View Full Version : Platinum/Palladium printing.

2-Sep-2014, 00:22
I've recently been taking a strong interest in Alternative, contact printing methods. I'm planing to get a 7x17" in the not too distant future, and with that in mind, I got into practicing doing contact prints of my 4x5" and 6x17cm negs. Whilst this has been fun, and I've enjoyed the process, obviously, the size of the prints makes them a little less interesting to me, but also, I find the light sensitive paper hard to work with as I don't have a dedicated dark room, rather, I convert my 2nd bathroom at night time when required.

I saw a short YouTube clip of Platinum printing and I think that's for me... I love the look of too much sensitizer spread outside the image borders, love the idea of being able to control tone and contrast easily, not to mention the dmax. Mostly, I love that its largely a lights on process..

The Issues...

I am yet to find a good "Beginners Guide" to Pt/Pd printing.
I am unsure of exactly what I need (with regards to equipment, and chemistry)
I have no idea where in Australia I would acquire the chemistry/raw materials required.

Once I get those few things out the way I would love to give it a go with some 4x5" negs I have handy, then obviously scale it up once I get my grubby mitts on a 7x17"..

I'd love to hear thoughts from Pt/Pd print makers, information on requirements and also, I'd love to see links to some prints done with different mixes to get a feel for the look of different mixes..

Thanks in advance.

2-Sep-2014, 02:29
Before platinum printers chime in I'd just say - don't overlook kallitypes! :)

2-Sep-2014, 02:52
Haven't even looked into that yet... Do they have a similar look as platinum (as in, sensitizer painted onto paper, negative contact printed onto that) That particular look is what I'm really going for.. It just looks so raw... so real.. tangible if you will.. Its a look that basically says "I made this with my bare hands" Very warm and intimate as opposed to looking at an inkjet print or even silver gelatin prints...

2-Sep-2014, 03:59
Well, the basic process is very similar - home-mixed chemicals, hand coated paper - just the chemicals are different (silver-based and therefore much much cheaper) - and you can tone the prints with gold or indeed with Pt / Pd salts for very similar tone - but the overall costs - especially when learning the whole thing - are much lower.

lab black
2-Sep-2014, 04:56
There are numerous books and manuals available that can get you started. I highly recommend "Platinum and Palladium Printing" by Dick Arentz. Volume two is the newer version. If you can not locate one online, you may be able to obtain one by directly contacting Dick. His contact information is on his website. You may also want to take a look at the Bostick and Sullivan website. They sell most of the items that you might need to get started. Craig Tuffin is a remarkably talented and knowledgeable Pt/Pd craftsman in Australia. You may want to contact him either through this forum or his website.

Jim Noel
2-Sep-2014, 11:12
A palladium toned kalitype is chemically indistinguishable from a palladium print at far less cost.
After more than 20 years of teaching a large variety of alternative processes I make the following suggestion.

If you have not done alternative prints of any kind I suggest you begin with something far cheaper until you gain some experience. Van Dyke Brown produces beautiful prints at about 1/10 the cost of palladium. It can be done in any space without fluorescent or daylight. It is easier to see the coating as you apply it and the printing times are reasonable. Additionally it requires a negative with about the same tonal scale as palladium.

2-Sep-2014, 14:16
Alex go to goldstreet studios web site, Ellie had all the gear you need to start pt printing.

Doug Herta
3-Sep-2014, 21:53
I would encourage anyone starting out to try kallitype printing. It is very similar process but with silver nitrate rather than platinum/palladium (Pt/Pd). Combining Pt/Pd will run $7.00 US per 8"X10" in chemicals alone, and pure Pt around $11 US per 8"X10". I have done what Jim suggests and toned kallitypes with Pd and have been pleased with the results. Same ritual - brush on the developer, dry, expose, develop.

4-Sep-2014, 02:35
I think I will give Cyanotypes a go to start with to get the ritual down pat then move to PT/PD once i have the process down and know what to expect from it... I've got the chems I need for cyanotypes so I'll give that a go with one of my more contrasty 4x5 negs later this week / weekend and see how I go, try to perfect the painting and exposure phases, then its just a matter of getting the 7x17" camera and making real prints! :) pretty excited about it all..

David Schaller
4-Sep-2014, 06:24
Good plan. You should also try different papers with the cyanotype as you're learning. Getting used to handling wet paper is a big part of alternative processes.

4-Sep-2014, 11:28
I'm "ok" with kalli as well as andreos suggested. I wanna get better at it cause its looks similar to PT/PD printing. So I'd rather practice with cheaper methods/techniques. Once I get better at it, I can always PT tone my kallis. Also I think the negs are same processed for the two so I'll have good negs for later on when I want to do PD/PT.

I'm thinking of getting the starter kit from Bostick-Sullivan. $150 a kit ain't no joke and I'd rather have good experience with the whole routine like coating and UV light settings,etc etc...