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



Legal Note: The photographer attest that have full authorization to give consent to the publication of these photos or project and have the authorization and permissions of third parties. Guarantees that you have all the necessary communications of property and you have obtained all the necessary authorizations for any property, buildings, architecture, structures or sculptures appearing in your photographs.

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.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/view.jpg
Share your most best images in this photo contest in collaboration with ViewBug. A community that hosts over 40 photo contests and challenges.
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/2020/11/Z.jpg

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

RELATED STORIES
Interview with Nick Gandano ; Second place in our Black & White 2018

DnaEuropeInterview with Nick Gandano ; Second place in our Black & White 2018

As for my opinion of Dodho Magazine, I only have words of thanks for the award and for the exquisite attention I have always received.On the other hand I think they do a great job in the sense of serving as a platform for dissemination for new photographers as is my case.
Unconscious Color by Ivan Clemente

ConceptEuropeUnconscious Color by Ivan Clemente

Shape and color, basic framework for most arts. It seems that we are able to process color in a non conscious way, quite likely that paves the way for abstraction.
Scotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

ConceptEuropeFeaturedScotland & The Environment by Gavin Smart

Scotland and the Environment is a conceptual series touching on a variety of contemporary issues facing Scotland today, such as plastic pollution, marine conservation, intensive agriculture and woodland protection.
People, what else? by Ignacio Santana Padrón

B&WEuropeShotPeople, what else? by Ignacio Santana Padrón

From my beginnings in photography, I always felt especially attracted to capture images of people. However, I didn't want to make simple portraits with people posing or stolen photographs without practically no contact between them and me.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/insta.jpg
Cockroaches by Ksenia Sidorova

ConceptEuropeCockroaches by Ksenia Sidorova

The cult of success and personal growth, working in an always-connected environment, the virtualization of private life, the importunate and imposed needs to demonstrate our successes, both real or imaginary, in social networks
People of India by Jean-Pierre Duvergé

B&WEuropeShotPeople of India by Jean-Pierre Duvergé

I come back from a journey in South India.It is not the landscapes which affected me, nevertheless they are my favorite subjects. What most affected me, moved, they are Indians themselves.
RANDOM STORIES
The last tide by Marco Campi

B&WEuropeFeaturedStoryThe last tide by Marco Campi

Last November Venice experienced the second highest tide in recorded history. Looking at the top 10 tides, we see that five have occurred in the past 20 years and the frequency of exceptional tidal flooding above 110 cm have ramped up dramatically through the years.
Out of season by Mark Havens

AmericaCityFeaturedOut of season by Mark Havens

Wildwood is a small barrier island at the tip of southern New Jersey. Through an improbable combination of economics, geography and chance, it harbors an architectural treasure: the highest concentration of mid-century modern motels in the United States.
Street Portraits by Maria Alejandra Cardona

AmericaCityStreet Portraits by Maria Alejandra Cardona

Street Portraits are the stories I find in my everyday life. These individual beings are expressing their emotions through their eyes, smile, look and body language. They have become part of a narrative.
Translation by Nicole Campanello

ConceptEuropeTranslation by Nicole Campanello

Nicole Campanello is an artist working in staged photography. A visual storyteller by nature, Nicole creates narrative images based on her life experiences as a means of exploring and understanding herself and the world around her.
Corners-An Irving Penn Tribute by Ilva Beretta

ConceptEuropeCorners-An Irving Penn Tribute by Ilva Beretta

Ilva Beretta’s work is based on the research of mundane objects like food and the underlying stories they tell about continuity and memory.
Between photographer and subject; Telling Tales by Lilyan Aloma

AmericaB&WShotBetween photographer and subject; Telling Tales by Lilyan Aloma

A portrait is a crystallization of human relationship, a privileged connection between photographer and subject.
Nexus by Anne Rosamond Hoerter

B&WShotNexus by Anne Rosamond Hoerter

For the past year, I have been questioning my personal connection to certain unique individuals I have come to know in the small german village in which I have been living.
Highspeed Landscape by Fran Villalba

B&WConceptEuropeHighspeed Landscape by Fran Villalba

This short series was born from the trips that I make almost daily from the city where I live, San Sebastián de Los Reyes to the center of Madrid. It is a 45-minutes journey that takes the C4 line of the Renfe train company.
Scenes from Lower Bavaria by Bernd Walz

B&WBioEuropeScenes from Lower Bavaria by Bernd Walz

This part of Bavaria has vast agriculturally used rolling hills in the west, and the river plain of the Danube marks a natural border to the mountains of the Bavarian forest in the east.
FEATURED STORIES
Haenyeo; Grandma divers by Alain Schroeder

B&WEuropeFeaturedShotHaenyeo; Grandma divers by Alain Schroeder

South Korea, Jeju island, known for its characteristic basalt volcanic rock, sits off South Korea. It is the home of the renowned Haenyeo or women of the sea who free dive off the black shores of Jeju harvesting delicacies from the sea.
China; The great wall by Chiara Felmini

EuropeFeaturedStoryChina; The great wall by Chiara Felmini

China is almost a continent and as such can offer extremes and opposites at the same time; the ancient and very distant culture can still be observed in remote villages, increasingly surrounded by the advancing and swallowing civilization.
South Sudan; Smoker women by Ana Maria Robles

AmericaFeaturedShotSouth Sudan; Smoker women by Ana Maria Robles

These women smoke tobacco, an ancient custom that marks their ancestry, identity and tribal pride. Their attitude was strong. Fierce. They were active participants of every ceremony and the Leaders of the communities. 
Descendants of Samurai Ryotaro Horiuchi

AsiaFeaturedShotDescendants of Samurai Ryotaro Horiuchi

In the Soma region of Fukushima prefecture, there is a traditional Samurai festival called “Soma Nomaoi”, which is said to have continued for more than 1000 years.
François Mitterrand by Diego Goldberg

AmericaB&WFeaturedStoryFrançois Mitterrand by Diego Goldberg

I lived in France from 1976 to 1980. While there I had been covering the Socialist Party and when François Mitterrand decided to be a candidate again for the presidential elections I wrote him a letter with a project to document his campaign from the inside, with total access to his private and political activities.
Golden Gate; The Bridge, Reconstructed by Michael Yuan

AmericaCityFeaturedGolden Gate; The Bridge, Reconstructed by Michael Yuan

I wanted to challenge the perceptions of the Golden Gate Bridge. In solid red-orange and spanning 1.7 miles long, the Golden Gate Bridge is an icon of San Francisco.
The Orthogenesis of Soul by Sandipan Mukherjee

AsiaB&WConceptFeaturedThe Orthogenesis of Soul by Sandipan Mukherjee

We are all aware about the theory of biologically evaluation for Jean Baptist Lamarck. The theory tells about the evaluation of human how the structure of APE has got transferred to the today’s human being.
Protest in Brooklyn; Blessed to breathe by Bill Livingston

AmericaB&WFeaturedStoryProtest in Brooklyn; Blessed to breathe by Bill Livingston

When George Floyd’s life was unnecessarily and brutally snuffed out by Minneapolis law enforcement on May 25, it was yet another final straw…and that straw was set ablaze around the globe.
Photographs; North Carolina State Fair by Avery Danziger

AmericaCityFeaturedPhotographs; North Carolina State Fair by Avery Danziger

I have been photographing the North Carolina State Fair since the early 70's. One of my oldest memories was the yearly outing of my family going to the State Fair in North Carolina, starting when I was 6 year old.... 
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 adjacent form, or contact contact@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