Platinum prints to glass or not to glass?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Davec101, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    This issue has been bugging me for a while and it really became very evident when viewing an APUG members (Ian Leake) platinum prints a couple of weeks ago at a meet up in our area. When you view such prints in your hands without the glass in front of the print, there is a significant difference. In my opinion they are not only more luminous but have a lot more presence, some of the beauty is lost when glass is put in front of them. What is the point in a printer taking all that time and effort to create a hand made print on matt paper for this to negated by glass.

    There is only one well known person that I know of who has got around this issue, namely Kerno Izu’s Cyanotype over Platinum Prints, where the prints are mounted on aluminium with no glass in front of them. His prints go for around $5000, so I am sure he looked into this issue before he went ahead and framed them this way.

    I was fortunate enough to meet Mike Ware last week and he has various Platinum prints from friends around the world on his walls and they are just mounted in frames with no glass, I believe he occasionally uses a very soft brush if any dust accumulates on the prints. It was great to see such wonderful prints in all their beauty.

    What I would like to know is there any other well known platinum printers that show their prints this way. I am considering displaying my own without glass however I would like to hear more opinions from others more knowledgeable them me about the archival problems that one might encounter displaying them this way.



    (For those interested I found a really interesting document on the ‘Curatorial Care of Photographic Collections’, which does offer some good advice on preservation of prints. www.nps.gov/history/museum/publications/MHI/Appendix R.pdf )
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,305
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Location:
    Humboldt Co.
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I sometimes do, but how well known I am is debatable. :tongue:

    The greatest danger is someone trying to clean glass that is not there with Windex!...And people who can't talk without spitting

    Vaughn
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,443
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I put all my pt/pd behind glass, but then I exhibit them in public places where they need the protection. Even in my own home, though, they're under glass, and I haven't really noticed a loss of image quality from it.
     
  4. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

    Messages:
    1,020
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern, Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    g'day Dave

    i think you raise issues that go some way to negating the whole rationale for doing alt and FB printing

    if the value of an image is enhanced by it's tactility yet that handling will damage the print, you have to decide several issues;
    to protect with a cover or not
    to use the materials in the first place
    to allow handling/damaging
    etc

    Ray
     
  5. bruce terry

    bruce terry Member

    Messages:
    190
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Cape Fear NC
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Dave - Glass-less plat/pall prints are the ultimate, but also scary. As you mentioin, standard 'museum', 'conservation', and 'u/v' glass RUIN the nuance and color of such prints, as I discovered thru trial and error until stumbling upon "True View Ultra Clear" glass. No UV protection but who needs it with p/p, and NO GREEN whatsoever – leaving the image as close to perfectly-bare-naked as glass can get.

    If you or a framer can find it, I think you'd like it. Googling, I only came up with a PPG product name of Starfire Ultra Clear, which sounds suspiciously similar.

    Here's an interesting take on the matter:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2003_Sept_17/ai_107865683
     
  6. clay

    clay Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had a one person show two years ago, and I displayed 36 pt/pd and gumover prints with no glass at all. People commented on how they liked it. None were damaged.

    For the prints that sold, I offered them an option in framing to have Den-glass used for the glazing. Everyone who compared regular glass to Den-glass opted to pay the extra $75 for the Denglass.
     
  7. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    3,754
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Meeshagin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Incredible stuff. IMO best for PT/PD if you gotta have glass.
     
  8. SeamusARyan

    SeamusARyan Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Tunbridge We
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    samples in the photographers galllery print sales

    Hi Dave

    next time your in the west end pop into the photographers gallery print sales, I was in last week and they had a mock up using 3 types of glass hanging on the wall with a key behind it, go figure, I suppose it is done by the glass manufacturer, a photo behind it would have been nice.

    have you done any Pt/Pd prints for Stephanie? if so I'd love to see them next time I'm up with her
     
  9. CarlRadford

    CarlRadford Member

    Messages:
    1,945
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Location:
    Just outside
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    We get down to worth or value I suppose. If you own the print and can easily print another from the neg then surely go with the option you prefer. If it is work you have purchased or been given then that may require a little more thought.

    Looking at prints while handling them is the ultimate for me but then I have other peoples work on my walls behind glass!
     
  10. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Large Format

    Hi Clay

    Thats really interesting, are you going to do the same at your next exhibition? The Den-glass option sounds like a good idea.
     
  11. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi Seamus

    I remember seeing that glass in the print room, shame they did not have a larger sample to see the difference with an actual photographic print, rather than a brass key!

    At the moment my inkjet prints are too close to my platinum prints for my liking. Its early days however if I am going to take the time and effort to make platinum prints they have to be significantly divorced from my inkjet ones before I am happy, which could take a long time. (maybe cyanotype over platinum is a good option to try)

    I have a few platinum prints that do have a quality that are ‘unique’ to the hand coated process but not enough. I will be showing Stephanie a few of them in the next couple of weeks and will leave them down there for you to have a look if you like.

    Of relevance is that I remember last year seeing at one of the major photographic events Nick Brandt’s work, I think at the Atlas stand. They had one of his large animal framed prints in platinum and another the same size printed using a black and white inkjet. The price difference was obviously considerable and if I recall correctly was in the $1000’s. Did you see those? To me they were both indistinguishable in terms of quality and tonality. They both were excellent, although were behind glass and I think that is the way they would stay for the foreseeable future. I suppose its hitting two markets but for me it does not sit right having the prints side by side and looking virtually identical. Although I guess that’s where the market could be going.

