see is all fine art and priced as such. It's also not like you can send out for platinum to be printed which most of them do with film and digital, and in fact i doubt many have seen the inside of a darkroom in years. and most people who have done darkroom work have never done any of the more complex alternative processes that require you to make your own paper and a whole different workflow
I think a smart guy could do platinum, palladium (the budget platinum) bromoil and more for the wedding market (HMMMMM......is there a business model here?????)

02-10-2012, 05:19 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
Platinum and palladium prints are amazing but a hellish amount of work (and very expensive - great for art gallery work where you can price to meet costs (and in fact if you price an 8x10 at anything less than $250-300 minimum you will fail and your work will be deemed more suitable to a home furnishing store or craft show )
All too true, I typically double the price of my platinum prints so I can continue platinum/palladium printing whilst keeping it profitable, and yes platinum requires some very expensive equipment to print with - especially if you do enlargements, Platinum prints are typically done as contact prints. Fortunately for me I inherited my grandfathers UV enlarger* which is equipped with a Super-achromatic enlarging lens. To give you an idea what my platinum works usually cost I recently sold a 13"X19" pure platinum print to a collector for $1,670US

QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
You would think the high end wedding guys (many of whom still shoot some B/W film) would actively market this idea wouldn't you? The only Platinum work i see is all fine art and priced as such. It's also not like you can send out for platinum to be printed which most of them do with film and digital, and in fact i doubt many have seen the inside of a darkroom in years. and most people who have done darkroom work have never done any of the more complex alternative processes that require you to make your own paper and a whole different workflow I think a smart guy could do platinum, palladium (the budget platinum) bromoil and more for the wedding market
The problem is the rarity and expense of acquiring the equipment and developing the skills and knowledge of chemistry to mass produce the emulsion at a cost effective ratio (in my family we have our own method) but the most important material in platinum printing - ferric oxalate which has to be highly purified is extremely difficult to come by and getting it pre-made by someone else is difficult because there is no guarantee that it will be of high enough quality and making the stuff yourself can be hazardous from exposure to some pretty dangerous chemicals.

I have done platinum prints for a wedding once, but that was for an anniversary gift for family member. The two prints at 11"X14" I used an experimental platinum/rhodium combination which produced a very interesting split tone to the final prints. But the cost of mass producing prints like those would be astronomical, only collectors would be interested. But producing platinum/palladium prints for weddings? I hate to sound pessimistic but let's be honest about the divorce rate: here in OZ one in three couples end up filing for divorce, I don't know what things are like in the US but having a photograph that is going to last for over 1000+ years can be a liability for some people.

*It Uses a Carbon Arc lamp as the primary light source, Carbon arc lamps have an extremely strong emission spike at 400Nm which is perfect for platinum or cyanotype printing - but bad news for me, because concentrated 400nm UV-A light can be more than a little bit dangerous.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-11-2012 at 12:30 AM.
02-10-2012, 09:21 PM   #48
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It is very impressive to see platinum/palladium printing as a profitable enterprise. Good for you and I wish you continued success. Not the easiest nor cheapest of processes, but one that should be kept viable.
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