DnaEuropeInterview with Max Caffel, owner of 31 Studio

The 31 Studio / The Platinum Printroom is the foremost specialist for Platinum and Platinum-Palladium printing in the United Kingdom.

The 31 Studio / The Platinum Printroom is the foremost specialist for Platinum and Platinum-Palladium printing in the United Kingdom.

They were the first dedicated workshop to be specifically set up, to revive this lost art. The Studio has the capability to create prints from multiple sources, such as the historic glass negatives of Jacques Henri Lartigue, through all the many generations of film negatives, positives and prints, on to present day digital files. [Website]

Can you please introduce yourself for those who don’t know?

We are 31 Studio; we specialise in the art of Platinum/Palladium printing, a photographic process that was hugely important at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

R.Max Caffell | Michelle Grant | James Porter | Elizabeth Caffell

Could you tell me a little bit about the studio?

31 Studio was established by my father, Paul, in 1988, as a platinum palladium printroom. Paul was inspired to use this 19thC process after seeing the Sea of Steps by Frederick Evans at The Royal Photographic Society in Bath. The incredible variety and subtlety of tones he found in Evans’ image proved irresistible, and Paul undertook learning how to use this process. His intention was to use it primarily for his own personal work and then to set up the first dedicated Platinum printing studio in Europe. Initially based in London, the studio is now in a small village in South Gloucestershire.

Could you explain about the history and process of platinum printing and the influence of your father?

People had been experimenting since the 1830s with using platinum to create photographic prints because of its permanence. In the 1870s, William Willis managed to find the right combination of light-sensitive irons with platinum to create the first platinum print.  He subsequently patented his process in 1873, and formed the Platinotype company in 1879.

Platinum printing is distinctive amongst modes of photographic reproduction – because it is chemically inert, Platinum does not react with light or deteriorate with time. Platinum prints have an utterly distinctive tonal range – there are no absolute blacks or whites: the print is produced in incredibly subtle tones of grey, so that even the deepest shadows have an expressive character and detail.  Rather than lying on its surface the metal is absorbed into the paper, so the print not only responds to light differently to traditional black and white prints, but every print of the same image is absolutely unique, a consequence of even minimal differences in handling and personal judgements by the printer.

To enjoy and get the most out of the practice of platinum printing dedication and full engagement when in the darkroom are required, not to consider it as work, more as ‘a way of life’ – this was the phrase Paul would often use and this has probably been the biggest influence on me. When Paul started 31 Studio he had to learn the process virtually from scratch, as there were no contemporary practitioners to guide him.  A belief in the artistic potential of Platinum printing led the leading fashion photographer David Bailey to 31 Studio. Bailey’s interest in the Platinum process was matched by an increasing number of other photographers searching for a distinctive and sensitive means of printing their work. By the mid 1990s this led to an expansion of 31 Studio’s business.

Peter Dazeley | Solarised Man, 2005 | © Peter Dazeley

Can you tell us a few words about the beginning of your career in photography?

I have been involved in the studio for over 20 years. While studying sculpture at university, my desire to understand more about the medium of photography was reflected in my final thesis ‘Rodin and Photography’. Like my father, I also fell in love with the platinum process through a need to see my own work translated into this tactile and archival medium. My sculptures had taken on a transitory nature and the temptation to ‘fix’ these fleeting pieces in the permanent and aesthetically timeless process that platinum prints convey prompted me to step on board with my father.

What is the secret of making a studio successful?

The studio has constantly evolved – by the end of the 20thC we were working with both historical archives and contemporary artists / photographers. As a studio we have always embraced challenges set to us by the various people we’ve had the pleasure to work with. Maybe because most of the team involved with making platinum prints at the studio are artists in their own right, no one feels rigid or daunted by the constant questioning of how platinum printing can be used.

Mirella Ricciardi | Turkana Girl, Lake Rudolf, 1968 | © Mirella Ricciardi

“… One day as I was walking along the shores of Lake Turkana in Southern Kenya, I came across a lovely nubile girl standing like a bronze statue in the heat haze on the waters edge … the vision stopped me in my tracks – she seamed quite stiff as she looked down into my lense – I couldn’t believe my luck – when our little seance was over, I took the film out of the camera and wearing only a brief bikini, stuffed it into my bra, because it was so hot, I dived into the water and remembered the film when it was too late – this image is the only one that survived …”

In general, what is your goal in curating art exhibitions and 31 Studio?

