Making Photographs in Platinum and Palladium with the Contemporary Printing Process – Analog Forever Magazine
NK: It’s a huge book and almost half of it focuses on artists using your platinotype process. It’s really inspiring to see all the styles and artistic results that people are able to achieve with the same basic method.
PM: We thought this was really important because there didn’t seem like a better way to demonstrate the range of images that can be achieved with a process like this, as well as to show the range of qualitative differences, from very hot. very cold, on translucent paper. or not, and so on. When I first started printing in platinum, which was most lacking in my job, I desperately wanted to see good reproductions of platinum and palladium prints and they were hard to find.
NK: The artists you present are mostly contemporary, but there are also images that you printed by Imogen Cunningham, one of the great photographers of the turn of the 20th century, as well as her son Rondal Partridge. How did it happen?
PM: I have had a very long relationship with Imogen Cunningham Trust, making platinum prints of Imogen’s work. I started working for the trust in 1985 and worked with Ron for about 10 years. They had seen my platinum prints in Scotland and asked me to come meet them in Berkeley, and it was my first trip to the United States. Ron and Elizabeth Partridge were so generous and confident with me they were like family. Ron was such a character. He took it upon himself that he was going to train me and guide me and I was too arrogant to say, “Yes, I will be your sidekick Ron, I will be trained and guided by you”, so we clashed the whole time. But we also loved each other all the time. It was just amazing. I have learned so much from him.
When I started writing this book I called Meg. (Daughter of Ron and manager of the Imogen Cunningham Trust and Rondal Partridge Archive) She and her husband Craig were looking for an excuse to come from the west coast, so I said “Come on! They brought a bunch of scans and a few negatives and we spent the week doing prints together. They left me the negatives and I tweaked the prints and they gave me permission to put them in the book.