on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Platinum in Genesis

A Look at Platinum vs Inkjet via Salgado's Genesis Project

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We've already discussed Sebastio Salgado's Genesis exhibition, but this month also sees the release of 50 selected platinum prints also on display in London, at Phillips de Pury. As someone who prints with inkjet, silver and more recently alternate processes, including a recent start in platinum, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to view these exhibitions together on the same day. I have tried to approach it open minded, but realised the artisan in me couldn't help but want the platinum images to be 'better'.

So I joined the queue at the National History Museum before opening and went straight to the Genesis exhibition (another review here). This is a vast, epic exhibit, a real 'blockbuster' as I heard someone next to me remark. The images themselves focus on the natural world, encouraging us to reflect on our own lifestyles and our impact. Many images also feature indigenous peoples in their traditional dress. Salgado's inkjets are large and printed hard, very black and white yet managing to retain just enough highlight and shadow detail to make the image sing. This was no display of subtlety in the mid values, this was high impact printing. Most images work perfectly, but a few I found too 'overdone' to my taste, with a hint of an HDR type look. The inkjets themselves, are printed on a gloss paper, so that the blacks are incredibly dense.

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