Periodically the studio has been involved in curating exhibitions from its archive, juxtaposing historical and contemporary images, subjects varying from portraits, landscapes, nudes and abstraction, a visual delight, always creating a dialogue and exchange within the diversity of what photography and the platinum technique can bring.

Could you tell me about the Platinum and Platinum-Palladium Prints?

Although the method of making a Platinum print is relatively simple and hasn’t changed significantly since William Willis created his first Platinum print in 1888, it is a highly sensitive process, the paper and climate in the darkroom have to be monitored constantly to control and maximise the various ways we are pushing the process in interpreting the wishes of artists and photographers. It is an Ultra Violet sensitive process, so although we still call it a darkroom, our ‘room’ is lit by normal bulbs and is never dark.  As the continuous tone film became less consistent, the need to embrace digital technology to help create the enlarged contact negatives became obvious. We tried various methods, with an adapted light jet, lambda printer, stochastic printing, before feeling confident with the Inkjet printer.  The prints we made with the artist Manuel Franquelo are some of the first to not only work from digital files but also show how the initial artwork is not made with a camera but this time as a drawing.

Manuel Franquelo | Still Life with Bird, 1996 | © Manuel Franquelo

How would you sum up contemporary photography?

Contemporary photography has shaken off it’s nervousness towards the use of digital, allowing a freedom for any expression to be used. The platinum process, the way we approach it, can work from any format or source, to the point that at times no camera has been used in the creation of an artwork.

Are there any future projects you are excited about and would like to share with us?

Every year brings new and exciting projects, last year we had a very successful retrospective celebrating 31 years of 31 Studio, which this year we are working towards touring internationally. Recently finished shows for Sebastian Copeland at Galerie XII in Los Angeles and
Mirella Ricciardi in Petworth in West Sussex. An exhibition of Don McCullin’s work at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, opened last week and will be going on tour, and René Groebli will be exhibiting with Bildhalle, Zürich in February.

René Groebli | Eye of Love #516, 1953 | © René Groebli

In closing, is there anything you would like to say about your studio or your roster of artists?

We are very fortunate to work with a wide variety of artists and photographers ranging from historically important archives – Jacques Henri Lartigue, Lee Miller, George Eastman House, The Royal Photographic Society; to images by Bill Brandt, Bailey, Linda McCartney, Mirella Ricciardi, Sebastião Salgado, David Bruce, and contemporary artists Alinka Echeverría, Simon Starling and Idris Khan to name but a handful.

Could you tell us about the fun you have collaborating with photographers and artists?

31 Studio has always embraced people with their own artistic practice working within the team, enabling the Studio as a whole to look at each project with a broader aesthetic perspective.  This might evolve into combining processes/materials with Platinum, or striking out in a different direction with processes such as cyanotype and anthotype if it fits with the artist’s vision for their work.  We love working with photographers who push creative boundaries, for example Peter Dazeley with his solarised works, it was the first time we tried this, thus it’s always collaborative, engaging and stimulating creatively.

John Haynes | Beckett, 1973 | © John Haynes

Magazine

CALL FOR ENTRIES

AN AMAZING PROMOTIONAL TOOL DESIGNED TO EXPOSE YOUR WORK WORLDWIDE

DEADLINE: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 31, 2021

PHOTO: © JO LAUREN | UNITED KINGDOM | ISSUE 10
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Z.jpg

Simply Stunning Landscapes – Would you like to capture stunning landscapes every time you shoot… without having to travel far from home?

