It's time for something new. It's time for the next step.
You may or may not know that when I first became a photographer I started building my portfolio in the beauty capital of the world; Paris.
I learned a lot in France and even found my style as an artist there but I was never too fond of its capital.
Finally the time has come for me to leave France for good and move to Spain or rather Madrid to be precise. Spain is the land of both my ancestors and my heart. I love Spain's language, culture and people. As for Madrid it's my favourite city in the world, I feel like it truly is the place where I need to be and will probably remain for ever.
I'm currently building my first studio in the district of "La Latina", in the heart of the city. One advantage of being a beauty photographer is that I need a lot less space than one might for some other specialisations thus I have decided to keep the shooting area small and luxurious, meanwhile upgrading my equipment to the highest specifications in order to satisfy even the most demanding of clients.
The new studio is set to be finished in July 2017 but if you wish you can already contact me to schedule tests or request a quote for an assignment.
Permanence is an obsession of mine. If something won't last, it isn't worth it to me. Thus I make unalterable palladium prints made to last centuries or perhaps more; to be accurate, they should last as long as the paper they are printed on if proper methods are used for conservation. The purpose of this primer is to recommend optimal practices in regards to storage or display of a print; by following the guidelines below, it should last for many centuries:
- Ironically one of the things that can do the most damage to a photographic print is light. While light won't have much of an effect on the printed areas of a palladium print due to the unalterable nature of the technique, it will cause damage to the paper. Placing the print behind ultraviolet protection glass will largely negate this issue.
- Tape, adhesive and contact with any acidic materials should be avoided during the framing process. This can and will most certainly cause damage to the paper.
- Humidity can also damage the paper, causing mould and foxing. However, an environment that is too dry (below 30% humidity) can make the paper brittle and extremely fragile. Ideally you should try to maintain around 40-50% humidity while avoiding fluctuations of more than 5%.
- The ideal temperature for storing and displaying a print is about 20 °C, however that does not mean that the room needs to be kept at this temperature. There are methods of local temperature control (the same applies for humidity control) that can be used.
Reading this you might think that art print conservation is complicated and full of constraints. In a way it can be but please note that what I have described are ideal conditions meant to preserve a palladium print for generations to come. Failing to follow my conservation guidelines does not mean that the print will disintegrate in years to come, in fact the print might still be fine by the time your heir inherits it, but it will not, however, last throughout the ages. In the end it's up to you to decide whether you share my view that beautiful things should outlast one's own existence.
This short article will likely upset some readers but I am known for always speaking my mind and thus that is what I shall do in writing. If you do not share my view you are certainly as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine and we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Art has been around almost as long as man himself. Its creation is the one constant that all civilisations have in common but the nature of art has been ever changing. At times art has been about documentation, aesthetics or expression; all of which I consider to be noble and worthwhile purposes but it would seem that in the 21st century things have changed...
There are still many true artists around but most don't get the recognition they deserve and while their great works fade into obscurity the art world is plagued by posers or would be artists. In fact many of the best known and most recognised so called artists of our time have ceased creating art out of passion; instead they base their art on pseudo-intellectual nonsense or artistic arrogance thus creating works that mean nothing beyond the monetary value assigned to them when they were sold.
Art should be more than a concept or an investment, it should have a purpose. What that purpose is should be for the artist to decide but the reasons behind the creation of a work of art should always be pure.
Personally, my creation process involves a search for something that comes from within the heart or the mind but never from an intention to impose my vision upon the viewer. I'll admit it: I want my buyers to appreciate my prints for their aesthetics and because they allow them see or feel something deeply personal, not because they merely see them as a good investment. You'll never find me making long speeches about one of my works, instead I believe that what one sees in it is very intimate because we will all see and perceive it differently. I'm always happy to explain what I had in mind during the creation process but my original vision is unique and personal; thus I prefer the initial impression to strictly be the uninfluenced viewer's. Indeed, it is my belief that art must stand on its own and never merely on the concept behind it.
As of late I have been experimenting with a process known as Palladium printing. In trying to figure out which would be the ideal method for printing my artistic work, I realised that durability and control were very important to me.
Unfortunately most modern methods produce prints that begin to degrade after a period of 70 to 300 years and since I wasn't interested in outsourcing the process to someone else anyway, I turned towards some older alternative processes and chose Palladium printing.
Improving upon the Platinotype, this process allows the creation of unalterable photographic prints that can last as long as the paper which they are printed on. Theoretically this means that a Palladium print can outlast any painting ever created if appropriate methods of conservation are used.
Being such an obsessive perfectionist I always shoot digitally and do extensive retouching before I print. The Palladium process is a contact printing method and thus makes for an excellent transition from my digital workflow.
Once retouched, an image is then turned into a digital negative and printed on transparent material. This newly obtained negative is then used in a contact printing frame in combination with a sheet of pure cotton rag paper, sensitised with a chemical recipe of my own design, before being exposed to ultraviolet light. The print is then developed, cleared and washed before ultimately obtaining the finished print after it has been hung and dried.
I thought it might be worth mentioning that I'm always looking for creative professionals to collaborate with, be it for personal projects or model tests. If you're located in Madrid and are a Model, Stylist, Makeup or Hair Artist, don't hesitate to get in touch with me!
If you are over 18 and a Model, either independent or agency represented (in which case you might have to talk to your booker first depending on agency policy) you should send me an e-mail clearly stating your age, measurements and reason for contacting me as well as including some polaroids or other non-retouched images on which your face is clearly shown.
As a Stylist, Makeup or Hair Artist please let me know what kind of collaborations you have in mind and send me a link to your portfolio or visual examples of your work.
I'm always happy to meet with bookers and discuss shooting their "New Faces".
Finally I am also looking for assistants from time to time. It's a good opportunity for photographers who are just starting their careers to gain some field experience and improve their craft.
To contact me regarding creative collaborations you can send me an e-mail at:
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