Jennifer Loomis Photography offers the finest custom hand-printed traditional Gelatin Silver Fiber archival prints of you and your family from both film or digital files. Gelatin Silver Fiber Prints are a rare and unique way to preserve your family heritage.
What is the difference between these prints and prints other photographers sell?
The first thing you will notice about the Gelatin Silver Prints is the way they feel in your hand. The paper is thicker, a lot thicker than digital prints. Also the paper is comprised of cotton fibers. The second thing you will notice is the tones. From white to gray to black, the Gelatin Silver Paper is made with silver particles embedded into the cotton fibers of the paper which allows for a greater spectrum of gray tones in the final print. Your regular digital prints aren’t capable of this. The third difference is one you won’t be able to see for at least 10 years — the longevity or the archival ability of the prints. These prints are made to last 100s of years. Digital prints will have a color shift at some point in their life. It is usually to magenta. The final difference is the cost. They are expensive to print so most photographers and labs don’t offer them.
These are the same prints that you received from your grandparents; the same prints you will treasure when you are grandparents; and the same prints that you see in museums from the turn-of-the-century.
We offer three options: Digital resin coated prints (referred to as RC), Gelatin Silver Fiber prints (referred to as Fiber), and Selenium- or Sepia-toned Gelatin Silver Fiber prints.
For images printed from digital files, we only use the highest quality prints we can but can’t guarantee the archival quality; no one can. A complete explanation of your options and what is best for each client’s needs is done at the print purchase session which occurs two to three weeks after your shoot.
Print Samples and definitions
Resin Coated (RC) prints are the least expensive custom print. Most photographers call them gift prints. The paper is thinner and covered with a plastic coating that contains the light sensitive silver particles that create the final image. Unfortunately this plastic coating degrades relatively quickly over time, making RC paper the least archival with some prints degrading in five to seven years depending on how they are handled. We offer this option because it is a lower cost alternative and can be perfect for projects like scrapbooks or baby announcements.
Gelatin Silver Fiber prints are our favorite choice. The fiber paper has the silver embedded into the cotton fibers of the paper. The image thus becomes a part of the paper unlike the RC or digital prints where the image lies only in the thin plastic emulsion on the top layer of the paper. Gelatin Silver Fiber papers are extremely archival and can last for hundreds of years with proper care. This printing technique has been used since the beginning of photography and is the choice for those that want the look, feel, and longevity of a fine art photograph. Gelatin Silver Fiber print will show a greater richness and depth of tonality and detail in shadows.
Selenium-toned or Sepia-toned Gelatin Silver Fiber prints are the highest quality, most expensive, and most beautiful. The image is first printed on Fiber paper and then the print is placed in a bath of toner. Selenium toning intensifies the shadows with a distinct purplish-black or umber hue and brings out shadow detail but has little effect on highlights. Sepia toning creates a browning of the images’ highlights and shadows. The intensity can vary depending on the image. These processes insure maximum longevity of the prints as well as offer a beautiful antique feel.
Please note: Selenium toner is becoming more and more rare. It is predicted that these prints are going to be collector’s items within ten years.
Custom hand-crafted albums covered in antique Asian silks or Japanese papers of your choice are available with acid-free pages. Each album is made to order by a local artist collective and throughout the years as more photos are added becomes a treasured keepsake.
Samples are available at our studios or when you order your prints online.
Why should you invest in museum-quality framing?