Platinum/Palladium with Michael T. Puff

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Late last month we had the pleasure of hosting a Platinum/Palladium workshop in our Photographic Arts Lab led by San Francisco-based artist Michael T. Puff! A master of this luminous, tonally-rich process, Michael led our eleven participants in making gorgeous prints of their own images.

Platinum/Palladium printing, a photographic process invented in the 19th century,  has long been a favorite of alternative process photographers for its highly archival nature and infinite variations of gray tones as highlights shift to shadows. In the process Michael uses, ferric oxalate, palladium, and sodium chloroplatinate are mixed together, hand-brushed onto 100% cotton rag paper, exposed to UV light through a digital negative, and then processed with potassium oxalate and sodium thiosulfate. The end result is a handcrafted print that is estimated to retain its appearance for a thousand years!

Thank you to all of our wonderful participants, and of course to Michael for traveling to us to share his expertise!

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Michael instructs the class on mixing the chemicals and coating their paper

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The participants mark where the image portion of their digital negatives will be centered on their paper

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After exposing a coated piece of paper to UV light, Michael demonstrates developing the print

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Participants process their exposed prints

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Cyd looks at the class’s finished work at the end of the day

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Gorgeous work produced by the students pinned up on the critique board

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Michael talks about successes and things to work on with the students

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Beautiful work by Lloyd Matthews

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Luminous prints by Deb Alberty

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A delicate, icy print by our very own Business Manager, Debra Wilson!