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Landscape-and-Nature-dPS-Photography-Course-300x250-1.jpg

Landscape & nature photography is one of the most challenging genres and disciplines to learn, and the costs of getting it wrong can be disappointing

300x250

With ON1 Photo RAW you get the professional photo editing tools every photographer needs to get professional results while keeping your workflow.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

PRINTED EDITION
Interview with Alessandro Celante; Published in our printed edition #16

AmericaDnaInterview with Alessandro Celante; Published in our printed edition #16

My projects have always been about human perception of and relationship to society, more precisely about the distance between subject and phenomenon based on new technologies, and that's why I develop them based on sensory experiences. 
Interview with Roger Ballen, One of the most influential photographic artists of the 21st century

DnaInterview with Roger Ballen, One of the most influential photographic artists of the 21st century

Roger Ballen was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns.
Interview with Samuel Feron; Published in our printed edition #16

DnaEuropeInterview with Samuel Feron; Published in our printed edition #16

Samuel Feron has been photographing Nature for 2 decades, exploring remote and sparsely habited areas all over the world. He tries to go beyond what the eyes first see, assuming that Nature has secrets in itself.
Interview with Marco Cheli; Published in our printed edition #16

DnaEuropeInterview with Marco Cheli; Published in our printed edition #16

I think that Dodho provides a fantastic opportunity for those who want to be recognized by an informed public and by their peers. Seeing my work in the pages of Dodho, well, it is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me, and I have photography to thank for it.
Interview with Lys Arango; Published in our printed edition #16

DnaEuropeInterview with Lys Arango; Published in our printed edition #16

Time, dedication, and the right rhythm combined with a human approach make the work of Lys Arango one of the most truthful and inspiring photo testimonies of indigenous people.
Interview with France Leclerc; Published in our printed edition #16

AmericaDnaInterview with France Leclerc; Published in our printed edition #16

Canadian Travel photographer France Leclerc tries to find this commonness with joy showing sweet observation through fresh eyes to portray ethnic group communities the world seems to ignore.
Interview with Nikolina Petolas; Published in our printed edition #16

DnaEuropeInterview with Nikolina Petolas; Published in our printed edition #16

I work in several techniques, but what you are reffering to in ’Tale of the Blue Pear’ series  are mostly digital collages combined with digital painting. I also paint in traditional techniques but that is done on canvas or hard board.
Interview with Michele Punturieri; published in our print edition #15

DnaInterview with Michele Punturieri; published in our print edition #15

This work is somewhat impromptu because it has been carried out, so to speak, on the spot and at the moment. Street photography pure, trying to capture the most interesting moments and faces in the places I visited. 
TRENDING STORIES
A self-portrait from Hell by Alex Lobo

B&WEuropeShotA self-portrait from Hell by Alex Lobo

Contorted with rage and emotional pain in an indefinite space in the darkness, helpless in a primal state of nudity, a man struggles with himself.
Alex Righetti ; People and Culture

EuropeStoryAlex Righetti ; People and Culture

Alex was born in Italy in 1989. A positive and energetic guy who started his personal enrichment travelling and living in different places and living with locals. The people met along his Life are still kept inside like a treasure.
Homemade by Adele Schelling

AmericaFeaturedStoryHomemade by Adele Schelling

The initial drive for Homemade is the stubborn desire the artist has felt to grow roots in the U.S.A, having moved to NYC from Switzerland a little over a year ago. There are a variety of ways to ground oneself into a different culture
Abstraction by Mihai Florea

B&WConceptOceaniaAbstraction by Mihai Florea

For me photography is a spiritual act, an inner conviction and a desire to abstract essence beyond the material world. I'm interested in something which is built up from within, rather than just a superficial image.
While visiting a charcoal kiln by Sanghamitra Bhattacharya

AsiaStoryWhile visiting a charcoal kiln by Sanghamitra Bhattacharya

“Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” Overly materialistic world is temporary, that is why we never ignore the nature's call to enrich human dignity, freedom and genuine well-being.
Contemporary Calé communities; Jondo by Adrián Morillo

B&WEuropeStoryContemporary Calé communities; Jondo by Adrián Morillo

Jondo is a photographic work based on the search of the sentiment “jondo” within contemporary Calé communities inheriting the flamenco practice.
Hanjo – A photographic novel by Yoram Roth

ConceptEuropeHanjo – A photographic novel by Yoram Roth

These images are part of a photographic novel… a limited-edition book that will be introduced at Tokyo Photo in September 2013.
Interview with Ivan Pushkin; Published in our print edition #04

