May 242013

In January 2011, one of our finest actors passed on to The Great Mystery.

Pete Postlethwaite commanded the screen and stage with his formidable presence, his film career punctuated with startling roles in Brassed Off, Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet, The Usual Suspects and let’s not forget Jurassic Park

So, it was naturally a wonderful treat to see Paul Elton‘s intimate portrait of Pete appear in our trays of slooshing chemicals, his craggy demeanour immortalised as a Platinum/Palladium print.

Platinum/Palladium Print of Pete Postlethwaite by Paul Elton

Platinum/Palladium Print of Pete Postlethwaite by Paul Elton

Paul described to me how he made such a gentle portrait:

“Pete Postlethwaite lived with his family in south Shropshire.  Close by is a local beauty spot and National Trust area called the Long Mynd.  As Pete was himself a lover of the natural beauty of the south Shropshire hills, he wrote the foreword to a book written about the area.

“I covered the event for a society magazine.  During a quiet moment I asked him if I may take his portrait to which he agreed. Totally unassuming and down to earth, he stared straight into the lens with those soulful eyes.

“The impromptu shoot was over in less than five minutes.  Actually, I had photographed him on other occasions, but this image captured his integrity and for me reflected more faithfully my feelings of who he was.”

Although brief, it sounds like a wonderful moment for Paul with such a beautiful outcome.

Following some canvassing on Twitter and in ‘real life’, I’d like to leave you with a clip of one of Pete’s performances.

There are so many to choose from but this tear-jerking scene in Brassed Off came up consistently — as a friend of mine described it, “The most poetic piece of swearing ever filmed.”

Hankies at the ready…

If you’d like me to make prints for you, please feel free to contact me.

My latest list of services and prices can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

Jan 262013

Well, we’re now firmly in the saddle of 2013 — I hope it’s started well for you…

I’ve had a great start to the year crafting prints for, among others, Messrs Germain and Kenny.

Following on from the Platinum printing successes of last year, I have also been making Digital Negatives in preparation for Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom to work his magic.

Towards the end of last week, you may like to know that I revised and updated my Price List…

Jack Lowe Studio 2013 Price List

It contains new pages dedicated to specific areas of printing:

  • Photographers’ Portfolios
  • One-off Printing, Editions & Exhibitions
  • Awards, Competitions & Degree Shows

The latter includes specific information on the upcoming Association of Photographers Annual Awards and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.

Please feel free to download your Jack Lowe Studio 2013 Price List and familiarise yourself with the range of services I can offer you.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with imagery from three photographers’ portfolios I’m delighted to have printed over the years.

Originally, I was going to choose just one from each photographer but I couldn’t do it!  So, here’s two from each for your delectation:

— Julian Germain

Launderette Kiss by Julian Germain

Launderette Kiss by Julian Germain

Julian Germain, Generations, Cynthia Rowe 68

From ‘Generations’ by Julian Germain

— Jonathan Knowles

Reading the Riots by Wieden & Kennedy for The Guardian

‘Broken Britain’ by Jonathan Knowles for The Guardian

Underwater Beauty by Jonathan Knowles

Underwater Beauty by Jonathan Knowles

— Simon Winnall

Karlo by Simon Winnall

Karlo by Simon Winnall

Dance by Simon Winnall

Dance by Simon Winnall

Dec 042012

Imagine it’s 1873.

Platinum/Palladium printing has just been invented but the print size is limited to that of the plate or film on which the photograph was originally captured.

An inherent attribute of any contact printing process, this meant that 5×4″ and 10×8″ Platinum prints were commonplace at the time.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and we now have the ability to make much larger digital negatives, resulting in the ability to make similarly larger Platinum/Palladium prints.

This year, Richard and I have been proud to take part in several projects that make full use of this new marriage of old and new technologies — Ian Aitken’s photographs of northern white rhinos have been a prime example.

Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Fatu, by Ian Aitken

30×22″ Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Fatu, by Ian Aitken

This has been an extraordinary undertaking by Ian, who liaised with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Here, he took exclusive photographs of Najin, Fatu, Sudan and Suni — four of the world’s last seven remaining northern white rhinos — in a joint fundraising effort for the conservancy.

On 18th December 2012, Ian was invited to discuss the project on BBC Radio 4’s Saving Species.

Click on the image below, where you can hear Ian being interviewed from the 10:17 mark (I know the image below is a gorilla, it’s also a red herring!):

Ian Aitken discusses his project with the Northern White Rhinos at Ol Pejeta on BBC Radio 4's Saving Species

Listen to Ian discussing his project from the 10:17 mark…

As Ian explains further on his dedicated site:

In January 2012, I was invited to Ol Pejeta.

During this trip, I’d photographed the northern white rhino several times, but was not satisfied with my approach, so on the last morning of the trip I arranged to get some close-up portraits.

I wanted Mount Kenya in the background and the rhino in the foreground. With the guards’ help I managed to get Fatu in profile. I’d known how rare these animals are, but preparing for the photo I was struck by the loneliness and unbelievable fragility of their situation.

