Fine Art Photographs in Gold, Rhodium, Iridium, Platinum, and Palladium



Richard Eugene Puckett has developed simple formulas that fundamentally alter the light-sensitive compounds used to print with the noble metals. He has also discovered processes to induce the salts of noble metals such as rhodium and iridium to reduce to image-forming elemental metal on exposure to UV. With these the first new processes for photographic printing in over one hundred years he prints images with metals and combinations of metals which no one else -- no one in the world -- can reproduce. While his early formulas are shared both in print (Dry Print Out Palladium) and in videos on his YouTube channel, and are featured in an upcoming documentary, his advanced formulas -- including a few about which he himself had doubts until they were validated by the Getty Conservation Institute using ESEM and XRF analysis -- are not published. Here, prints created with some of those proprietary processes are exhibited for their beauty and their historical significance.





Fine Art Printing with Rhodium

Rhodium, like osmium, was in the 19th century used for toning. It was not, however, used for printing. The simple reason was that no one figured out how to get rhodium chloride to reduce to its elemental state under a negative and in the presence of UV light. If you are familiar with any of the Texas Chrystoype, the Electrumtype, the Fannintype, the Karytype and the Palladiotype+ -- all processes I invented -- you are familiar with ammonium ferric ferrous oxalate (AFFO). AFFO is prepared by adding 7 drops of 1% ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) solution to 10ml of 40% ammonium ferric oxalate solution (for printing gold, rhodium, and iridium -- add 8 drops of 2% C to the ammonium ferric oxalate for printing palladium and/or platinum). The intelligent printer will appreciate that one does not simply add one chemical to another and declare that the two are mixed: rather, one must add the 7 or 8 drops of 1% or 2% C to the 10ml of 40% ammonium ferric oxalate in a bottle, cap that bottle tightly, and then shake it vigorously for 15 to 30 seconds. Only then is the result ammonium ferric ferrous oxalate -- AFFO. Some but not all of the ferric iron (iron with three positive ions) is converted to ferrous iron (iron with just two positive ions). Now, when ordinary ammonium ferric oxalate is exposed to UV light, it is gradually converted to ammonium ferrous oxalate. At the same time, the chemical interaction occurring gradually reduces the salt of a noble metal to its elemental state, such as potassium palladium choride to palladium. (In the 1880s and 1890s, Giuseppe Pizzighelli, working in concert with the renowned chemist Baron von Hubl, published a variety of formulas with ammonium and with sodium ferric oxalate to print out platinum and then palladium images.) But it was only when I worked out a controlled partial reduction of the ferric iron in ammonium ferric oxalate to ferrous iron that it became possible to print out grainless, grey scale gold images with a wide tonal range, to print out partial images in gold or iridium and develop them fully in silver nitrate and obtain (as proven by XREF analysis conducted by the Getty Conservation Institute) an image that is a mixture of the nobler metal and silver, to print out palladium and platinum with no concern whatsoever for hydrating one's paper, and even to print out images in pure iridium and pure rhodium.

The easiest way to print with rhodium (or iridium) is in combination with another metal (or metals). Pure rhodium print out is elusive: paper needs to be free of any sizing or other treatment (the only examples thus far printed were made on the recently discontinued Revere Platinum 300gsm and 145gsm); the solution, at 10% strength, needs to be "aged" somewhat. Unfortunately, little benefit is gain by printing an image in pure rhodium: such images fall in the middle ground between platinum and iridium; they are gray scale with slight grain and a noticeably narrower latitude than platinum. Mixing rhodium with platinum or palladium yields a vigorous image of slightly higher contrast than the individual metals alone exhibit. Rhodium and gold present considerably lower contrast.

Gold-Iridium is not possible with any conventional printing process. Using a proprietary process iridium is treated so as to reduce to its elemental state on exposure to UV in a light-sensitive compound. Click image for more information.
Gold-Platinum: gold precipitates out of solution in the presence of platinum using conventional printing processes. Not so with the Karytype formula. Gold and platinum synergistically render images exhibiting the finest characteristics of each metal. Click image for more information.
Rhodium-Platinum-Palladium is a combination considered impossible. Rhodium (like iridium) treated with a proprietary process can be induced to render beautiful images. Click image for more information.
Gold-Platinum-Rhodium-Palladium-Iridium-Ruthenium is a tour de force in fine art photographic printing. Click image for more information.
Gold: the famous Texas Chrysotype is the only process for printing grainless, gray-scale, continuous tone prints in pure gold. Click image for more information.
Rhodium-Palladium prints cannot be found in any collection, any museum, or any references. Richard Eugene Puckett is the only photographer in history able to print with rhodium. Click image for more information.

All images on this site are protected under international copyright law. Any use of these images without written permission of the copyright holder, Richard Eugene Puckett, is a violation of law. To purchase a print, or to rent an image, please contact me: richardepuckett@texaschrysotype.com