The Workshop went well. Five excellent students attended.
Workshop in Platinum/Palladium Printing
Wayne Lambert, Instructor
Santa Fe, New Mexico
June 3-6, 2012
The Platinum/Palladium Process
The platinum/palladium photographic printing technique was invented in England in the late 19th-century and was soon widely acclaimed for producing photographs of exceptional quality and beauty. In a platinum/palladium photograph the image is composed of microscopic particles of pure platinum and/or palladium metal resting on fine cotton or linen paper. Composed of inert precious metals the image will never tarnish or fade; it will literally last as long as the paper upon which it rests. The photographs are characterized by a lovely gray to warm brown color, a noticeable luminosity, and a long tonal scale. Many well-known early photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Frederick Evans, Paul Strand, and Laura Gilpin printed their finest images in platinum/palladium.
Today, unfortunately, platinum/palladium papers are no longer commercially manufactured. To print in platinum/palladium today one must purchase chemicals, prepare a liquid coating, and brush or spread the light-sensitive coating on a sheet of paper. When the paper is dry it is placed in contact with the negative and exposed to an ultraviolet light source, either the sun or ultraviolet lamps. The print is then developed, cleared, washed, and dried. The process sounds complicated, but it is not very difficult to learn. The results are well worth the effort, and many find that there is a great deal of satisfaction in creating an image of exceptional beauty with your own hands. And, too, many find it particularly enjoyable working with a process little changed since the nineteenth century. Perhaps the easiest way to learn platinum/palladium printing today is through a workshop. For some time now I have been asked to teach an introductory platinum/palladium workshop, and this June 3-6 I will be offering such a workshop in connection with The Darkroom in Santa Fe.
The Workshop will be a three-day introductory workshop in platinum/palladium printing. The emphasis will be on traditional platinum/palladium developing-out processes rather than printing-out processes. No previous darkroom experience in platinum/palladium printing, or for that matter, gelatin-silver printing, is required for the Workshop. The participant may use either in-camera negatives (negatives from a film camera) or digitally created negatives, but the negatives should be of high enough contrast for platinum/palladium printing (more about that below). If the participant does not have suitable negatives a selection of negatives will be available for learning purposes. The use of digitally created negatives will be discussed, but there will be insufficient time for instruction in the techniques of making digfital negatives.
Topics to be covered in discussions and demonstrations include the history and chemistry of the process; basic sensitometry; negative characteristics and selection; paper selection; coating techniques; the proper proof; determination of coating contrast and determination of exposure time using the concept of the proper proof; dodging and burning techniques; types of light sources; types of developers and clearing baths; washing, drying, and print flattening; and matting, framing, presentation, and storage of platinum/palladium prints. In a community darkroom environment each participant will have his own coating station and will have ample time for processing his own prints. The intent is that each participant will leave the Workshop with a number of very good to excellent platinum/palladium prints, and will have the information and basic skills necessary to continue improving his technique in his own darkroom.
Facilities are available for printing negatives ranging in size from 35mm to 8 x 10 inch. However, platinum/palladium printing is a contact-printing process which means that the print size will be the same as the negative size. For that reason, negatives 4 x 5 inches and larger are more commonly used for platinum/palladium printing, but jewel-like platinum/palladium prints can be made from 2 1/4 x 2 1/4-inch and even 35mm negatives.
One difference between platinum/palladium and gelatin-silver printing is that negatives for platinum/palladium printing must be of higher contrast than negatives for silver printing. If the participant wishes to prepare in-camera negatives especially for the Workshop a good approach is to underexpose the film by about 1/3-2/3 stop and overdevelop it about 1.5 times compared to a negative for silver printing. Otherwise, bring the highest contrast in-camera negatives available. It should be noted that "high contrast" does not mean greatly overexposed, greatly overdeveloped, dense, or "bulletproof." A high contrast negative has relatively dense highlights and relatively thin shadows. As noted above a selection of suitable negatives will be available if needed. If you are preparing digital negatives make sure that they are of sufficient contrast, also.
Santa Fe is a town rich in photographic resources and several features of the Workshop will take advantage of these remarkable resources. One evening will feature a salon in which several well-known New Mexico platinum/palladium printers will show and discuss their work. On another evening the group will tour the laboratory and facilities of Bostick & Sullivan, a premier supplier of platinum/palladium and alternative photography printing materials and chemicals. On the final afternoon, as a sort of a wrap-up, we will visit the Andrew Smith Gallery and the Photo Archives of the New Mexico History Museum where gallery and archive personnel will show and discuss historical and contemporary platinum/palladium prints from their collections. These sessions will be an excellent opportunity to view a variety of platinum/palladium prints of different types, styles, and periods, plus perhaps some famous images.
