IMG_3476.jpg

Peter Payette's fascination with photography in a broad and varied range of aspects spans more than fifty years.  In the early 1980's he was admitted to a Master of Fine Arts program in the School of Art and Architecture at the University of Michigan where he studied exclusively under Professor Phil Davis, a well know authority and author respecting 19th century photographic processes and the Zone System popularized by Ansel Adams.

There his studies centered on densitometry, conventional black and white photographic techniques and a variety of 19th century photographic processes, including: platinum and palladium (archival processes renowned for producing a wide, rich and subtle range of values), kallitype, cyanotype, three-color gum (a late 19th century color process utilizing dichromated colloids and separation negatives to produce what amounts to a water color print of a photographic image) and gravure (an intaglio process by which the photographic image is etched into a copper plate, inked and printed), all of which required extensive use of large format cameras and the processing of negatives and separation negatives as large as 12"x18" suitable for printing in such media.

More recently, in part as a means of producing superior negatives for printing in platinum and palladium, he turned to the digital medium.

Payette sees photography as a endless and fascinating adventure and exploration, the best result of which is a direct, well crafted statement about life, nature, the passing scene and moments of truth, reminiscent of such early "straight" photographers as Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand.

Frankfort, Michigan photographer Peter Payette talks about the classic technique of platinum printing and what makes it so special.