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PORTFOLIO

09.09.2016

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Polish photographer Waclaw Wantuch’s Platinum Palladium series is an example of photographic precision. Wantuch has been dedicated to female nude photography for over 15 years. His very contrast-rich, black and white images, are defined by geometric and abstract forms; they are easily recognisable and have made him one of the best known Polish nude photographers.

For this project, Wantuch changed technical direction by completely dispensing with the use of artificial lighting. The pictures were taken in his studio, which has a glass ceiling, so only natural light was used.

“At some point I’d had enough of artificial light. After years of working in the studio, I knew exactly how the body behaves in that light. In contrast, daylight reveals all kinds of surprises. At the time I didn’t give any thought to the changeability of daylight, to the direction or placement of the sun, the effects of clouds or mist. Nowadays it all has an influence on my pictures, and that’s something I really like; because every day when I get up I don’t know what to expect when I get to the studio, what tools will be available to me.”

In Wantuch’s photographs it is impossible to miss his constant efforts to achieve perfection. This applies to both the creative aspect as well as the handicraft side. He takes his pictures with a Leica M Monochrom; they are then printed as negatives on a special foil and produced as images using a special printing process known as platinotype.

When doing so, Wantuch uses an alternative process, which has been optimised in various ways compared to William Willis’s 1878 patent. In addition to platinum, Wantuch uses another precious metal, palladium: spread out on a special paper made out of 100% cotton, platinotype delivers high-quality contact prints that are characterised by a very high resistance to aging and excellent tonality.  

Starting on September 15, 2016, the Leica Gallery in Warsaw is presenting an exhibition of around 50 platinum prints. A photo album with a broader selection of pictures will appear in time for the exhibition.

Waclaw Wantuch

Waclaw Wantuch (*1965) studied sculpture at the Academy of Beaux Arts in Krakow. He is the author of a number of photo books of female nude images. He has had numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad, and lives and works in Krakow.

www.waclawwantuch.com
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