Sunday, June 3:
Participants arrive in Santa Fe.
6:00-8:00 pm. Mixer (guests are welcome). (The Darkroom)
Monday, June 4:
8:30 am-5:00 pm. Workshop instruction. (The Darkroom)
7:00-8:30 pm. Tour of Bostick & Sullivan laboratory and facilities. (www.bostick-sullivan.com
Tuesday, June 5
8:30 am-5:00 pm. Workshop instruction. (The Darkroom)
5:30-7:00 pm. "No host" dinner at a traditional New Mexican restaurant.
7:30-9:30 pm. Print showing and discussion by New Mexico platinum/palladium printers.
Wednesday, June 6: (Schedule change)
9:00-10:00 am. Pt/Pd print viewing and discussion, Photo Archives of the New Mexico History
10:30-11:30 am. Pt/Pd print viewing and discussion, Andrew Smith Gallery.
1:00-6:00 pm. Last Workshop session (The Darkroom) Workshop ends.
The Darkroom will remain set up for platinum/palladium printing through the end of the week on a
rental basis for those who might want to continue darkroom work.
The Darkroom (www.thedarkroomsantafe.com
) is a modern, fully equipped, black-and-white darkroom rental facility serving the Santa Fe community of photographers. Its mission is to foster community while providing emerging and established photographers with the space to develop and refine their craft. With an emphasis on traditonal and alternative processes, The Darkroom encourages exploration and dialogue about the creative process through a program of on-site instruction, workshops, discussion and critique groups, and exhibitions. The Darkroom is located in the 2nd Street District of Santa Fe at the Ironstone Gardens Complex, which houses a number of arts-related businesses and artist's studios. Linda Wilson, a well-known Santa Fe black-and-white photographer, is the Director.
Wayne Lambert is a Santa Fe-based photographer who has photographed in the Southwest U. S. and Mexico since 1969. He has studied with Ansel Adams, Laura Gilpin, Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, Roy Flukinger, and Dick Arentz. In college he first majored in photojournalism and then changed to geology eventually recieving a Ph.D degree in geology from the University of New Mexico. He has worked as a research geologist with the U. S. Geological Survey and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia. He has taught geology, geography, and beginning black-and-white darkroom photography at the university level.
He works with large-format film cameras, mainly 8 x 10 inch. In 2004 he attended Dick Arentz's platinum/palladium printing workshop at Photographers' Formulary in Condon, Montana, and since then has printed almost exclusively in platinum/palladium. His platinum/palladium photographs have been included in juried exhibits and are held in private and institutional collections.
Santa Fe, the 400-year old capital of New Mexico, is an ideal workshop location. The town sits in a high desert landscape at the foot of the forested Sangre de Cristo Range and is famous for clean air, azure skies, brilliant summer cloud formations, and sharp-cutting sunlight. Its scenic setting and its long and eventful Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and U. S. history have made it a preferred destination for adventurers, travelers, and artists. Today it is a city of 70,000 with fine lodging, fine restaurants, museums, cultural venues, and over 250 art galleries (including several world-class galleries of photography). If one is interested in dramatic landscape, archaeology, ancient architecture, fine crafts, interesting faces, art, distinctive cuisine (about which residents, and many visitors, are passionate), and the unexpected in general, Santa Fe and vicinity is an ideal place to visit. If you have time, please allow a few days before or after the Workshop to explore and photograph. For more information visit www.santafe.org
901 W. San Mateo Road, Suite O
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
The Darkroom is about 2 1/2 miles southwest of the Plaza. Free parking is available at the door.
June 3-6, 2012
Number of participants
Take-away kit of printing paper, lab supplies, and coating chemicals (prepared by Bostick & Sullivan and
sufficient for about 25 8 x 10-inch prints or equivalent): $125
Total cost of Workshop (tuition plus kit): $450
Lodging and meals
Participants will make their own arrangements for lodging and meals.
A deposit of $100 or a full payment of $450 reserves a space in the Workshop. The balance of the $450
must be received prior to 30 days before the beginning of the Workshop or the registration will be
cancelled and the space filled from the waiting list.
For notification of withdrawal prior to 30 days before the beginning of the Workshop all monies wil be
refunded less $50. For notification of withdrawal 0-30 days before the beginning of the Workshop all
monies will be refunded less $100.
If it is necessary that the workshop be cancelled, all registrants will be immediately notified and all monies will be fully refunded.
Registration and payment
To pay the deposit or make a full payment please click on the "Pay Now" button below. After payment you will be sent a confirmation and registration materials.
If you would like more information please write Wayne Lambert using the contact page on this website.