What media and materials does photographer Keith Dotson use?

A recent Google search asked what media and materials I use. Read on for the answer.


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A recent Google search from London, England on my website asked what media and materials I use to create my photographs. Here are the details.

Google search: What media and materials does photographer keith dotson use?

Does Keith Dotson shoot film or digital photographs?

I shoot a mix of film and digital images, but for many reasons, the vast majority of my work is now made digitally. My current digital camera uses a full-frame (35mm equivalent) sensor. For film photography, I own and use a variety of 35mm cameras and I also use a 120mm medium format twin lens reflex (TLR) camera.

Medium format 2.25-inch film negative shot of a landscape by Keith Dotson

Medium format 2.25-inch film negative shot of a landscape by Keith Dotson

Pigment Inkjet prints on 100-percent cotton fine art paper

For my standard-priced prints, I create pigment-based inkjet prints on 100-percent cotton fine art paper. Although other media types like baryta and luster surface papers are available upon request, my recommended paper is the matte-surface cotton paper. I prefer it because it makes a classy fine art presentation; it renders a wide dynamic range of tones from sparkling whites to dense, rich blacks; its matte surface eliminates the risk of glare inside the frame as you will get with glossier papers; and it’s quite archivally stable, rated by Wilhelm Imaging Research to resist deterioration up to 400 years.

Pigment print of Savannah’s Lucas Theatre marquee on 100-percent cotton rag paper

Above: Pigment print of Savannah’s Lucas Theatre marquee on 100-percent cotton rag paper

Recent print of my photograph "Avenue of the Oaks, Savannah" on 100-percent cotton paper. The print is seen through a protective plastic sleeve.

Recent print of my photograph "Avenue of the Oaks, Savannah" on 100-percent cotton paper. The print is seen through a protective plastic sleeve.

Silver gelatin fiber-based prints on baryta paper

Wilhelm Imaging Research has called black and white silver gelatin prints on baryta the “gold standard” of photographic stability. I call my premium-priced prints “museum quality” because I have them printed by a top-notch lab in the northeast that actually prints photographs for museums. This paper has a superior beauty and longevity. They are slightly shiny, but the surface is spectacular and the tonal range is amazing.

A close-up look at the surface of a real darkroom-style silver gelatin baryta-coated fiber paper

A close-up look at the surface of a real darkroom-style silver gelatin baryta-coated fiber paper

Watch this video that shows in detail the surface quality of my silver gelatin prints

Alternative prints

Although it’s a very small part of my work, I also enjoy making limited edition prints by hand in my darkroom, and creating one-of-a-kind prints using alternative methods like cyanotypes, Polaroids, etc.

Low Country Trees: This is a hand-printed darkroom photograph exposed on luxurious Ilford Classic Matte paper at 8 inches x 10 inches. Click to buy this print.

Low Country Trees: This is a hand-printed darkroom photograph exposed on luxurious Ilford Classic Matte paper at 8 inches x 10 inches. Click to buy this print.

A detail of the front of the Alamo in San Antonio, untoned cyanotype print. Click to buy this print.

A detail of the front of the Alamo in San Antonio, untoned cyanotype print. Click to buy this print. 

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