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Platinum-Gum Printing with Digital Negs: Kerik Kouklis | Apr. 6-12, 2014

Kerik Kouklis, Gayle, gum over platinum, 2009
Kerik Kouklis, Gayle, gum over platinum print of collodion image, 2009

Platinum/palladium printing is a nineteenth century photographic printing process based on iron, platinum, and palladium rather than silver. It is considered one of the most beautiful photographic processes because of its very subtle gradation of tones. Kerik Kouklis will be teaching this process at Penland this April.

Paltinum/palladium prints are made with paper that has been hand coated, and they are exposed in contact with a negative that’s the same size as the final print. The success of the print depends on using a negative that matches the characteristics of the platinum/palladium material.

Creating these negatives used to require a high level of darkroom skill, but today, carefully-tuned negatives can be made with an inkjet printer, making the whole process much more accessible. This is the method that will be used in this workshop.


Kerik Kouklis
Platinum-Gum Printing with Digital Negatives
In the photography studio

We’ll start by making digital negatives with the QuadTone RIP program and Epson printers. Then we’ll use these negatives to make platinum/palladium prints, and we’ll cover the fundamentals of the gum bichromate process. Adding layers of gum bichromate to a platinum/palladium print can result in prints ranging from subtle to wildly colorful. Combining these processes allows you to use both the left and right sides of your brain to produce work that’s uniquely yours. Darkroom or alternative process experience helpful but not required. Students should have basic skills in Photoshop (adjustment tools, layers, etc.). Code S02P


Register for this workshop here


In addition to covering the production of digital negatives, hand coating the paper, and making the platinum/palladium prints, this workshop will also include an introduction to another nineteenth century process called gum bichromate. This process involves pigment suspended in a medium that hardens in response to light, and a gum print can be made in almost any color. In this workshop, the gum process will be applied on top of the platinum/palladium prints as a way of adding new tonalities to the images. 


Kerik Kouklis has taught photography at the Photographer’s Formulary (MT), Ansel Adams Gallery (CA), and Project Basho (Philadelphia), among others. His work has been shown in exhibitions at the Ansel Adams Gallery (CA), Taube Museum of Art (NC), and is housed in  collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts (PA).