"Elizabeth" 4x5 Polariod image transfer


"Sabino and the apple" 4x5 Polariod image transfer


"Carlo, Vatican conservator" 8x10 Platinum Palladium photograph


"Tiffany, Arapaho" 8x10 Platinum Palladium photograph

Eight years ago, when I decided to turn my full attention to photography, I was disillusioned about photography in general because some of my earlier work was already beginning to show signs of deterioration. Since the 1850's it has been well known that a silver photographic image has serious permanence problems.

I availed myself of the work at the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography, researching how one could make permanent photographs. I quickly fell in love with the platinotype. Warm toned, great tonal scale, and sharp as a tack because all three require a negative the size of the image, and yet the platinotype is softened because the image is made on watercolor paper.

In looking at early images, I was drawn to two photographers in particular. Edward Steichen, and Edward Curtis. Both produced portraits of people that captured a soul within them for me.

So off I went. Learning to print on 2 1/4 negatives that I had from my many years of working with a Hasselblad. It was terrific, no darkrooms were necessary, no more chemical smell. Hand coating on the kitchen table and printing outside in the sun, I had the feeling of a pioneer photographer.

Portraiture was going to be my specialty. Large format platinum portraiture, made to last 500 to a thousand years. Less than 20 people in the world are working in this medium in portraiture. And so here I am. I hope you enjoy my images presented. I can be reached by e-mail at auer@azstarnet.com and my other web site is http://www.azstarnet.com/platinum.

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