Platinum Palladium Printing @ CEP
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.
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. Whether you choose extra warm, warm, warm neutral, neutral, or cool neutral your prints will be made with at least 50% platinum so that you can ethically refer to them as “Platinum Prints”.
Pt/Pd printing is not new. However, the way we print Pt/Pd is new. 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!) 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. If you want your highlights crisp – make them so. If you want your highlights to have that historically toned effect – then make them so. What you see is what we print.
We make our own sensitizers and can modulate the tone.
Below are the six expressions that we offer as default. Hover over each image to view the toning name.
PRINT WITH US @ CONE EDITIONS PRESS
This Platinum/Palladium print service takes place in full-day chunks. The start of the day is spent in the imaging lab doing final mastering of files and printing proofs on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag. After the images have been finalized, PiezoDN negatives are printed. Then paper is coated in the darkroom and let to dry as chemicals are set up. 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 developed. The end of the day is spent finishing up and the prints are air-dried overnight. In the morning, we retouch the prints and flat-pack them carefully for transport. If needed, we are able to hard-proof the artist’s files before they arrive at CEP for Platinum printing. This will decrease any imaging time required and increase the amount of prints produced during the day. If the artist has photographs in negative form only, they must be drum scanned and finalized ahead-of-time.
||1||2-5 of the same neg
||6-Infinity of the same 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
TONE MATCHING & PROOFS
Because we are able to calibrate each print perfectly, we are able to match our Pt/Pd prints to the artist’s image file. Whatever you see in the digital file is what can be printed in the final print. This is not a normal process for Pt/Pd. Normally Pt/Pd prints are much flatter and lighter than the originating digital files. This can be problematic when the Pt/Pd print does not match what the artist intended. Because we are not the same as other labs, what we offer is a “Pt/Pd Proof” service. This online service allows an artist to upload an image and receive a proof printed with Piezography ink on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag paper that perfectly matches the eventual platinum print without the huge cost of a platinum print. The artist can even choose to simulate different developers that will tone the print neutral, semi-warm, or warm. Of course, if the artist is looking for a “classic Pt/Pd look” they can choose that too and we’ll print the proofs with expanded mid-tones and open shadows. This way, an artist will know exactly what they will be getting when they send us a file for Platinum/Palladium printing: they can get a proof done, and adjust their file as-needed
||Price Per Proof
|8x10 (on 8.5x11 paper)
ORDER PT/PD TONE-MATCH PROOFS
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 home 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. Negative prices are quoted on a project-by-project basis and are not listed online.