Ansel Adams famously compared the different prints that could be made from an individual negative to the various possible performances of a score of music. (Adams trained as a concert pianist.) Black-and-white prints can vary in size, in the texture of the paper used, in their contrast, and several other characteristics, but the most important may be the medium used to capture the image—silver gelatin, platinum or platinum-palladium. Platinum prints are expensive because the material is costly and they are labor intensive, but they are valued because platinum is capable of subtle shades of gray, it is very stable and so not susceptible to deterioration. And, since the surface is nonreflective, there is an illusion of depth. A platinum print of a good negative is a physical object of great beauty. The Houk Gallery has up platinum prints of 13 of Elliott Erwitt's best-known photographs.
For the full review, please visit The Wall Street Jounal.