Printout (Malde-Ware) Platinum & Palladium Workshop Syllabus

This workshop is designed to teach platinum-palladium printing with enlarged digital negatives, as both an introductory and advanced-level opportunity to become familiar with one of the most highly nuanced approaches to the process.

Platinum/palladium printing has always been valued for its permanence and its ability to resolve tonal values - ‘velvety’ is a term often used to describe fine platinum/palladium prints. The method taught in this workshop has recently been recognized by conservators as the most permanent variation of the process. The image appears as it is exposed (print-out) and renders remarkably smooth tones, with the legendary ‘creamy’ highlights and open shadows. All together, this demands the best possible negative. The Piezography PiezoDN Digital Negative system is among the most finely tuned and highly resolved methods for making enlarged negatives. There are a multitude of formulae for making prints from platinum and/or palladium, and the same is true for digital negative making. This workshop concentrates on a particular approach to each: the print-out platinum/palladium method, invented in the late 19th C and refined by Dr. Mike Ware and Pradip Malde during the 1980s, and the Piezography PiezoDN digital negative method.

The workshop will include:

  • Demonstrations: Digital to Printer setups; negative printing; platinum-palladium printing

  • Discussions: History; Technical aspects of the process; Chemistry, safety and preparation; Folio reviews and aligning process to vision 

  • Praxis: Workroom setups; printing; fine-tuning; problem solving

Instructor Bio

Pradip Malde is a photographer and educator who has lived and worked in Tanzania, India, Spain, and Scotland, and currently resides in the United States. His work has been widely published and exhibited across the USA and Europe and is included in various public and private collections, notably the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago; Houston Museum of Fine Art, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Princeton University Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh; and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. 

Malde’s work sits between fine art, documentary, and collaborative modes of photography practice, but throughout has worked extensively with large format and platinum-palladium printing. His long-term professional collaboration with chemist and photographer Mike Ware, which began in 1981, led to the successful re-formulation of an ammonium-based platinum/palladium printing-out process, derivative of the 19th century process published by Austrian photographers Joseph (Giuseppe) Pizzighelli (1849-1912) and Arthur von Hübl (1853-1932)  in 1883 titled “La platinotypie.”

Pradip Malde was awarded a 2018 Guggenheim fellowship for his work in photography.

This printing process is renowned for its capacity to activate seemingly homogenous areas of tone. Scrutinizing the platinum/palladium print yields more than the appreciation of technique and materials: it brings to light an intimate and palpable sense of “image.” It seems the more we do this, the less separation there is between oneself, the print, and the photographic “window.” There is a feeling not only of being a part of the world but of being apart from the world, of looking beyond. The more we look at, and consider this kind of photographic print, the more it seems that we are gazing back at ourselves from another’s world. I believe that photographic images as prints have to be compelling. The work has to hold attention. Attention, or being compelled to look at an object (the print), amounts to valuing the subject. Developing value requires immersion, both in the production and reading of the work. It is this kind of sustained attention that builds sufficient energy for us to excavate the links between loss and love, for instance, and begin to answer perpetual questions about what it is to be human. ~ Pradip Malde

Day 1: Necessary Knowledge

Morning: 10:00am to 12:30pm  |  Break for Lunch  |  Afternoon: 1:30pm to 4:30pm

  1. Introductions

  2. Looking at Prints

  3. The Image as Print

  4. Getting Set Up

  5. Looking at Files

  6. Overview of the Entire Process - Start to Finish

  7. First Selection of Files to Print

On the first day we introduce you to the wonderful world of Platinum Palladium printing. We go through each participants work and also look at a variety of prints to gain an understanding of the breadth and depth of the PtPd methods available.

Part of the day is spend just getting set up in both the digital and darkroom labs, learning how to coat paper, learning how to 

Day 2: Necessary Practice

I know I can fly! Just a little reminder here and there - but it’s time for less talking and more rocking. Today it’s time to begin printing with the systems on your own.

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Day 3: Dig a Little Deeper

Now take what you’ve learned and go forth and make prints!  

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Day 4: Workflow & Wrap-up

From Layout to Finish: on this day we finalize a custom tailored workflow for your specific studio needs and art practice. Leave with a "prescription" of items you need to get set up in your home environment.

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