1st Edition

Platinotype Making Photographs in Platinum and Palladium with the Contemporary Printing-out Process

By Pradip Malde, Mike Ware Copyright 2021
    418 Pages 177 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    418 Pages 177 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Platinotype: Making Photographs in Platinum and Palladium with the Contemporary Printing-out Process describes the mechanisms and chemistry of platinum/palladium printing in safe and practical ways. Clearly presented formulae allow the printer to work with platinum, palladium, or varying combinations of both. The printed-out image appears fully during exposure, and only requires simple and safe steps for clearing to a stable, archival state.

    The authors explain what makes the image, how all necessary components are prepared and used, and the kind of paper and negative needed to make prints. More than just a technical manual, the book underscores the authors' belief that printing is a creative, scientific, and philosophic way of working. The book presents an outstanding collection of prints by over 40 artists, all made with this printing-out process. The artists' notes and comments offer insights into their methods and thinking, and a large number of full-page reproductions serve as a valuable reference for the aspiring printer.

    The book includes:

    • A list of supplies and equipment
    • A detailed chemical glossary
    • A Quick-start section in the Preface
    • Summary sheets and workflows for each step of the process
    • Instructions for making traditional negatives with Pyro PMK and digital negatives
    • Explanation of the chemistry and dynamics of paper, and how to use buffered papers
    • Instructions for controlling hydration processes and humidity
    • Instructions for preparing each chemical solution needed for the process
    • Discussion about the aesthetics of the platinum/palladium print
    • Explanation of the relationships between light, image, and expression
    • A detailed troubleshooting list
    • Recommendations from conservators about processing, handling, and conservation
    • Contemporary artists using the printing-out platinum/palladium process.

    Learning how to make platinum/palladium prints has been cloaked in a mystique of difficulty. Platinotype presents the process as a set of clearly explained and defined steps. Like other books in the series, Platinotype is a detailed and inspiring manual, accessible to both novices and experts, and illustrative of the contemporary arts.

    Foreword by Mike Ware, Preface, Acknowledgements, PART 1, 1. Contexts and Expectations, 2. Chemistry of the Platinum/Palladium Print, 3. Safety, Workspaces, and Procedures, 4. Equipment, Materials, and Chemicals, 5. Preparation of Sensitizer and Processing Solutions, 6. Paper―Its Properties and Choice, 7. Negatives, 8. Making the Print, 9. Archival Processing, Presentation, and Documentation, 10. Looking and Seeing, PART 2 11. Contemporary Practices, Appendix I Troubleshooting, Appendix II Workflow Summaries, Appendix III Glossary, Appendix IV Equipment, Materials and Resources, Appendix V Bibliography and References, Index


    Pradip Malde graduated from the Glasgow School of Art (MA, 1980). He is a professor of Art at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, teaching photography and documentary studies. A Scottish Arts Council Bursary recipient (1990) and a Guggenheim Fellow (2018), he has worked extensively within small rural communities using photography as a citizen-based development tool. His works are held in numerous public collections, including the Scottish National Galleries, Princeton University Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

    Dr. Mike Ware graduated in chemistry at the University of Oxford (1962). He is an Honorary Fellow in Chemistry, University of Manchester, UK, and a recipient of the Hood Medal of the Royal Photographic Society. His researches on improving historic photographic processes have had a profound impact on creative and historical aspects of photography, and are described in 70 publications. He has consulted for national museums and galleries, exhibited his personal photographic work and conducted workshops worldwide. In 2016 he was awarded the Special Recognition of the American Institute for Conservation.

    "Simple formulae and excellent directions guide you through each step in the process. The book will be a valuable resource for a wide readership. More than a technical manual, Platinotype lays out a creative and philosophic practice―revealed from lens to paper."
    Meg Partridge, Director, The Imogen Cunningham Trust

    "Elegantly written and explained for the novice, advanced amateur, or professional alternative process photographer."
    Jim Patterson, Photochemist and Experimenter in alternative photography