Our silver gelatin prints

Welcome to the prints area featuring our silver gelatin prints!

Here is a small selection of our hand printed photos. All of these silver gelatin prints have been printed by us, by hand, using the artisan techniques of the traditional darkroom.

There will be more prints added soon, so do visit again for new additions!

We have been asked about some of the terminology used about the prints, which may be new to some readers. To help understand and appreciate the prints, we have provided a brief introductory explanation of some terms, which can be found here.

Silver gelatin print F.A.Q.'s

Silver gelatin is a phrase that has been adopted to differentiate black and white darkroom prints from other types of print production.

Although perhaps not a very ‘soft’ type of marketing description, it is an accurate one. The light reactive silver particles which are needed to create the image are suspended in a layer of gelatin that is coated onto the paper.

A silver gelatin print is very different to a litho print, such as in a magazine, or an ink jet print, sometimes referred to as a ‘giclee print’, where inks are blown onto a paper base.

   We love the silver gelatin print!

Fibre-based is a slight misnomer as the majority of papers, photographic or not, are based on pupled fibres ranging from wood through to cloth, such as cotton.

In our context, fibre-based is one of the two basic types of paper available to a photographic printer; the other type is called ‘resin coated’. A resin coated paper has a layer added onto the light sensitive emulsion that resists the development chemicals soaking into the paper fibres.

A fibre-based paper will allow the development chemicals to reach and soak into the paper fibres, if given enough time. However, it can be more receptive to slight variations in the process recipes. This enables fine tuning of a printed image in development and is significantly more receptive to print toning. Additionally, the image printed on a fibre-based paper has a visual depth to it, almost a 3d quality, not seen with other types of papers.

“What is a darkroom?” – This question is not as odd as it may first appear, especially to those with some knowledge of analogue photography and silver gelatin prints.

A darkroom is essentially a fully enclosed space where the light from outside the space is prevented from entering. This can range from the simple but functional; like a cupboard under the stairs, right up to classroom size spaces with ample room for many people. The important factor is that the outside light has no visual effect on the inside of the darkroom. For example; if the sun comes out or a light is switched on outside the darkroom, this cannot be seen from inside the darkroom.

When the light inside the darkroom is controlled, the light sensitive materials like silver gelatin paper or photographic film, can be removed from their light-proof packaging without any neglible effect. In the wrong type of light these would be ruined, which is not a good thing!

Selenium toned or selenium toning is one of many additional process that can be applied to a photographic print, generally after the image has been printed.

The selenium toner alters the composition of the silver particles in a print to a more stable condition. This can assist with protecting the image from deteriation and the long-term life of the print. The selenium toner can alter the image tone of a print, with different colour tones available, depending upon the paper type and ways of working with the toner.

Toners are a very useful tool for the printer to employ in creating a presentation print consistent with their creative vision.