Julian Pearce Photography Julian Pearce Photography

Platinum/palladium prints

A note on platinum/palladium printing

The photographs shown in the Girraween portfolio are all platinum/palladium photographs. This photographic technique was invented in the latter decades of the 19th century and used extensively until World War I. The technique was revived in the 1960s and 1970s by a small group of devotees, including George Tice, exhibiting platinum/palladium photographs and publishing articles and books on the technique.

The approach used in printing the photographs in this exhibition has changed little from that used in the 19th century. Salts of platinum and palladium have been mixed with a sensitiser and then hand coated on to water colour paper. The paper is exposed to ultraviolet light through the negative and then developed, cleared and washed. The photographic image is formed from the grains of platinum and palladium embedded in the paper itself.

Platinum/palladium photographs are well suited to high contrast images and resolve highlights well.

Most of the photographs have been made on Italian watercolour paper 310 gsm manufactured in the Magnani paper mills in Pescia, near Florence, which have been in operation since the 1400s. Where the photographs were more suited to an alternate paper, French watercolour paper was used (namely Arches Platine 310 gsm, for “Granite”).

February 2013