Artist of the Week: The less-traveled path

Star and Tibia, platinum/palladium print, 4 x 5"


From Polaroid Film to X-Ray Negatives To Platinum Prints

The less-traveled path

Don Dudenbostel is one of the rare breed of photographers who uses an x-ray machine with Polaroid film, and then prints the resulting negatives as platinum prints. Add to that the fact that Polaroid 55 film is no longer available, nor is the traditional paper for making platinum prints. He has definitely chosen the less-traveled path.

In the best of times, platinum printing is a complex mix of art and science, never mind that the platinum solution costs $2,000 an ounce. This kind of photography combined with this kind of printing is a true mix of art and science, the dual basis of photography. Most of the components he uses are virtually extinct. But those who love the beauty of platinum printing will know that his efforts are worth it for the resulting prints. They are rare and luminous in the depth of black and white color they yield.

The exquisite 5” x 7” prints he has produced in editions of 25 have just about reached their end point. A couple of years ago, he stockpiled film and paper. The supplies are running out. He has printed some of the images in larger sizes through the archival digital process, and they, too, are gorgeous prints, but for platinum aficionados, they are not the same.

Don Dudenbostel, a Knoxville-based photographer, is an award-winning photographer who has documented Appalachian culture over a 40-45 year period. There will be a traveling museum show of that work beginning in January 2010. Meanwhile, The Arts Company has some of his small exquisite platinum prints. His subjects are typically flowers, shells, instruments and other objects. He presents them all as equally elegant.

To see more of Don Dudenbostel's work click here.

posted: AB