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Thread: Palladium Printing

  1. #1

    Palladium Printing

    I am new to palladium printing and have read the book by Dick Arentz as well as a few other resources. The one thing I am having trouble with is exposure. Every thing I have read says I should see a latent image like a printing out paper but I have yet to see anything remotely like this. My exposures have been completel y black to lightly muddy. I know... a test strip, but I am wondering if the late nt image problem is as significant as I am making it out to be. I guess I am ask ing for some guidance from someone here with practical experience in this type o f printing. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    Palladium Printing

    Check the Alternative Process forum for a more informed response at

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    Palladium Printing


    If your print is completely black it is completely exposed, that is, grossly overexposed. If it is light-muddy, it may be that the negative is much too low in contrast for palladium. Try drastically cutting your printing exposure. A "develop out" palladium print should show fairly dark borders and some density in the deepest shadows before development, but nothing near a full print-out exposure. If you use POP palladium chemicals (ziatype or Ware/Malde) you will get a complete print out image without separate development.---Carl

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    East Yorkshire

    Palladium Printing

    If you are using the traditional (develop out) palladium printing approach with ferric oxalate as the iron based sensitiser then the latent image is not all that obvious. It depends to some extent on how much residual moisture is left within the sensitised paper after drying. Don't worry it is almost impossible to assess the correct exposure based upon the feint latent image. Make a test strip using equal amounts of the palladium salt and ferric oxalate, expose to a u.v source or the sun and develop the strip in potassium oxalate or ammonium citrate, wash and clear as instructions and dry the test strip before making your assessment of the correct exposure. I can not give you a recommended time because it depends on a number of factors including the density of your negative. If you wish to conatact me off list for further advice then please feel free

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Palladium Printing


    Carl Weese gives you excellent advice.

    I print palladium almost exclusively. You need to obtain a density range that is fairly high for palladium. I find that I need a DR of 1.9 to 2.2 depending on the scene and exposure. This assures that I will not need any contrast agent. I find that contrast agents such as potassium chloride degrade the image.

    Yes, you should see a faint image using traditional pt/pd. You want to expose until you just begin to make out the highlights. But for sure, you should do test strips. Pt/pd is way to expensive to waste the material. After a while you will develop the ability to look at the latent image and see if the exposure is good or not. Occassionally I look at the latent image and say "wow" that looks incredible. Then add the developer and it really "pops" (sorry no pun intended).

    If you are getting muddy weak images before development with almost no highlight/shadow separation, you are most certainly provesseing your negatives to a too low density range. Try selenium intensifying an existing negative 1:3 for 10 minutes. Then print again. If this helps a bit try making another negative more contrasty (longer development time) and see what happens. Keep very accurate records and after a bot of experience you will be able to tailor your approach.

    David Michael Kennedy has a great website with a great reference article on palladium printing. It is at , check it out, I think you may find it helpful.

    Best wishes Mike

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Dodge City, KS

    Palladium Printing

    I can only add comment to the unlikely but fatal possibility that you are someho w inadvertently exposing your paper before you get to the contact printing stage.

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