The process of platinum palladium printing is widely believed to be able to produce a tonal range that is closest to what the human eye sees. This process of monochrome printing, however, is extremely time consuming. Nobuyuki Kobayashi, a Japanese photographer uses this technique to make prints for his project titled, “Portraits of Nature: Myriads of Gods.” In this documentary, Kobayashi shares his passion for photography, why he uses the difficult and yet exquisite process of platinum palladium printing, and why he thinks his work will last for 1,000 years:
The reason for choosing Hosokawa Washi as the support medium for his prints comes from a desire to introduce an unmistakable Japanese touch to the whole process. He uses a particular coarse handmade paper made in a small town called Ogawa-machi in Saitama Prefecture. This particular paper is made out of Kouzo (paper mulberry). The process of manufacturing it has remained identical since the Edo period.
Although he shoots predominantly nature photos, Kobayashi admits that his images are not representative of traditional landscape photography. He believes that there is a little bit of God in everything. His photography is a pursuit in capturing those moments where he feels the unmistakable presence of the divine.
But that’s not the only reason he makes photos. He wants to preserve evidence of the vibrant, thriving nature around us for future generations.
With an unstoppable appetite for resources and need for room to grow, humankind faces a confrontation with nature. If we don’t mend our ways all these will be gone for good one day.
Kobayashi hopes to preserve what we have today. He wants to confront those who are responsible for bringing upon this diabolical change. Printing images on Hosokawa Washi is just his way of preserving some of it.
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