My father had been trained as a photographer and through him I received an early introduction to the process. Professionally, I began shooting for corporate clients in the Northeast area of the US in about 2008. Corporate photography does have its rewards, but I’ve always been interested in alternative photographic printing processes. Two which have captured my attention are carbon printing and photogravure, processes that predate silver bromide and obviously inkjet printing.
Photogravure combines intaglio copper plate printing (the process Rembrandt used) with the carbon printing process. A copper plate is coated with an emulsion of gelatin and dichromate and dried, the plate is then exposed to UV light through a negative, then etched in ferric chloride, dried, rubbed with ink, and wiped clean. If you have done everything properly and used the right temperatures, the right humidity, chemical mixtures, UV exposure, and proper techniques, you will have an inked plate with the correct tonal ranges and contrasts reflected in the etching of the plate. Finally, the inked plate is pressed to paper on an intaglio printing press to create a print. It’s not a simple process, but the results are worth the effort.
My wife and I have recently moved to Chapel Hill from Florida, where we had a studio and a press. I am currently looking to set up a print studio in the area.