Platinum and Palladium Printing

Gallery Archives

Platinum/Palladium and Palladium Prints 1969-2004

Each is personally contact-printed on hand-coated paper, prepared, signed and embossed by Dick Arentz.  They produced in numbered editions from 2/50 to 45/50. Dick will continue to reprint these on order. The paper used is from the Crane’s Paper Co. legendary 1990 run of 20,000 sheets, under Dick’s specifications.

A variety of view cameras were used. At the beginning, Dick used the classic sizes of 4×5, 5×7 and 8×10 inches. From 1971 to 1983 Dick used the 5×7 and 8×10 cameras exclusively. The work with the 8×10 negative was important, as it laid the groundwork for Pt/Pd printing.

Banquet Cameras 1983-2004

Starting in 1983, Dick acquired the first of his historic Banquet Cameras. They had a long, rectangular format and were popular around the turn of the 20th Century for photographing large groups of people. At the time, lenses were not sharp enough to identify individuals if enlarged. Thus the prints were made by contact printing. Common sizes were 5×12,7×17, 8×20 and 12×20 inches. Dick started with a 12×20 inch Folmar Schwing, made about 1905. In 1991, he added a 7×17 inch Korona, of the same vintage. In 1998, in search of a more elongated format, Dick scribed an 8×20 inch rectangle on his 12×20 inch camera. A portion of that negative could be used to make a print.

Dick was asked many times about choosing subjects for the elongated rectangle. It does take some practice, but generally, Subtraction, rather than addition are practiced. In this way, the photograph becomes more selective, instead of the classic panorama format.

The images reproduced in The Grand Tour, The British Isles, Platinum & Palladium Printing 1st ed and Platinum & Palladium Printing 2nd ed, are made from film negatives.

Brush Strokes: In the preparation of the platinum or palladium print, the material that falls outside the image boundaries is exposed to maximum UV light. This will appear as brush strokes. In the 12×20 inch prints, I choose to show them or mask them, depending on the image. In the smaller sizes, 5×7 to 7×17 inches, I mask them out. For the final presentation, it is customarily up to the curator or owner whether to mat them out or let them show.

Dick stopped making negatives from film in 2004, however, he will continue to print by order in the near future. Therefore, this body of work is considered to be Archive Prints.


Platinum and Palladium Prints 1969-1983

Platinum and Palladium Prints 1983-2004

I began platinum/palladium printing following my internship with Phil Davis, at the University of Michigan in 1980. I first used the 5×7 and 8×10 inch formats. I acquired my first 12×20 inch camera in 1983. I was also able go back to some of my earlier negatives intended got silver-gelatin photography.

The 7×17 inch Prints

In 1991, I was able to expand my vision by obtaining a 7×17 inch Korona camera. It took  a bit of practice to be become accustomed to the long triangle. Actually, my first significant photo in that format was a vertical: Organ Pipe Cactus, Diablo Mts., Pd 1991. From there, I began the 8×20 inch format, using a portion of my 12×20 inch Schwing and Folmar.

Outside the Mainstream

My work in the Midsouth began with a Bernhein Fellowship in 1988. This included a stipend and residency at Bernheim Arboretum and an opportunity to photograph there and the surrounding areas.

I became like the guest to comes to dinner…and stayed. I found the environment refreshing from my usual photography in the American West and British Isles. Since I was also, at the time, working part time in my other profession, I left my camping van at the Forest and commuted with Flagstaff by until the fall.

In 1989 and 1990, I again used Bernheim as a base but extended my wanderings to West Virginia and the surrounding states. In 1990, I approached Thomas Butler, the Curator of Photography at the Huntington Museum of Art. He was impressed with work and arranged for a travelling exhibit and catalogue for December 1990. This was supplemented by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. It was titled, Outside the Mainstream.

Mr. Butler wrote an essay for the book, which also included a foreword by Merry Foresta, Curator of Photography at the National Museum of American Art.

“Dick Arentz has taken deliberate steps to show all sides of this landscape without falling onto timeworn, stereotypical approaches. He has succeeded through the honesty and humanitas, and photographs show a refreshing change” Charles T Butler 1990.

“Like (Ansel) Adams, Arentz has practiced his reverence of nature by making the most beautiful image of which he was capable. Like (Edward) Weston, Arentz discovered a formal vocabulary of shape – natural or man-made—in more subjective ways” Merry Foresta

Recent Work & Current Projects

Contact Information

Dick Arentz
1640 N. Spyglass Way
Flagstaff, AZ 86004-7382

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Dick Arentz is a professional photographer, and retired University professor, who specializes in the platinum and palladium printing process. He has conducted over forty platinum printing workshops and has had over seventy one-man exhibits. His work is represented in public and private collections, including the New York and San Francisco Museums of Modern Art.

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