Photography – What you need to know!

Photography is a big part of what we do here at Capital Culture Gallery. Find out more about our range of artists and what they do on the Artists page. This post isn’t necessarily about our Artists – it’s about a technical side of their craft and what that means when people like you and I come to buy them.

In this post we will be learning about photography editioning and some print terminology. You can find out a bit about this on our photography page. However here, we intend to break it down a little futher and give some examples to help you decide what is best for you.

Limited Edition Prints & Pricing

It is accepted standard practice in fine art photography that photographs are produced as limited editions. Each print should be numbered, e.g. #1 / 12, titled and signed by the photographer.

There are no set rules for the size of the edition so each photographer decides on their own approach. Some decide to opt for an edition at a single size, while others will produce prints at a number of sizes with an edition associated with each. Just within our Gallery there are several different approaches. For example Monica Denevan’s work is only available as 20″ x 16″ Gelatin Silver prints in an edition of 25. Whereas Barry Cawston produces three different sized limited editions. Each print is signed, titled and numbered by the photographer. We, as the gallery, also provide a Certificate of Authenticity which is signed by one of our directors and stamped.

The price of a particular print is driven by scarcity of supply and how many were made in the original edition.

The pricing of a print will be determined by the edition size and how many of that edition are still available for purchase. If the original edition was small or there are very few of the edition left it will be at a higher price. Typically at the launch of an edition, a number of price points are set. For example, In an edition of 25 prints, numbers 1-5 will be at a set starting price, 6-10 will be more expensive, 11-15 raised again and so on.

Photographic Terminology

Once the photo is taken, processed and edited a whole new process begins. Printing. How do we get the photo onto your wall in a way that will best compliment your space and the image itself? Here are some on the processes our Artists use and an example of each:


Palladium platinum print – the choice for serious collectors of black and white photography.  Platinum prints are the ultimate expression of bespoke craft printing.  In the hands of a master printer they can provide a unique register of tones and effects bringing unexpected nuances from a negative.  Prints created in this way have an ethereal quality with incredible detail, enhanced by the way the chemicals soak into the fibres of the paper.  They are also light fast and therefore not subject to any form of fading over time. James Sparshatt’s platinum prints are produced by 31 Studio, the UK’s leading exponents of this art.



Silver gelatin handprints – this has been the standard for producing black and white prints for most of the 20th century. Extracting maximum detail and the correct balance in a photographic print is an art form in its own right with print makers often taking a lifetime to master their craft. Selenium toning is used to increase the stability of the chemicals and give the photographs a greater archival life.  In the UK we work with Barb Wilson one of Britain’s leading practitioners of traditional black and white printing and processing.



Digital C-Type or Lambda print – a traditional colour photographic print on light sensitive paper (Fuji Crystal archive museum quality), developed by chemical-process but exposed by digital laser.  The process produces prints of vibrant intensity and amazing detail.





Acrylic reverse or face mounting – the print is bonded to a clear sheet of UV perspex using a silicon gel technique and then mounted to a backing substrate (aluminium or black perspex).  The refraction of light through the perspex enhances both the prints definition and colour with stunning results as well as protecting the image from scratching and other environmental factors.  The piece comes complete with an aluminium subframe to allow for easy hanging on a wall and to give it an elegant, contemporary feel. (Barry Cawston & John Kenny often print their work in this way)


What does all of this mean?

In summary, if you are interested in any of our photography, the best bet is to contact us on [email protected]  or +44 (0) 20 7183 3770. That way you can find out what kind of print is available, is right for you and the current prices.


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