John’s Hand Colored Platinum Prints

Hand oil colored Platinum prints

By John Kasinger and Diane Mastel

Platinum printing is a labor intensive process in the darkroom which requires a lot of patience.  John Kasinger and Diane Mastel, a husband and wife team,  occasionally collaborate on photographic projects such as this. John makes the prints and Diane hand oil colors the images.

From start to finish John makes each and every print himself. He makes the images, the enlarged negatives, hand coats the paper with a mixture of platinum and palladium solutions and exposes each print one by one in his platinum lab.

Diane hand tints with oil paint specially formulated for photographic prints using cotton swabs and tiny brushes. Photographers have been adding color to their prints since photography was invented, sometimes completely covering the image, which was referred to as a “Heavy Oil”.

The prints are printed on Arches Platine. This 140 lb. paper is made in France by hand. The Arches Paper mill was started in 1492. Arches Platine is 100% cotton rag with no whiteners.

Platinum printing was the luxury photographic printing process from the mid 19 th century to the early 20 th century. The price of platinum soared after World War 1 and 2 and the process drifted out of practice. Photographic printing shifted to a much less expensive silver process.

The cost of platinum today makes the platinum print the most expensive and precious of all black and white photographic processes. Platinum prints are archival for hundreds of years when proper care is taken.

What you see below are  is all that is left out of an almost sold out  hand painted platinum series.

“Caressing Leaves”
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“Mystery Tree”
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“Dancing Limbs”
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“Summer Light”
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