It all came together in 2004. That was the year I closed down my Platinum workshop and knew I would never make another Platinum print. Oh, how traumatic that was after 45 years of Platinum printing. My health demanded I stop. I had become toxic after breathing in the heavy metals and hydrochloric acid for 35 years.
Add to that the technical component. The films I used were discontinued, as were many of the chemicals. I loved using a small camera and then enlarging the negative to make a final print. Kodak discontinued the film I used to make the enlarged negatives, and Polaroid stopped making the Polapan film I used in the camera. It seemed my days were numbered.
I decided to retire and live off the sale of the prints I had made for so many years. I would be like Frederick Evans, who also retired when his beloved Platinum paper was discontinued after World War I. So I dismantled my studio, gave the equipment to people who needed it and sat back to enjoy my new life.
That lasted about two months. I simply could not do it. There were too many images still inside me waiting to be made, so many images to complete and give to the world.
What to do? I really didn’t know. For a while it was a real quandary. I had been using the computer for many years, but had always rejected it as a tool because I felt it did not come up to my standards for making images. It was time to take another look. I sensed I might be able to make it work if I tried hard enough, so I took my retirement savings and put together a complete digital studio.