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Advanced Printmaking Techniques with
Platinum/Palladium & Precision Digital Negatives

The Most Advanced & Thorough Workshop Available on Digital Negatives
Italy, 2015 • © Mark I. Nelson

Date:  October 26, 27, 28, & 29, 2017
Location:  The Image Flow Studio, Mill Valley, CA

I'm very excited to be giving this fantastic workshop this coming October in Mill Valley, California (convenient to San Francisco airport)!.  

We will be using the new Hahnemühle Platinum Rag Paper, which will be provided to us free by Hahnemühle!  This is the finest paper available for Platinum/Palladium printing. I have tested it extensively and will be showing participants how to get the very most out of this beautiful paper!

Throughout the workshop, emphasis will be placed on helping you define your unique aesthetic look and feel for your work in general or for specific portfolios.  

If you are interested in signing up for the workshop or would like more information, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Platinum/Palladium is one of the most beautiful printmaking mediums ever created.  The extremely long tonal range of the process gives the prints very subtle and delicate tonalities that surpass any other hand made print.
This workshop has been expanded to 4 days in order to provide the participants with a complete experience learning the Platinum/Palladium Process and how to craft the best possible digital negatives.
Focus will be on workflows and techniques Mark has developed that produce a variety of prints that will give your portfolio a stunning signature look:  Full Range Prints, Shadow Prints, Hi Key Prints, Vintage Prints, Gray Prints & Dual Density Negative Prints.  Mark will teach you how to combine analogue and digital methods in workflows that maximize print tonalities—actually producing more tones than possible with inkjet prints, giving you total control over the look of your prints.
Participants do not have to have prior experience with Platinum/Palladium printing or making digital negatives.
Workshop Details
The workshop will cover the following and much more:
  • How to set the Photoshop Color Working Space and adjust monitor brightness
  • Conversion of RGB images to monochrome
  • A simple workflow for preparing images to make negatives
  • Making variable contrast curves with Curve Calculator III.
  • Fine tuning the curve for your prints
  • The best methods of tweaking chemistry and negative to make the perfect print
  • Maximizing tonality in prints & Choosing Best Workflow for a specific print
  • How to make Shadow, Hi-Key, Gray, Vintage, and Full Range prints
  • How to coat, print, and successfully process Platinum/Palladium prints
  • The most important variables to control with Platinum/Palladium prints
  • How to implement what you have learned when you return home
Prospective students must have a reasonable understanding of Photoshop to participate. 

Workshop will be limited to 8 participants
Workshop Fee:  $1250
Advanced deposit $300 via PayPal.  You don't need a PayPal account.  Credit card will work.

Our host will be Stuart Schwartz at The Image Flow.  The facilities include a new, expanded darkroom space and a large, comfortable classroom.  The Bay Area, Mill Valley location is convenient to San Francisco Airport and many wonderful restaurants, hotels, museums, galleries and photo opportunities, such as Point Reyes, The Bay, Fort Point and many more.

For more information or to register, contact Mark at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Mark I. Nelson  Bio
Mark Nelson, a photographer and master printmaker, working with platinum/palladium and photopolymer gravure processes, lives in Elgin, Illinois.  He teaches workshops in both processes using the Precision Digital Negatives/Positives System, which he developed.  These two processes provide a very broad palette to the artist/printmaker and are believed to be two of the finest printmaking methods available ever invented.

Most recently, Mark was a beta tester for the Hahnemühle Paper Company as they developed their Platinum Rag Paper, the finest paper available for Platinum/Palladium printing and many other Alternative Photographic Processes.

Mark was also the only beta tester for Mitsubishi in the development of they Ultra Premium Pictorico Film, which is Mark's personal choice for crafting his digital negatives.
He often tutors advanced photographers in their studio and creates “turn key” systems for printing these processes with the Precision Digital Negatives System.  Mark has taught hundreds of artists his PDN workflow, including:  Dick Arentz, Christina Anderson, Sam Wang, Sandy King, Josephine Sacabo, David Michael Kennedy, Beth Moon, and Brigitte Carnochan.  He is often consulted for his expertise by master printmakers and has worked on special projects, including works by Sally Mann and Flor Garduño.

Mark has a really great approach to Platinum/Palladium printing that takes the guesswork out of the process.  This gives the photographer a great deal of control over printmaking.
Mark has developed the Precision Digital Negatives system for making digital negatives and is author of Precision Digital Negatives for Silver and Other Alternative Photographic Processes.  He created and wrote Curve Calculator II, the best possible way to easily generate curves for alternative process negatives or positives, and has also designed his own 31 step tablet.  The Precision Digital Negatives Aquatint Screens are considered the best available.  Mark tested over 20 formulas for Aquatint Screens before finally designing the Coarse, Medium and Fine Aquatint Screens he sells.  These items are available on his website at:

Marks photography and writings have appeared in a number of magazines and books.

Mark is a knowledgeable teacher and problem-solver, whose patience and persistence allows even the most non-techie of artists (like myself) to grasp the principles of his process and to create images true to their artistic vision. It is a gift. —BRIGITTE CARNOCHAN

See for more information.
Contact Mark at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested!}

I am currently scheduling private, one-on-one or small group workshops (1-3 people) on Crafting Custom Digital Negatives for beginners and advanced students. These workshops are usually at least 3 full days (depending upon the persons needs) in my home in Elgin, Illinois—just 20 minutes from Chicago's O'Hare airport. Private workshops are becoming very popular, so please contact me in well in advance if you are considering scheduling one.

I teach the PDN system with Platinum/Palladium and use Na2 as the method of contrast control. My workflow for Palladium printing is almost foolproof and produces beautiful, flawless prints. The outcome is very predictable and repeatable.

I provide all the materials, chemistry, and paper. The participant need only bring negatives or RAW camera files to work with. I scan with an Imacon 848 scanner and have a variety of printers to output negatives.

For beginners, I cover the entire book and usually the participant goes home with 5 or more very nice prints and a very concrete understanding of how to implement the PDN system at home with their equipment.

For advanced students, I cover methods of manipulating the negative and chemistry to achieve superior prints that match your vision. This also includes shadow printing, high key printing, print adjustment using a variety of hybrid curves, double hybrid curves and more amazing techniques!

I will also review portfolios and help the participant troubleshoot images that they have found difficult to print.

For advanced professional fine art photographers, I am also doing private workshops in their studio. The focus of these workshops & consultation is to assist them in the transition to digital negatives or to improve their capability with digital negatives in their own studio workflow. There are real advantages to being able to reproduce fine art work consistently and quickly in order to meet the demand for museum quality prints. You might call this a Turnkey approach to getting the most from digital negatives. I have worked with such artists as Dick Arentz, Josephine Sacabo, Beth Moon, Brigitte Carnochan and others.

Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you think you might benefit from one of these private workshops and we can discuss your needs over the phone.