Platinum/palladium printing resources
DISCLAIMER: Users are responsible for informing themselves about the risks, and to take appropriate precautions in the handling of all equipment and materials listed here.
The author(s) deny all liability for any sickness, injury, damage or loss resulting from the use of the chemicals and equipment listed below.
THIS LIST is a work in progress and presented as a set of guidelines for assembling materials and equipment to make print-out platinum/palladium prints (the ‘Ammonium’ system or the ‘Malde-Ware process’). It is not definitive, and links to retailers are offered as suggestions. Please use the comments section below to offer updates, corrections or ideas, and I will fold these into the list at my discretion. Pradip Malde, June, 2019
for boards, boxes, sleeves
for matt boards, frames, enclosures, sleeves
for optically clear mylar film to interleave between negatives and sensitized paper
for boards, batting paper, optically clear acetate, tissue paper, non-woven polyester fabric
Just about all specialty hardware and project material, optically clear mylar film
Books, Readings, Workshops
McCabe, Constance (ed). “Platinum and Palladium Photographs: Technical History, Connoisseurship, and Preservation“, Washington D.C., 2017. A definitive and broad ranging collection of scientific and humanistic articles about the process, and richly illustrated.
Ware, Mike. “Platinomicon: A Technical Account of Photographic Printing in Platinum and Palladium“, Buxton, 2017. An astonishing and comprehensive account, generously made available for free by the author.
Print-out platinum-palladium and PiezoDN Workshop with Pradip Malde – July 29- August 1, 2019 at Cone Editions, Vermont
Note: Some suppliers only fulfill institutional orders, but some will take personal credit cards–shop around. When possible, set up an account as it helps establish track record and leads to easier ordering.
Ammonium iron(III) oxalate
aka ammonium chloroplatinite from Inkjet Mall
aka ammonium chloropalladite from Inkjet Mall
aka polysorbate 20
sodium metabisulfite may also be used, but it tends to irritate respiratory systems for some people
or use Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent, at working strength dilutions indicated on packet
All work, from the preparation of sensitizers to print drying, should be carried out in a well ventilated room that has 10 or more exchanges of air per hour. The air should be free of particulate matter. Most domestic HVAC systems generate this sort of airflow in the regular ‘night cooling’ mode. Special attention, however, must be paid to the direction of airflow when mixing solutions from solids. Wear a respirator of at least N95 filtration, and ensure that the airflow direction is across the preparation area and away from people.
Drying unit for sensitized paper
Food dehydrator – Excalibur 5-tray unit, solid color, no timer, 15×15 inch trays
Paper for sensitizing
type is followed by batch/make numbers that are known to produce good results
Arches Platine, 145 or 310 gsm [145gsm, S201015 1795209] [310gsm, S104617 1795169]
Revere Platinum, 320 gsm [VOR160425 15014781]
Reich CT Clear (a.k.a. vellum) 48# NB: thinner versions work, but require much more careful handling [S99-RPT320WH2230]
most of these papers are also available from InkjetMall
are also very useful for accurate and repeatable measurements of small volumes. The 100-1000µl is good for extremely small volumes such as those needed for adding Tween and/or Glycerin to the sensitizer, and 1000-5000µl sizes may be most appropriate for volumes for areas up to 11×14 inches. Slip tips will be needed for each size, but only a few – they last a long time.
small liqueur or ‘shot’ glass for mixing the sensitizer
Clear bottles, approx. 50ml x 2
for storing diluted solutions of Tween/Glycerin
Coating the sensitizer
for coating – at least 1/4″thick, ‘pencil polished’ edge and rounded corners
See this video for instructions about how to make hydration boxes / chambers. The dimensions below are to make a box large enough for a 20×24″ sheet of paper. If making 8×10″ prints on 11×14″ paper, it will be more economical in terms of space and cost to build a 16×20″ hydration box
storage trays or similar – these should be plastic, opaque and with a level lip wide enough to adhere weather strip. The tray’s opening, in this case 20×24″, should be at least 2″ smaller than the ‘lid’ as illustrated in the manual
suspended light ceiling panel -optional, and if used, cut it down to fit inside the tray, suspended about half-way down
sandwiched between two glass sheets, 24×30″
1.5 to 2″ wide gaffer or masking tape to bind and edge the sandwich
paper holders with magnetic pins
(do not get this type)
UV printing unit
PPM-2 Meter with External Long-UV-Wavelength Sensor – not essential but very helpful
Timer – for iPhones: MultiTimer
Processing trays (5)
Tongs or strong plastic gloves
five gentle changes of water at 68F ± 5 degrees every 5 minutes, or in gentle running water for 20-25 minutes with something like the Kodak Automatic Tray Siphon
Vertical glass or plexiglass sheet for draining washed prints
Print drying racks or more blotting paper
Dry mounting press
or pressing boards for print flattening
Non-woven polyester sheet, marketed as Holytex: for supporting very thin paper during wet processing, and flat-drying translucent papers.
*Essential only if preparing the sensitizer solutions, in addition to the above list
Pyrex/Corning glass beakers
3 50mL and 1 100mL (Amazon sells multi-size packs, and may be most economical to get to or more packs)
Measuring cylinder, very accurate
Brown glass bottles 3 x 50 cc or amber PET bottles and labels
Hotplate/Stirrer (or bath of very hot water)
6x or 10x Light Gathering Loupe is good for looking at details in a print