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.


You might also enjoy be interested in these related articles:

About the Prints

How long will your photographs last?


 

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

Transitioning papers to fine art baryta

For a few years, my pigment prints have been printed on mat surface cotton paper (read more below). Currently we are transitioning to coated baryta papers as our primary print media. The fine art baryta has an acid-free alpha cellulose base with a traditional darkroom-style baryta coating which gives incredible detail and tonal rendition. In the interim, we will continue to print on whatever the individual listings specify until all listings are converted to baryta.

My preferred paper will be Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta which is made in Germany, but I may use other equivalent papers on a case-by-case basis. Hahnemühle papers are renowned for their quality and archival longevity.

A recent print of a Keith Dotson photograph on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Baryta photo paper

Above: a recent print of a Keith Dotson photograph on Hahnemühle Fine Art Baryta photo paper

Alternative option: pigment inkjet prints on 100-percent cotton fine art paper

Once the e-commerce listings have been fully updated, I will offer pigment-based inkjet prints on 100-percent cotton fine art paper as an alternative available upon request. Some people prefer the look of watercolor paper and of course, the lack of light glare on the paper surface; it renders a wide dynamic range of tones from sparkling whites to dense, rich blacks. It’s quite archivally stable, rated by Wilhelm Imaging Research to resist deterioration for hundreds of 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.

Alternative option: 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. 

Leave a comment