I have started my photographic journey about thirty years ago with 35mm slides, which were printed in Florentine laboratories using the classic ‘cibachrome’ method.
This antique printing method is the most important part of the process, and takes photographs through various phases of development:
– Firstly the image is projected onto special paper
– Printing continues with an Ilford printing machine
– Lastly the photograph is processed with four chemical baths known as ‘developing, stop, bleaching, fixing’.
With the advent of digital photography, both for shoots and prints, many laboratories that did ‘cibachrome’ printing were forced either to convert to printing on digital paper, or worse yet to go out of business, as many of them did between 2003 and 2007.
In 2007, I chose the laboratory Vicolor in Creazzo (Vicenza) where my photographs continued to be developed in ‘cibachrome’, allowing them to preserve their special photographic language.
In 2012, after about 52 years, Ilford announced that production of this paper would be discontinued; this ‘craftsmanship’ is extremely costly and requires special printing laboratories.
In 2013, in accord with the Vicolor laboratory, I bought the last paper bobbins left in the Ilford warehouses in hopes of continuing to develop my photographs using the ‘cibachrome’ method in years to come.
It seems plain that this process, gone forever from laboratories worldwide, will in future give rise to public and private collector’s items which will become increasingly precious given their beauty, durability over time and rarity.
Further information on the history, technique and advantages of this chemical process can be found on internet by conducting a search on the word ‘cibachrome’.
In spite of this, I refused to give up. While feeling the loss of this creative opportunity, I decided to explore the digital world and its new paper.
Then, in 2014, I began to print my photographs with Fine Art in black & white, later endeavouring to transfer the special chromatism of my landscapes on the new digital paper. The process of trial and error eventually led to the right combinations. I currently print with Fine Art, both in colour and B&W, on Canson Infinity 100% cotton paper, Museum quality.
Thank you for your attention and enjoy your viewing.