Patrick Close - Type of Photography

My work is different from other photographers’ work in the province, probably because I use some older processes like platinum and palladium. Most modern photographic images are fixed through the use of a salt, a metal salt. Silver salt is the primary one that does black and white photography and colour photography. Now when I’m talking about photography here I’m not talking about digital photography because that’s quite a different process and it’s more like a television than a traditional film camera. But traditional film cameras that you make photographs with will use a salt of a metal. You can also use salts of other metals like platinum or palladium or iron salts, you can even use salts of uranium although that is quite dangerous. But I work with the salts of platinum or palladium and I make an image…I have to make a negative the same size as the print I want to make because that’s a contact printing process.

First of all I have to make the solutions up, coat the paper, dry the paper and then make the contact print on the paper using ultraviolet light. Either ultraviolet lamps in a darkroom or sunlight is a very good source of ultraviolet light, especially in Saskatchewan summers. And then I take that apart, the printing frame that it’s been in, and then I develop the resulting print. The cameras that you use are quite interesting because they have to be the same size as the print that you are going to make. So I use one camera which shoots an image which is roughly 8 by 20 inches and another camera which is 5 by 7 inches. And I have used 8 by 10 and 11 by 14 cameras all these measurements are in inches of course. And they’re quite interesting to use. It’s the classic image that you see of the photographer with the black cloth over his head and the tripod in front of him looking through.

Duration: 2:20 min
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