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In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. Alfred Stieglitz

Glossary

Archival Inkjet:

An inkjet print produced using archival inks.

Archival Pigment Dyes:

An inkjet print produced using archival pigment dyes.

C-type:

Traditionally produced from negative film rather than more recently from transparency and projected digital images, C-type or ‘Chromogenic’ prints have three layers of photographic emulsion containing silver salts which are sensitive to differing wavelengths of light – blue, green and red. The light falling on the print sensitises each layer differently depending on the make up of the light. The exposed print is then developed using chemicals that cause correspondingly coloured dyes to form in each of the layers.

Carbon:

A non-silver, permanent photographic print produced by exposing a sheet of paper coated with gelatin, carbon black and potassium dichromate against a negative, the gelatin hardening in proportion to the amount of light passing through the negative. The excess pigment is washed away leaving the final image. The print is dense, glossy black or deep rich brown tonality, often with slight relief contours thickest in the dark areas.

Carbro:

A print made from three bromide transfer prints, stacked in registration to produce a single coloured image. Each transfer print is pigmented to correspond to one of the three separation negatives, which are produced by photographing the subject through red, green and blue filters.

Cibachrome:

Cibachrome prints are made on a dimensionally stable tri-acetate polyester base (i.e., plastic, not paper) which is preferred by Museums and collectors because they don’t fade in normal light.

The Cibachrome process was developed by the Ciba-Geigy Corporation of Switzerland in the 1960s. The process was subsequently purchased by Ilford, now part of International Paper, and renamed “Ilfochrome”. Most still refer to it Cibachrome or even “Ciba”.

The Cibachrome process is completely different from the other methods of printing from slides, such as the "Type R" processes offered by Kodak, Fuji and others. In these other processes, the chemistry contains colour dyes that interact with the developer to place the colours onto the paper. The reverse is true of Cibachrome in that the dyes are imbedded in the paper, and are selectively bleached out during processing. The dyes used are called Azo-dyes, which are known for their exceptional stability and colour purity.

Cibachrome prints are known among artists, curators and art collectors for both their archival qualities (best of any common colour printing material) and their rich, saturated colours. When you compare them to other prints, they are also noticeably sharper - this is a direct result of the dyes being in the paper, not in the chemistry. Because the dyes are in the paper’s emulsion, they act as an anti-light scattering layer. This keeps the projected image from spreading out as it penetrates and exposes the emulsion.

Digital C-type:

Digital prints made with regular photographic papers and chemicals but instead of an enlarger and negative, high intensity lasers expose the digital files to the photo paper (see C-type).

Dye transfer:

Similar to the carbro process, this involves the use of at least three colour separations, usually produced from a colour transparency original. The colour separations are printed on thick, gelatinous film positives known as matrices which are then soaked in corresponding dyes of cyan, magenta, yellow and often black. The matrices are then printed in registration in daylight on a fibre based paper similar to photographic paper, but not light sensitive, transferring the dyes to the paper. The process produces rich colours.

Epson 9600 archival ink:

An inkjet print produced on an Epson 9600 printer using Ultra Chrome archival inks.

Giclée:

These prints are produced from a digital file created using a digital camera or scanned print, transparency or negative, rather than from an original negative. A digital printing machine sprays ink in high precision onto paper to produce an image from the digital file. These are similar to domestic computer printers, but professional fine art prints use special high quality archival papers and inks.

Gum:

A print made by exposing a negative on a paper coated with an emulsion of gum arabic, potassium bichromate and pigment. Similar to the carbon process the emulsion hardens in relation to the amount of light it receives through exposure and the unexposed emulsion is washed away.

Inkjet:

This process involves using an image originated from a digital camera, scanned print, transparency or negative, rather than from an original negative. A digital printing machine sprays ink in high precision onto paper to produce an image from the digital file. These are similar to domestic computer printers, but Professional Fine Art prints use special high quality archival papers and inks that suit those papers. Inkjet printers can print onto a variety of materials, although not as broad a range as is possible with Iris printers.

Iris:

A type of digital inkjet printer that allows photographic quality images to be printed onto a wide range of materials (such as canvas and fine art papers). This can produce a richness and depth of colour not possible with traditional photographic papers.

Kodak Endura Premier Paper:

KODAK PROFESSIONAL ENDURA Premier Paper uses a new, breakthrough cyan dispersion and emulsion technology developed by Kodak. As a result, it continues Kodak's innovation in silver halide papers by creating a new paper that offers larger color gamut; natural-looking skin tones; improved whites that are lighter in density; improved text and graphic reproduction; high D-Max capability; and, exceptional high-intensity reciprocity characteristics for digital (CRT, LED and laser) and optical exposing devices. The paper is ideal for both portrait and commercial labs.

Lightjet:

Lightjet prints are NOT inkjet but photographic prints exposed by RGB lasers to produce continuous tone photographic prints from digital files. Inkjet or Giclée prints are made up of dots, and are not continuous tone whereas lightjet prints have no dots at all.

Lith:

Lith prints are produced by over-exposing photographic paper with an image and then under developing it in a developing bath. It is difficult to produce identical prints using this process as the chemistry continues to develop and timing is difficult to judge. Images tend to be moody, being of higher contrast and fairly grainy. Differing papers and the strength and age of chemistry will affect the tones achieved.

Quad inks:

An inkjet print produced from Lyson’s ‘Quad’ inks which use at least 6 different tones of black to produce the final image.

Platinum:

Platinum prints, also called platinotypes, are photographic prints made by a monochrome printing process that provides the greatest tonal range of any printing method using chemical development. The platinum tones range from warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone grays.

Unlike the silver print process, platinum lies on the paper surface, while silver lies in a gelatin or albumen emulsion that coats the paper. As a result, the final platinum image is absolutely matte so the print does not exhibit the tendency to curl. It is estimated that a platinum image, properly made, can last thousands of years.

Provenance:

Provenance is a written statement of the pedigree of a particular photograph. In other words, it refers to the history of the photograph’s previous ownership.

Silver Gelatin:

This is a term for the black and white photographic process used during most of the 20th century. It refers to the light sensitive ingredient (silver compound) and the “glue” (gelatin) that holds it to the paper.

Silver Bromide:

A variation of the silver gelatin silver print, silver bromides share the features of all silver gelatin prints, giving deep rich blacks and crisp whites on a high gloss paper, as well as having good archival properties. Compared with silver chlorides or chloro-bromides, they have a neutral, deep black tone.

Small Gamut:

An inkjet print produced using Lyson’s ‘Small Gamut’ inks which produce true archival monochrome prints in a wide range of subtle tonal shades.

Thiocarbamide:

This is a photographic print that has been toned with thiocarbamide toners. These are sepia toners of the odourless variety and are nearly always sold with an additive (sodium hydroxide) as a variable sepia toner. This means that depending on the amount of additive used, the print colour can be varied from yellow through sepia, to deep rust or chestnut-brown.

Vintage:

“Vintage” is a term referencing the first few photographs printed by the photographer from his or her negative.

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