Maxine McDonald • Fine Art PhotographyTechniques

Methods & Materials

Gelatin Silver Print

The classic black and white print shot on film and printed by hand with traditional chemicals on classic fiber-based paper that is coated with a silver emulsion creating a rich one-of-a-kind print. These prints are usually printed in a limited edition with no two exactly alike although they may look nearly alike to the untrained eye. These prints are the most archival of all prints many lasting for hundreds of years with no deterioration.

Toned Gelatin Silver Print

A print made the same way as above but placed in a toner bath after the wash to change the color of the print or to create greater permanence. Toners range from golds through browns to deep purplish blacks. Toned prints usually have even greater archival permanence than regular gelatin silver prints.


A traditional color print shot on film and printed on color papers [I generally use kodak] using an enlarger and a color printing machine. These prints have a certain amount of archival stability but since the color paper is resin coated, framed work should not be placed in direct sunlight.


A print shot on to a card in a digital camera and then adjusted in a computer program and printed on a printer on  photographic paper, or taken to a custom lab and printed on color paper as discussed above. So far the custom printing seems to have more archival permanence than the printer papers available to the average photographer.

Infrared Gelatin Silver Print

A gelatin silver print made from an image shot on infrared film. Infrared film records reflected and transmitted infrared radiation in addition to visible light. The effect this has is follows: green foliage, people, clouds and sand in a sunlit scene will appear very light and almost glow, whereas water and sky will appear very dark. The film is difficult to use as it cannot be metered since the infrared light differs from day to day and season to season. However, the effect when it works well is magical!


A photo is etched onto a copper plate then inked and run through a press to create a one-of-a-kind etching on printmaking rag paper.