Platinum Print – The Invention of Photography 3.39 min video created by George Eastman House.
Platinum prints are characterized by their delicate surface and subtle tonal gradations. They are made by sensitizing paper with iron salts and exposing the paper in contact with a negative until a faint image has formed.
The paper is then chemically developed in a process that replaces the iron salts with platinum and intensifies the image.
Platinum prints were popular with art photographers around the turn of the twentieth century, but when World War I caused the price of platinum to rise, palladium (a related metallic element) was introduced as a more affordable substitute.
(This video is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MA-10-13-0194.)
George Eastman House, an independent nonprofit museum, is an educational institution that tells the story of photography and motion pictures—media that have changed and continue to change our perception of the world.