Here’s a great project — kind of eternizes your photographs: Shots/on\Stone are black-and-white photographic prints which founder Tom Bates develops by hand on natural stone tiles in a darkroom in Vienna, Austria. The process involves painting a stone with photographic emulsion, exposing a negative image and developing the stone in photographic chemicals. Whilst some companies offer digital prints on stone, Shots/on\Stone are the only company worldwide to offer analog photographic prints on stone. Says Tom Bates: “Hand-crafted and custom-made analog prints on stone reignite the magic of tangible relationships with the photos we take.”
Here’s the press release on the about-to-be-funded Kickstarter project:
Shots/on\Stone are genuine black-and-white analog prints on natural stone tiles, developed in a darkroom using traditional techniques:
- Shots/on\Stone are genuine black & white analog prints on natural stone tiles, developed by hand in a darkroom using traditional techniques
- Because of the analog process and natural stone the prints are developed on, Shots/on\Stone offer us a brand new and unmistakably unique way to experience the photographs we take, entirely different to the photos one might get from online digital print orders
- Each Shot/on\Stone is created using a rare process whereby the stone is hand-coated in photographic emulsion and hand-developed, resulting in artistic prints that have a minimal aesthetic and are full of character
- In a world where our memories are increasingly stored within hard drives or remotely in the “cloud,” Shots/on\Stone encourage us to once again establish real, tangible connections with the photographic images we create
- Artist designs, limited editions and custom prints are available – Pledge for a custom print reward and get one of your very own photos developed as a Shot/on\Stone – Whilst the technique I use is analog, don’t worry, it works great for developing digital photos!
As analog prints on natural stone tiles, Shots/on\Stone offer us a brand new way to experience and enjoy our photographs. Each print is developed by hand in a darkroom using the traditional silver gelatin process, which originated at the end of the 19th century. Shots/on\Stone are developed on Solnhofen natural limestone from Germany which is formed from lime sediments which were deposited over 150 million years ago. Famously, Solnhofen was employed by Alois Senefelder as the basis for the lithographic process which he invented in 1798.
Shots/on\Stones bring back the elements of playfulness, excitement, magic and surprise to photographic print-making. Each stone is hand-coated with liquid emulsion to make it sensitive to light. Under darkroom conditions, a negative image is then exposed onto the stone surface. Once it has been exposed, the stone is soaked in developer and fixer chemicals and then washed in water. Finally, the photograph is painted with two coats of UV protective varnish to help ensure it lasts for many, many years.
The result is an image with a minimal aesthetic which is crafted with love and which is unequivocally unique. When you look at a Shot/on\Stone, you aren’t just seeing a photograph, you are viewing something which has a real, living history and an image which has become fused with the natural patterns and markings of the stone. Since there is no frame around the stone, or glass covering it, you are instinctively drawn to establish a direct, tangible connection with the photograph by touching it and feeling the natural stone surface beneath.
Shots/on\Stone are available now via Kickstarter with prices starting from 40 EUR (approximately 44 USD/33 GBP). As well as artist prints and limited editions, backers can pledge to have their very own photos developed on stone using this unique technique. Whilst the development method is analog, it’s easy to get digital photos such as those taken with an SLR camera or even Instagram photos developed as Shots/on\Stone. Each Shot/on\Stone tile measures 20x20cm (7.8”x7.8”) and weighs between 800 and 1,200 grams. They are also very easy to hang on the wall; each tile will be sent with a hanger attached to the back, screw and anchor.