Specialist Platinum and Palladium Printers

139 Printroom are specialist printmakers using the historical photographic processes of Platinum/Palladium, and Salt Print (Calotype). We work in close collaboration with Jack Lowe Studio, who produce for us the high quality full size negatives required for the contact printing technique. Jack was an early adopter of the Hewlett Packard method of producing such negatives and, as a result, we are now able to produce prints from both digital files and traditional film using this historical process. We offer a bespoke service to artists and photographers, who appreciate and enjoy the rewarding process of producing fine, high quality hand crafted prints.

The Salt Print
Originally called the Calotype by Fox Talbot who developed the technique in the 1830s, the Salt Print is the first photographic method of reproducing a print from a negative. The end result is a monochrome image of broad tonal range on Arches Platine paper with a warm, slightly reddish-brown colour. We always enjoy the dichotomy of making a print using the oldest known photographic process, from a digital file made on the latest multi-megapixel digital back. As for longevity, it is worth noting that prints made by Fox Talbot in the 1800s are as good today as the day they were made.

Platinum/ Palladium
Developed by William Willis in 1873, the Platinum Print is, for many, the epitome of photographic printing. Famed for it’s long tonal range and delicate warm colour, a Platinum/Palladium print possesses a luminosity not seen in more contemporary printing processes. Like most historical processes, the sensitizer is absorbed into the paper’s fibres rather than suspended in a flat emulsion on the surface of the paper. An idiosyncrasy of the process that also contributes to it’s unique qualities. Falling out of favour between the World Wars due to the huge increase in the cost of the raw materials (used for making bomb fuses), this printing method was resurrected by a few dedicated individuals in the 1960s. The American photographer Irving Penn famously spent many years perfecting the technique and, in the process, produced some of the most beautiful Platinum prints ever made. Regarded as the ultimate collectors print, Platinum/Palladium prints are so stable that they will literally outlast the paper on which they are printed.