Van Dyke Brown on Ilford Platinachrome

First of all I want to apologise for again showing you a print from the same negative, albeit on different paper. For me it’s the best way to make a proper comparison.

Recently I have received some sheets of Ilford Platinachrome paper to experiment with, ultimately to make platinum/palladium prints with (more on that shortly), but it’s nice to have some sheets to try with a cheaper process to see how it fairs when coating and how the acidified sheet would hold up against the non-acidified for future reference.

First impressions? WauW! It’s a very thin, though not as thin as I anticipated, very delicate, especially when wet, but again more sturdy than I thought it would be, paper. It has a very special sheen to it, a tad pearlish, which I really really like. It has this lovely texture and I like it the best from all the papers I have seen so far. Oh, and I also like its borders 🙂

The difference between the acidified version and non-acidified version is subtle and less pronounced than with the Hahnemühle Bamboo and Fabriano Artistico. However, it certainly is present. I would opt for the acidified version, despite the extra work. It has a creamer, more warm chocolate color, and the highlights remain far more refined. I don’t know how it will compare using pt/pl chemistry so will have to try again, but as far as VDB is concerned, acidified wins hands down.

I’ve made a short compilation video that illustrates how I made these prints. For you observant viewers out there, there’s a sort of trivia in the video. [spoiler alert: the part where I coat the paper is a different kind of paper.] The method I used there does not seem to work that well with Platinachrome; it immediately absorbs the puddle of chemistry, leaving you with too little time to be able to brush it onto the paper. In this case the paper will absorb too much which, in the case of VDB, is not that much of a nightmare, but with the cost of platinum this might not be the desired route to take here 🙂 I will get back on that.

The steps I used to process the paper are similar to the steps I described in a former post; see here.

Van Dyke Brown print on Ilford Platinachrome paper

All in all, looking forward doing more with this paper!


  1. Van Dyke is something I want to try myself as well. Now I´m collecting all the necessary things and chemicals and hope to get into it soon.
    Cheers and all the best.

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