Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Platinum Printing Masterclass

led by: Dr Peter Moseley
dates: 6-10 August 2018
times: 9.30am - 4.30pm

price: £750 Full Price or £650 Concessionary Price
includes: materials and catering.

Book online now: The online store

Platinum or Palladium printing is the aristocracy of the early photographic processes. Subtle quality, total permanence and ease of working place the platinum-palladium print at the summit of alternative photographic printing. The image is composed of very finely divided platinum and palladium metals that are more stable and longer lasting than silver based prints and are known for their beauty, archival stability and unique, one-of-a-kind print statement. As with the other alternative printing processes, paper is coated with special solutions and, when dry, is exposed under a negative to the sun or sun lamp, the ultra-violet rays are the key here, before being developed in another chemical mix.

Developed first in the 1860s and 1870s, the technique became very popular with fine art printers because of its very delicate highlights and mid-tones and was used extensively until prices rose dramatically during the First World War made the process too expensive. Long thought to be obsolete, platinum printing has in recent years enjoyed a renaissance among photographers who find it meets an aesthetic and expressive need in their personal work. Images can be obtained in colours ranging from blue-black, through neutral greys, to rich sepia browns.

This masterclass offers demonstrations and hands-on opportunity to explore this classic printing technique. No prior experience is necessary.

Over the five days you will:

Expose and process 10x8 film negatives using a large format camera
Prepare platinum/palladium chemistry and coat/sensitise art paper
Expose and process platinum/palladium contact prints using large format film negatives
Explore calibration techniques for production of inkjet negative transparencies
Prepare digital images and print negative transparencies on inkjet printer
Expose and process platinum/palladium contact prints using inkjet negatives

This course covers the following topics

1. Comparison of digital and film negatives
Film grain versus ink-drops, density range requirements

2. Preparation of film negatives for Platinum/Palladium
Achieving necessary density range of 1.7 to 2.0

3. Ink-Jet Printers and ink sets
Colourised or black negatives
OHP films
Agfa Clearjet
Calculating base printing time for ‘maximum black’ – exposing step-wedge
Choosing colour for negative – exposing tonal palette

4. Printing and linearisation of digital step-wedge
Checking maximum black and paper white
Density measurement of steps
Producing Photoshop curve for linearisation
5. Production and test printing of first digital negative

6. Some Platinum/Palladium process issues
Substrate – sizing (or not!)
Road and brush coating

Supplies and References

Transparency substrates:
HP New Premium InkJet Transparency Film
Pictorico TPF 100
Agfa Clearjet
Epson Inkjet Transparency Film

Stouffer 21-step (half stop) http://www.rhdesigns.co.uk/darkroom/html/accessories1.html

‘Platinum and Palladium Printing’ by Dick Arentz
‘Digital Negatives: Using Photoshop to Create Digital Negatives for Silver and Alternative Process Printing’ by Brad Hinkel and Ron Reeder
'Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing' by Dan Burkholder

John Purcell Paper, 15 Rumsey Road, London, SW9 0TR

Online information:

Find out more about the course tutor Peter Moseley.

This course will be held at UWE Bristol’s Bower Ashton Studios with a maximum of 10 participants.