Platinum/Palladium Printing

Anyone here using Piezography digital negatives for Platinum/Palladium photographic printing? If so, are you using Meth1 or Meth3 ink set? I’m considering this alt process and was wondering which works best for this process. Thanks -Louis

Please read the Piezography manual- specifically, on page 24 it answers your question, and provides a lot of other helpful information about Piezography Digital Negatives.
You can find the Piezography manual on the Articles tab, under product Manuals and Instructions.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:

Thanks Dana- Yes, I’ve read all the manuals stuff and it’s mention of Meth3 being “suitable” but it doesn’t necessarily rule out the use of Meth1 for the P/P process. I was looking more for someone who is actually using it for this process and not just theory. And if they were actually using Meth3, which curve within that set they found most successful. But thanks for the pointer to the manual it is very well written.


Hi Louis, I’ve just began experimenting with pt/pd and piezo. I’m going to be using meth3 and a photoshop curve supplied by Jon. Will let you know how it goes within the week.

Hi Jarvman, It looks like you’re using the same Piezography system as I just installed, so I figured I’d drop in and ask a question regrading curves. I posted a question in the digital Negative section here on the forum about blocked highlights earlier this morning and I wanted to see what you’re doing with the ink curves and PT/PD printing. I have dropped in the link to my post here, and was hoping you could offer any advice.

My first negatives with the K3 inkset look flat and grey, but the printed the highlights well. The new Piezo negs look almost like a standard print, but I have zero detail in nearly have of the 21 step scale. I guess my question is… I am wondering what your piezo negs look like.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Louis, I’m using meth_3 and the 1_8 density in QTR for making my negs. Jon supplied me with a correction curve for platinum printing. Here is a screen shot of the curve and the resulting negative. I haven’t had any problems with blocked in highlights myself. Perhaps it’s a chemical issue such as old ferric oxalate? I’m very happy with my initial tests using a pure palladium/very low contrast mixture of pt/pd. The highlights have a lot more information than the old method I was using to make negs (Burkholder curve and Epson ABW) in which I found them to be blown out. I wouldn’t describe them as ‘blocked in’ though. I can send you the curve to try and see if this makes a difference.

Thanks for the info, Jarvman. My first thought was definitely chemistry, so I tried a brand new, freshly made bottle ferric oxalate that I just received from B&S. The results were not encouraging. I’d rather have a known problem, then deal uncertainty. Every negative I printed with the Piezo system blocked all highlights, so I went back and used one of the few negatives I printed with the OEM K3 inks, a little flat, but I had detail in the highlights. From the supplied screen shots you have here, it looks like you’re applying a correction curve, then printing the neg with the proper Piezo profile curve?

That’s right yes, I’m applying a correction curve in Photoshop before pinting using the 1.8 density curve in QTR. The Photoshop curve seems to pull in the highlights though (darken them). By ‘Blocked’ do you mean there is no information there? i.e completely blank white for half of your test step wedge. Or is it the opposite you mean, that your highlights have too much tonality?

What contrast mixture are you using?

Jarvman - The “blocked” highlights are in fact pure white, with no information what so ever. The step wedge negative printed with detail in the shadows, but everything was lost once I got to about 35 and below, depending on the density curve I used. I did try everything from the 1.4 up to 1.8. I tried two different solution drop counts to to see if there was any change…

FO#1 - 17
FO#2 - 1
PT#3 - 8
PD#3 - 10

Seconds time around -
FO#1 -18
PT#3 -8
PD#3 - 10

When you say “darken” the highlights, I assume the negative is thinner, therefore allowing the highlights to print on paper with more detail? If so, this sounds like exactly what I need.

That’s correct yes. Send me your email address and I’ll email the curve to you. I would leave platinum and ferric oxalate with contrast agent out of the mixture for the moment. I’m able to make a good print with pure palladium or with a very slight amount of contrast agent. What density curve are you printing your neg with in QTR? It should be 1.8.


Thanks for sending that curve! Is this the one Jon made for you?

I tried all of the curves available, but noticed Jon suggested either the 1.6, or 1.8 curve for platinum. I’ll start with the 1.8 and adjust accordingly. I wanted to keep things consistent, so I kept using the PT, but I plan to only use PD until I get everything worked out. I doubt I’ll use much if any contrast agent going forward.

Thanks again!

Did somebody send you a curve? It wasn’t me! You shouldn’t use the 1.6 for platinum unless you are using a high contast mix.

No, no curve was sent, I was just thanking you in advance for offering to send the curve. The only reason why I used 1.6 was because because I read that Jon recommend it for silver and platinum.

Did you get the PM I sent with my Email address?

Hey, just sent you the platinum curve Jon made. The 1.6 is designed for silver printing, platinum needs a higher density and so 1.8 is recommended. Surprised you’re getting blank white highlights with the 1.6 curve. The density is lower than needed so it should fog in theory. I can only imagine your contrast mixture is too high or perhaps without a curve your highlights aren’t linear. try printing an image with the curve and a density of 1.8 in QTR with a pure palladium mixture (no ferric #2 or platinum). What inkset are you using? Good luck! Look forward to hearing your results!


Thanks for sending the curve, I just received the file in email.

I have the K6 selenium ink set with the PZDN 2.5 and 4.5 installed. I will make a new negative this afternoon with the 1.8 QTR curve, and the adjustment curve you sent. Thinking that I had too much contrast, I dropped FO#2 from my mix on the last couple of prints and it still didn’t give me any highlight detail.

For some reason, I don’t really see a difference in negatives when I change the QTR curve from 1.4 through 1.8. I wonder if my QTR curves are being applied properly. I would imagine that there should be a noticeable difference in the negatives when viewed on a light table.

Thanks again!


So I made a new neg with the curve you sent, and the QTR 1.8 curve… It was better, but I still lack a good amount of highlight detail. I plan to adjust the curve you provided, and maybe try the 1.6 QTR curve. My original Photoshop files are contrasty to start, so I think flattening the tone a bit will help. Do you make major adjustments to that curve you gave?

Hi Maxxsmart~

I have printed PZDN for PT/PD printing, and was told they worked very well, but have not done the PT/PD process myself, so Jarvman will be more help on that aspect. In my experience, I only applied the Platinum starting curve I sent you (without making further changes to it or the image file, other than the norman invert/flip horizontal adjustments). Have you printed a 21 step strip using this workflow/process, to have a base of the density range? If not, I attached a 21 step strip image for you to work with.

Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

21 step (142 KB)

Hi Dana,

Thank you. I used the 21 step wedge from QTR, and each time lost all values from 25-35 on down to zero. I tried printing the wedge with the new curve, and ended up getting a little more detail, still not what I expected to get. I will be trying this process again later this week, and share any new updates. I am just surprised that I am getting no printed values in the highlights. When I was looking at David Chow’s blog posts on this system, it seems he is getting good tone all the way down to 5-10. I was surprised at how little this system needed to be customized, so I feel like I may be doing something wrong… Or my 3880 has some terribly off output.