Then Fatu suddenly turned and started walking towards me. I was terrified — they are huge animals — but carried on taking photos, stepping backwards, faster and faster. The guards told me to stop and stand still for my own safety. Fatu came right up close to me and nuzzled her head in my stomach.

I know it’s corny, but at that moment, with the personal contact, I was hooked. I was completely blown away.

Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Najin, by Ian Aitken

Framed 30×22″ Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Najin, by Ian Aitken

Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Fatu, by Ian Aitken

Framed 30×22″ Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Fatu, by Ian Aitken

Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Suni, by Ian Aitken

Framed 30×22″ Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Suni, by Ian Aitken

Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Sudan, by Ian Aitken

Framed 30×22″ Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Sudan, by Ian Aitken

The framed prints are beautiful photographic objects…

The 24×16″ photograph sits within a sheet of 30×22″ paper and the print floats inside bespoke frames made of English brown oak inlaid with African mpingo and carved with the name of each rhino.


Platinum Print of the Northern White Rhino, Najin, by Ian Aitken

The set of four prints were first shown at The Royal Geographical Society on 31st October.

They carry an incredible stone-like quality, the long tones of the Platinum/Palladium combination lending themselves perfectly to the leathery skin of the rhinos and their surroundings.

For every print sold, 50% of the profits directly help to protect the northern white rhino from poachers.

Proceeds will fund the building of a modern security base at Ol Pejeta’s northern white rhino enclosure.

Platinum Prints of Northern White Rhinos at The Royal Geographical Society

The full set of Platinum Prints on show at The Royal Geographical Society

The fundraising project is fully endorsed by Fauna and Flora International and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

For further details on how to buy these stunning prints, please visit AitkenPrints.

If you would like to learn more about how we could make Platinum/Palladium prints for you, please take a look at this page or feel free to contact me.

Notes on Print Production:

I used my HP Designjet Z3200 in conjunction with HP’s very own Large Format Digital Negative Application to make Digital Negatives from Ian’s camera files.

The final prints were made on 310gsm Arches Platine in conjunction with 139 Printroom.


Jul 262012

Muhammad Ali by Thomas HoepkerRather than working solely in the digital arena, I consider myself a fan of all things photographic.

Over the past twelve years or so, I have dedicated my life to the highest quality inkjet printing (sometimes know as Giclée).  However, keen followers will know that I have also been working intensively on the analogue side for the last two years or so with Richard Freestone of 139 Printroom.

Together, we have been bridging Centuries to produce sumptuous analogue Platinum/Palladium prints from modern Digital Negatives.

This side of our working lives has been steadily taking shape as increasing numbers of photographers, collectors and galleries begin to understand the beautiful nature of the service we are now able to offer.

Every now and then, the most wonderful convergence of events can happen in photographic printing — Richard and I have been privileged to enjoy such a convergence over the last fortnight or so…

Picture this: A commission from a world-famous photographic collective to make a Platinum/Palladium print edition of one of the most iconic humans ever to grace the planet.

Well, last week that commission came through for us from Magnum in the form of a spontaneous moment grabbed by Thomas Hoepker in 1966 of Muhammad Ali.

Platinum/Palladium edition print made by Jack Lowe Studio and 139 Printroom of Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker

Platinum/Palladium Edition Print of Muhammad Ali by Thomas Hoepker for Magnum

Thomas Hoepker (b.1936) joined Magnum in 1964, becoming a full member in 1989.  He has many incredible photographs, exhibitions and publications to his name.

Richard asked Thomas how this image came about and he gave a candid reply:

“I got this shot when I worked on a reportage on Ali in Chicago in 1966. I watched him during training in the gym and during a short break he saw me sitting there in a corner.

“He danced up to me, stopped briefly in front of my seat and threw three quick pushes in my direction. Then Ali turned around and was gone.

“Only one shot is sharp, the other two underexposed. There was very little light.”

Thomas has also just published a book on Ali called CHAMP carrying the same image on the cover.

The Platinum/Palladium process suits the photograph perfectly — with each print carrying a stone-like quality, it really feels as though the viewer is about to be hit by a fist of rock!

If you would like to learn how we can make Platinum/Palladium prints for you from your digital files, remember to take a look at this page.

Mar 212012

Regular visitors to this site will know that the marriage of analogue and digital photographic practice is a hot discussion at the moment.

With such topics close to my heart,  I was very pleased to be invited by the University of Northumbria to take part in a group show being held right here on Hoults Yard at Unit 44.

Print Detail from 'Scafell' by Jack Lowe, Platinum Palladium Print from HP Digital Negative

Print Detail | 'Scafell' by Jack Lowe | Platinum/Palladium Print from HP Digital Negative

The photographers taking part:

Alysia Anne, David Bilbrough, Fiona Crisp, Agnieszka Kozlowska, John Lavell, Jack Lowe, Joanne Tatham & John O’Sullivan, Louise Todd and Ginny Reed.

It opens this Friday 23rd March — with the preview from 6:30pm until 9pm — and closes on 5th April.

Alongside the other photographers’ work, I’ll be showing a selection of my Platinum/Palladium prints made from Digital Negatives – if you’re in the area, do pop by…

Digilogue, analogue and digital photography exhibition


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