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Artist revives platinum prints

Gregory Leupp stands beside one of the prints on display at Tom's Restaurant in Nevada City.
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Gregory Leupp, who has worked in photography and music for 35 years, views both disciplines similarly.

He prefers traditional approaches in both genres.

That’s why Leupp is so proud of 15 platinum prints on display through March at Tom’s Restaurant in Nevada City.



Taken within the last year, these photos were created with a photographic process first used in the late 1800s.

Recreating this platinum printing process, Leupp used an 8-by-10 camera and then coated platinum chloride on plain paper before printing each negative.




All the photos in the current exhibit are still lives except for two of Nevada City sites. Because the camera is large, Leupp doesn’t travel too far with it.

“Most of the shots are taken in my front room, I don’t have to go out to find interesting subjects,” Leupp said. To create one exposure takes him about a day.

“I like this because it’s classic. It is the fine art of photography. I don’t rely on other people’s lab work or computers to make my final product,” Leupp said.

“Nowadays everyone with an automatic camera can make a big color print, they just send it to the lab,” he said. “This separates the men from the boys.”

Formerly into color slide, portrait, and black and white fine photography, Leupp has worked primarily in platinum printing the last four years.

“I realized I wanted to move away from mass production of a photographic image or computer-generated image and do something that can’t be done in Photoshop – this is the antithesis of Photoshop,” Leupp exclaimed.

His intention is to create spontaneous art which can’t be duplicated by other tools.

“I’ve seen it also happen in the music business,” explained the classical guitarist. “Live music used to be really, really valuable; now everyone listens instead to music on a digital format, everyone bootlegs a CD. It’s a cheapening of the final product. I wanted to move away from that.”

Gregory Leupp’s platinum photographs can be viewed at Tom’s Restaurant from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 5:30 p.m. to closing time, Tuesdays through Saturdays. An opening reception will be at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

The restaurant is at 316 Commercial St., Nevada City. Call the restaurant at 470-0298 for any questions.


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