Platinum Raises Funds for the Northern White Rhinos

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Date: 
10 December 2012

Photographer Ian Aitken has worked closely with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Fauna and Flora International to create a series of limited edition prints to raise funds for the last four breeding northern white rhinos. Fifty percent of the funds raised from these prints will go directly to the care of the northern white rhinos. 

The northern white rhinos are critically endangered, and the last four breeding rhinos photographed by Aitken were translocated from the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic and taken to Kenya in 2009. The rhinos (Fatu, Suni, Sudan, and Najin) weren’t the initial focus for Aitken when he stayed at the Conservancy, as he explains: “Initially, I had been commissioned by Ol Pejeta to shoot the Conservancy and surrounding areas, including the wildlife. Towards the end of my trip I managed to organise a “portrait session” with the rhinos, the result of which was a full on collision with the fragility of wildlife.”

“Having one of the last of seven animals in a subspecies nuzzle up to you really makes your hair stand on end.”

After this experience Ian was determined to use his skills as a photographer to raise funds and awareness for these rare animals.

Ian has created a set of four Platinum prints, an old and rare photographic printing process only practiced by a handful of crafts people, which has also been on the verge of disappearing.

Platinum Print, Suni, Northern white rhino Platinum print, Suni, Northern white rhino
Framed platinum print of Suni
Closeup of platinum print showing detail and texture of the prints

 

All aspects of producing this set of prints, from conception to completion has been undertaken with the utmost quality in mind, involving craftspeople of many different trades, reflecting the care and protection these animals receive on a daily basis from the dedicated keepers, security guards, conservation organisations and individuals responsible for their welfare.

All prints have been individually handcrafted fusing cutting edge digital and traditional platinum printing techniques, using hand mixed emulsions, manually brushed onto Platine paper created by Moulin d’Arches from a mill founded in 1492 in Vosges, France. Each print is truly unique.

The finished prints have been placed in bespoke commissioned English brown oak frames, inlaid with fsc mpingo, hand carved with the name of each rhino.This level of detail even extends to using the ultimate archival material for the glazing.

Because of the bespoke nature of each print and frame, there are variations between prints.

Enjoy the view and help raise awareness of the fragility of these animals and the consequences of animal poaching. Prints can be viewed and bought through www.aitkenprints.co.uk.

Ian Aitken is an experienced location photographer, working with many leading travel companies and travel guides. www.aitkenprints.co.uk or www.aitkenimages.co.uk or www.ascapetours.co.uk.

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