    I was going to pay a visit to the V&A next week to see Irving Penns platinum prints, they have around 20 unframed examples up in the print room which I am looking forward to seeing, have you been to see them yet? I am sure the people in the print room curse when I come along because they end up having to get out loads of Portfolios and me getting my grubby hands on them ! :smile:.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  12. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Hi Carl

    I think you hit the nail on the head, it boils down to how much you would lose if a print got damaged and whether you could deal with that loss and also whether the print can be reproduced again, more often than not for competant contemporary platinum print makers, a platinum print is ‘fairly easy' to reproduce to some extent. ( that’s kind of why I also want to get into wet plate because you end up with something completely unique at the end of your work, but at the same time can be also be reproduced using ‘other methods’)

    I would love to hear the actual gallery owners opinion regarding the ‘archival-ness’ of Izu’s prints that are not framed behind glass. I will be sure to ask at the Howard Greenberg stand at Photo Paris in a couple of months time to see what they say.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  13. RobertP

    RobertP Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Clay, Where do you buy your Den-glass? Thanks, Robert
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I used to show in the Platinum Plus Gallery in Santa Fe and after it was changed to the Stevenson gallery in New York. They showed only platinum Palladium prints and showed some pretty famous people. They never hung the prints with glass. I have had at least 30 exhibits since then and always stipulated not to put in glass. People coming in to view the prints don't figure out right away why your prints look so rich and beautiful and it is partly because there is no glare to look through.

    I had a show at a frame shop gallery a while back and they wanted to use my prints to demonstrate that expensive glass as well. They had the glass that was anti glare coated like a pair of glasses. Very incredible. Very expensive.

    Actually though I have come to appreciate the jewel like quality of a print behind glass. And platinum prints are still special and beautiful behind glass. IMO

    Dennis
     
  16. Kerik

    Kerik Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    For long-term display of valuable prints, you're rolling the dice without glass. For works like that, the $$ spent on Den-glas is well worth it. My favorite way to look at prints is in my hands, unframed and unmatted. That's when the wonderful, tactile nature of the prints can really be appreciated.
     
  17. SeamusARyan

    SeamusARyan Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Tunbridge We
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Dave

    I completely agree about viewing the Nick Brandt's at Atlas, apart from the price there was very little to distinguish them from each other. They are made by William at Salto, there is a piece about Salto from M Smith in this thread
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum75/39665-salto-platinum-atelier.html
    I think they are almost too perfect, if that is something you can level at a Pl/Pd print.

    Has anyone heard anything about there being a problem with Penn's large platinum prints reacting badly to the glue holding them to the aluminum backing?
     
  18. clay

    clay Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,125
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    Location:
    Asheville, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You're gonna hate me. The framer I use had a contact at the wholesale place he gets his frame materials from. Anyway, I asked him about Den-glas, and he called them to ask about getting some. He was told they stopped carrying it about two years ago, but had a carton left in the back. They wanted to get rid of it, and sold it to me at 50% off of list price. I had the framer cut the glass to the standard sizes I use.

    When I googled Denglas, their website appears to be gone. I wonder if they are still in business? They were located in New Jersey, if I recall correctly.

     
  19. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,814
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    I think denglas is out of business, but Tru Vue has several anti reflective products, including "Museum Glass".

    Jon
     
  20. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Thanks for the link, I met Mike Smith at Photo Paris last year and he had one of the those very large platinum prints up at his stand that the thread mentions. They were indeed quite stunning, although i did not know they were made from '5 enlarged digital neagtives' and 'the paper is double or triple coated and the negatives are printed in register' sounds like a whole lot of fun!

    For those interested there is an article in the BJP this week about the father and son team, the Caffells, who are specialisits in platinum printing (Studio 31), I believe they have printed platinum prints from old negatives by David Bailey's and Sebastiao Salgado for an upcoming show in Stroud.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2007
  21. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

    Messages:
    826
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Belfast, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The majority of my silver gelatin prints are made on textured papers and the idea of placing glass in front of them really annoys me and seems wasteful.

    So much of the beauty is lost, I may just as well have used resin coated paper! I intend heading down to some local framers and discussing my options for glassless presentation.

    I'll keep an eye on this thread.
     
  22. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    I don t recall many or any paintings in museums in frames under glass, some worth millions and millions and millions.
     
  23. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,443
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    An oil painting has a somewhat different surface than does a photograph. If you accidentally sneeze on an oil painting, your fluids aren't going to ruin the paint or the substrate. The same can't be said of a photograph.
     
  24. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    A few years ago I went to the Cleveland art museum where they had a few silver prints by Edward Weston that were not only kept in a glass case but were on a timed light so you couldn't look very long.
     
  25. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

    Messages:
    896
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Cambridge, U
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    One thing i will just add that I forgot to mention was that I am sure galleries like the John Stevenson/Howard Greenberg would be insured against any damage made by the general public to a print. Obviously they would take every step to avoid making claims as their premiums would rise, but i suppose that gives artists like Izu the reassurance that if a platinum print without glass in front of theirs does get damaged whilst on display they will be recompensed.
     
  26. Kerik

    Kerik Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well, if you live in a museum, you probably don't have to worry as much about glazing valuable prints. Just be sure to keep your environmental control systems and red velvet ropes well maintained. Also, a good health care plan for your security guards...