Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Master of Platinum: Interview of Dick Arentz for Outdoor Photographer Magazine

August 9th, 2016

Master of Platinum and Palladium: An Outdoor Photographer Magazine Interview with Fine-Art Photographer, Innovator and Printer Dick Arentz

Cover of August Issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine.

Cover of August Issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine.

The August 2016 Outdoor Photographer Special Issue of the magazine print version features David Leland Hyde’s interview of Dick Arentz, an acclaimed large format photographer, workshop co-leader with Philip Hyde and expert platinum and palladium printer. Now the article, Master of Platinum, is available online.

The Arizona Arts and Humanities Commission honored Arentz as one of the most significant artists in the state. He helped Phil Davis develop the companion volume to Ansel Adams’ Zone System called Beyond the Zone System. He also has been researching 19th century techniques, testing, leading workshops and defining Platinum and Palladium printing for 43 years. His book, Platinum and Palladium Printing, is known in online forums and industry magazines as the quintessential book on the subject.

For those who are not familiar with this complex and difficult photographic black and white printmaking process, Arentz gave me a simplified summary himself:

In Platinum printing, as in most non-silver processes, an intense ultraviolet light must be passed though the negative to expose the paper coating. Because this is a higher intensity of light than is possible to project from an enlarger, the process requires contact. Before the ground breaking digital work of Dan Burkholder, there were basically two choices for the making of a negative: in-camera, or photo-mechanical enlargement by projecting the image on multiple stages of duplicating film. Later on, it became possible to use a service bureau to have a negative made using their image-setting equipment. Now, of course, using Burkholder’s method, many times with refinements added by others, a suitable negative can be made using an ink-jet printer.

As for the coating on the paper, the platinum process is one of many that depend on the reduction of a metallic salt to a pure metal. Instead of silver, which is most commonly used, platinum and/or its sister metal palladium make a high quality reproduction. Those with bit of background in photographic history know that in the nineteenth century, silver compounds were coating on paper as well. At the turn of the century, when commercially prepared silver gelatin paper became available, commercial platinum/palladium paper followed. However, pre-prepared platinum/palladium paper went out of production after World War I, though a packaged palladium paper was briefly available in the 1990s.

Arentz is known for his subtle, yet vivid and luminescent black and white photography presented through platinum and palladium prints and fine art photography books. His books are profound personal statements of his unique vision. Besides Platinum and Palladium Printing, Second Edition (2004), Arentz has published Four Corners Country (1986) with introduction by Philip Hyde, The American Southwest (1987), Outside the Mainstream (1990), British Isles (2002) and Italy Through a Different Lens (2009).

For more about his development as a photographer and lead technician of his printing medium, and for his words of wisdom about projects, making subjects fresh and capturing unusual perspectives seek out the Black and White Special Issue of Outdoor Photographer in print and on newsstands and in bookstores now. It can often be found at Barnes & Noble and some Safeways. The August Black and White Special Issue is also loaded with many other excellent articles on black and white photography. An online version of the article is now available at Master of Platinum. If you want the print version, pick up your copy soon because special issues sometimes sell out early.

New Release: Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Switzerland

April 20th, 2011

New Release: Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, 1994

Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, copyright 1994 by Philip Hyde. Photographed from the hotel window in Zermatt. Never before published or printed.

(To view the photograph full screen Click Here.)

In June 1994, Ardis and Philip Hyde ventured to Europe by way of transatlantic flight to begin the first in a series of Swiss Hiking Trips. Ardis Hyde was 69 years old and Philip Hyde was 73. They flew from Sacramento to Chicago where they met the trip organizers Bill and Barbara Bickel and the 19 other participants of the Swiss Hiking Trip adventure. The group then embarked on an overnight flight to Zurich, Switzerland on a Boing 767 airplane.

Ardis and Philip Hyde sat next to the galley. They became acquainted with the flight attendant, named Janis, in charge of the kitchen. They loaned Janis their book about the Normandy Invasion. Ardis Hyde wrote in her travel log that the flight attendant, “gave us a bottle of wine and generally ‘bonded’ with us.” The Swiss Hiking Trip resulted in many such pleasant encounters and new friendships between the participants that lasted for some of them the rest of their lives.

The Swiss Hiking Trip concept simply brought various retired people together and provided them with an organized, yet leisurely itinerary whereby they could progress in various divisions and subdivisions of the group, hiking at their own pace between mountain inns and chalets in the high Swiss Alps. Philip Hyde brought along only his 35 mm camera on the first trip.

In Zurich, the group boarded a train to Kandersteg, Switzerland. In a little over three hours they arrived in Kandersteg under cloud wreathed peaks and walked to their hotel. The room was spacious with three windows and a balcony that “looked out at the range of peaks without any obstruction.” Ardis and Philip Hyde strolled through Kandersteg, bought topo maps and returned to the hotel for showers, dinner and an early bedtime.

The next day, the first of many days hiking, took them by the Kander River and Selden, Switzerland where they met back up with the group for “soup at a long table in the yard.” The highlights of the hike were an infinite variety of wildflowers all at peak and a stop at Waldhaus at the bottom end for apple strudel and hot chocolate. The next four days consisted of more hiking in the Kandersteg area and beyond, with frequent rides on steam and electric trains, aerial trams, cog trains, gondolas and cable cars. Seven members of the group took a side trip to Locarno, Italy. Ardis Hyde wrote in her travel log:

It was a verdant route traversing steep gorges with fast dropping streams below. In Locarno about lunch time we walked from the new train station down to Lake Maggiore and around the landscaped edge faced by continuous restaurants. We picked one, Al Pozz, and sat down for a good green salad and pizza. We hurried back for the return train and train change at Domodossla, Italy, headed for Brig, Switzerland. At Brig we changed to the cog train to Zermatt. While making 35 mm camera photographs Philip almost missed the cog train. The doors closed and the train began to move as he became aware. Cathy, one of our party inside the train, asked the conductor to let Philip on. The conductor stopped the train, opened the doors and Philip got on board.

The train progressed on up to Zermatt, which from the entry direction was not especially impressive. We could not see any high mountains in the surroundings right away. We checked into the Excelcior Hotel. In our room number 52, we crossed to the window and there was the Matterhorn in all its glory. We could see it while in bed too. The room windows also looked out over the town and down onto three old barns with slate roofs. We walked down four flights of stairs to the dining room for dinner. The Matterhorn was still out at sundown.

The Matterhorn was fully out all night. We watched the sunrise and the light and clouds change on the mountain. A beautiful cirrus streamer appeared as if it came out of the peak itself. Philip made a 35 mm photograph of the Matterhorn from the hotel window.

For the first time ever, Philip Hyde’s 35 mm photograph is now offered as an archival fine art digital print. In the film era, Philip Hyde did not consider his 35 mm images printable, but with digital print processing, high resolution drum scans of 35 mm film photographs can be blown up and printed up to 24X30 while retaining comparable print detail and quality to prints made from drum scans of 4X5 color transparencies.  For a limited time, “Matterhorn With Cirrus Streamer, Zermatt, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, 1994” will be available at Special Introductory New Release Pricing.