DnaEuropeInterview with Ivan Pushkin; Published in our print edition #04

Ivan Pushkin is Russian visual artist working at the intersection of photography and digital media and exploring the perception of reality by contemporary human and society. He graduated from Maxim Gorky Literature Institute and the School of Photography of Elena Sukhoveeva and Victor Khmel.
Five minutes with Wilfred Wessel Berthelsen

DnaEuropeFive minutes with Wilfred Wessel Berthelsen

When I travel, there is of course a lot of preparation. But when I shoot, it all happens on intuition. Sometimes when I plan to much, I rarely get the image that I hope for.
FEATURED STORIES
Tenure by Kathryn Weinstein

AmericaFeaturedStoryTenure by Kathryn Weinstein

Tenure project was selected and published in our print edition 18. Tenure describes the act of holding or possessing, as well as the status granted after a probationary period that protects one from dismissal.
Self-portraiture; Made in the shade by Chloe Meynier

AmericaConceptFeaturedSelf-portraiture; Made in the shade by Chloe Meynier

Made in the shade project was selected and published in our print edition 18. Through a mise-en-scene self-portraiture series, Made in the Shade depicts characters in Mid Century Modern settings, mirroring an era that was aspiring for change.
Wildlife photography; Land of Giants by Will Burrard-Lucas

B&WBioEuropeFeaturedWildlife photography; Land of Giants by Will Burrard-Lucas

These photographs are part of a larger series documenting the elephants of Tsavo and the work of Tsavo Trust. The full series is published in a new book titled “Land of Giants”.
Under the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

AmericaB&WConceptFeaturedUnder the sign of the rat; Roger the Rat by Roger Ballen

Surreal, refined, disturbing: Roger Ballen has made a name for himself with his special eye for what is usually considered minor or outside, yet is nevertheless profound and touching.
Intimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

B&WBioEuropeFeaturedIntimate portraits of animals; Behind Glass by Anne Berry

Behind Glass is a collection of photographs made in monkey houses of small zoos throughout Europe. Anne Berry is recognized for her ability to create lyrical, intimate portraits of animals.
Fictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

ConceptEuropeFeaturedFictional narrative photography; Birth Undisturbed by Natalie Lennard

Birth Undisturbed is a fictional narrative photography series by Natalie Lennard, that brings scenes of natural childbirth into cinematic fine-art tableaux.
Japanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

AsiaFeaturedStoryJapanese Aquariums by George Nobechi

Japanese Aquariums is a journey into some of my oldest, most treasured childhood memories. Whenever I visited my grandparents in the small, northern Japanese city of Otaru, my grandfather, a high school teacher and an enormous influence in my life, would take me to the aquarium.
Greenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

EuropeFeaturedStoryGreenland; Stories from the Sea by Camille Michel

Greenland became politically independent from Denmark in 1979 and is slowly getting on the path to economic independency. The ‘ice country’ is currently facing the consequences of climate change.
Intimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotIntimate diary; Jazz Notes by Giuseppe Cardoni

It is a declaration of love by Giuseppe Cardoni, but also by an Italian region, Umbria, which has always hosted the most important jazz festivals and where the author took most of his photographs.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/getty-images.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/black-eye.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Edelman-Gallery.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Medium.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Opiom.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Filter-Photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/head-on.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-independent.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/lagos-photo.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/gtb.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/IPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/in-focus.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/image-rights.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/riga.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/BGD.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ICP.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mifa.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/miami.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/viewbug.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/OFF.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/KLPA.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/rotterdam.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Photo-Nola.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/clampart.png
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/dripbook.png
OTHER STORIES
X
stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Issue #14 | September 2020
Current Issue
Vicky Martin
Ryotaro Horiuchi
Susanne Mildeelberg
Diego Bardone
Nicky Hamilton
Alain Schroeder
Printed on 80# matte paper 22x28cm | 100 Pages
Showroom
September 7 to October 31, 2020
Julia Fullerton-Batten
LOOKING OUT FROM WITHIN
Get in touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
CALL
FOR ENTRIES
Dodho Magazine is pleased to announce the new call for the photographers selection from all over the world that will be presented in an exceptional edition.
Are you ready?
Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
NEW!
FOLLOW US.
Subscribe now and get a free access to a curated list of resources.
Feel free to contact.
2017 (C) All rights reserved.
ghfd