The absolute pinnacle of fine black & white printing is the Platinum / Palladium print (Pt/Pd). The process involves hand coating fine paper with a sensitizer comprised of platinum and palladium salts which are then exposed in contact to a negative. It is the most coveted and valuable form of photographic expression. It is also the most permanent and fade resistant of any photographic print process.
We use Malde-Ware chemistry which is closer to the historical invention of platinum printing than any other conventionally used chemistry system. The ammonium based printing-out system solubilizes more noble metal than can other conventional methods. We like the darker dMax, the smoother tonality, and higher acuity. It is also extremely stable and repeatable. All of our Pt/Pd prints are made with 50% platinum and 50% palladium. The final color is controlled by humidity and sensitizer. Currently we are offering a near neutral or a slightly warm. Your prints will be made with at least 50% platinum so that you can ethically refer to them as “Platinum Prints”.
The way we print Pt/Pd is unique to our studio. We invented a calibration method based on our Piezography® digital negative system that is perfectly tuned to the difficult characteristics of the process. In camera negatives have been the bane of every platinum printer’s existence. A Piezography digital negative can separate more shadow and highlight detail than any conventional film process (pyro developed or not!). Our digital negative system uses 10 shades of monochromatic inks to produce tens of thousands more gray levels than color ink based negative systems. Because our system is linear to a calibrated display, you need only adjust your image the way you want it to print. No guess work. Proofing really is not necessary with our studio. If you want your highlights crisp – make them so. If you want your highlights to have that historically toned effect – then tone them down some. We are unique in what you see is what we print.
(50% platinum/50% palladium, methodology 3 ammonium ferric oxalate, 60%rH, Revere Platinum paper 22x30 - photo by: Steven Friedman.)
We make our own sensitizers and can modulate the tone.
Below are the six expressions that we offer when you come print with us in our light room. Hover over each image to view the toning name. When we print remotely for our clients we offer near neutral and semi-warm.
PRINT WITH US @ CONE EDITIONS PRESS
When you come to print with us you can expect to make a lot of prints and each matching yours or our display. Our exposures are only 60 seconds. You'll receive a discount of 40% off the below remote printing prices.
The start of the day is spent in the imaging lab doing final mastering of files. After the images have been finalized, and while the PiezoDN negatives are printed you or we will begin coating the papers with the platinum-palladium sensitizers. After the coating has dried to a sufficient point, the contact-negatives and paper are exposed to UV light in a vacuum frame and then cleared. Prints are air-dried overnight. If you're spending several days with us we simply begin again. If you are production oriented we can begin to sink lines to clear twice as many as one sink line!
You can take whatever is dry with you when you leave, or have us ship them.
Remote Printing Prices
||1 of the same neg||2-5 of the same neg
||6+ of the same neg |
* Prices represent cost per print for a single image/neg.
** All Platinum/Palladium prints are flattened, quality controlled, and retouched (spotted) and then archival flat-packed for shipment or storage.
CONTACT US TO START
PIEZODN DIGITAL NEGATIVES
The PiezoDN negative is a new invention from Cone Editions Press. We found that printing with up to 10 shades of monochrome ink (from dark to light) enables incredibly smooth and dependable tones coupled with high-resolution, and very opaque dMax. These qualities are all required if you are going to spend $$$ on Platinum/Palladium salts. A Platinum print is only as good as its weakest link and usually that is the negative. With PiezoDN we finally have a negative that is capable of printing the fine details from a drum scan or high-megapixel digital camera. The negatives also have incredibly subtle tonal transitions and we can calibrate them perfectly.
Custom Calibration (for your darkroom)
|$150.00 per Calibration. Calibration is stored @ Cone Editions Press and digital negatives are made from this calibration for the client and their own home darkroom. We currently do not support silver neg printing.