Gelatin Silver Contact Prints
A contact print is produced from a negative that is the same size of the original camera. The negative is pressed tightly against a piece of gelatin silver photographic paper with a sheet of glass, hence the “contact”. It is then exposed to light and processed using photographic chemistry. This creates an image made of metallic silver. This silver print is a unique medium that produces an intense, high fidelity image that will last hundreds of years.
These photographs were made with antique wooden view cameras built over 100 years ago using lenses and a wooden tripod that are almost equally as old. Wood is a very strong material, yet lighter and easier to carry on location compared to most modern metal counterparts.
Producing photographs with these traditional tools and processes gives one an intimate connection to classical creative photography. It conveys a sense of authenticity to the photographs that is evident in the craftsmanship of the handmade prints.
The photographic silver process is an exquisite 19th century technology that is unrivaled because of its beauty and longevity. Silver is a photographic medium that is quickly disappearing due to the development of digital imaging.
One hundred years ago, photographs told the story of the American West and an era when life was simpler. They highlighted the beauty and tranquility of the western frontier and captured the intimate relationship of humanity with the land and animals. But it is not just a cultural memory, it is our American identity, an identity we are still connected to today.