Platinum-Palladium Printing


A Brief History

The Platinum Print, also known as the Platinotype, was first patented by William Willis in 1873 and uses Platinum which is then combined with Ferric Oxalate to make the metal light sensitive. Additionally, Palladium can be substituted for the Platinum (which is known as a Palladiotype) or combined with the Platinum which results in a warmer toned final image. The process yields one of, if not the most archival photographic prints, and produces a matte print with rich warm tones. This style of printing was popular into the early 20th century, but when the cost of Platinum became 52 times more expensive than silver, it was no longer economical to mass produce.  Additionally Russia controlled 90% of the Platinum with most of it being used for the war efforts.

This process is a contact printing process, which means the final size of your overall print is determined by the size of your negative.  If you have an 8x10 inch negative, your final print will also be 8x10 inches. In this video I'm using a negative that is 8x12 inches which I produced from a digital capture on a Canon 5D Mark II and an inkjet printer. The metals once mixed with the ferric oxalate are only sensitive to UV light which allows me to have standard lights on in my darkroom while printing. Once the emulsion is dry, I place the negative in direct contact with the sensitized paper and place both into a contact printing frame which keeps the negative in direct contact with the paper.  Without a contact printer your final print will not be in focus. The contact printer is place into a UV light source and exposed for a determined amount of time.  I then develop, clear and wash the prints.

Enjoy the video and please be in touch if you have any questions.