Platinum / Palladium Prints

The Platinum Printing Process was developed in England during the nineteenth century.  Cotton rag paper is hand coated with a solution containing platinum and/or palladium salts and an iron oxalate sensitizer. After drying the coated paper, it is exposed with a photographic negative to ultraviolet light, which causes a reduction of the platinum or palladium salts to pure metal.  After several clearing baths to remove the remaining salts, the final print consists of pure platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd) metallic fragments laid on to and embedded within the paper.  The process I use today is virtually unchanged from that first patented process in 1873.

Platinum / Palladium prints have a different “look” from silver gelatin or digital prints. All platinum prints have a matte, non glossy surface, because the sensitizer is absorbed into the paper rather than sitting on the surface. A platinum print also has a more gradual tonal range from black to white. To the eye accustomed to the punch of a silver gelatin print, a platinum print will often feel “softer” or lower in contrast. In reality there are actually more steps, or tones between pure black and pure white in platinum prints than any other form of printing. This contributes to the deeper, richer feeling you experience when looking at these prints.

I mix all the sensitizer I will need prior to printing each print. As these sensitizers are mixed and coated by hand, no two prints are exactly alike. Each print has a subtle difference from the previous print created. Occasionally brush strokes can be seen in some of the prints. They should be seen and accepted as the marks of the process and the artist.

My Platinum / Palladium prints are available for purchase as archival fine-art prints that will last for generations since Platinum / Palladium prints will not fade over time like Ink Jet or Silver Gelatin prints.

To purchase one of my handmade Platinum / Palladium prints, please click on the PRINTS Button below.

Any image on my web site can be printed and can be requested by contacting me through the contact page.

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© 2019 by Ryan Gillespie Photography