My hand made alternative photographic process prints are created as unique prints or in very small editions.
Printing-out Palladium (Ziatype) is a photographic printing process that involves the precious metal palladium in a light-sensitive solution that is hand-applied to fine art paper. First I create a digitally enlarged negative the same size as the desired printed image; I place that in contact with the coated paper and then expose it under ultraviolet light. What is distinctive about palladium/ziatype, and what drew me to begin working with it some years ago is its beautiful tonal gradations, flexibility in achieving different color tones, great archival stability, and the ability to combine it easily with other processes like cyanotype or gum bichromate.
Cyanotype is one of the earliest photographic printing processes, dating to the 1840s (the first photographic book was a book of cyanotypes, made by Anna Atkins in 1843). The cyanotype process results in an image or layer that is Prussian Blue in color, but the color may be changed greatly by bleaching and toning. I often use cyanotype as a second, complementary overprint on a ziatype, mostly to intensify the shadow values and add a bit of coolness to them without them going blue (although that can be nice, too).
Gum bichromate is also a photographic contact printing process, which is based on the light sensitivity of dichromates. Tricolor gum involves using color separation negatives to make separate layers, or “passes” which can combine to render colored images that can fall on a continuum from quite painterly or quite photographic. Gum can also be used to create monochrome images, or may be used as additional layers over prints made using other processes such as cyanotype, platinum, or palladium. I’m especially drawn to gum because of its great flexibility, ability to work in interesting ways with color, and its potential for interpreting photographic images.