GLOSSARY

Text courtesy of Musée Nicéphore Niépce, from Exhibition in May 2016

GLOSSARY OF PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDIUMS AND TERMS

ALBUMEN
Introduced by Louis-Desiré Blanquart-Evrard in 1851. This printing process involves coating a sheet of paper with an egg-white derivative and then sensitizing the paper with a solution of silver nitrate. The paper is then put in direct contact with the negative and exposed to sunlight to create a photographic print. Many albumen photographs were toned in a gold chloride solution to give the print a different tone and more permanence. Popular 1840-80s.

AMBROTYPE
A collodion positive created by placing an underexposed, bleached glass collodion negative in front of a dark background, often cloth or lacquer, to give the image the appearance of a positive image. Patented in the United States in 1854 by James Ambrose Cutting. Popular 1850s-70s.

ARCHIVAL PIGMENT INK PRINT
A print in which a digital file is outputted from a computer to an inkjet printer using archival quality paper and the image is printed with archival inks, which are UV stable and have a longevity of about 70-100 years.

BROMOIL
This process was introduced in 1907 by E.J. Wall and eventually replaced the gum bichromate process. Once an enlargement was made on silver gelatin bromide paper, it was bleached in a solution of potassium bichromate to remove the black silver image. Then special brushes were used to apply greasy inks to pigment the surface of the gelatin.

CALOTYPE
The earliest paper negative process, invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1840 and patented in 1841. The paper is treated with a silver nitrate and potassium iodide solution. After the paper is dried it is then sensitized using a new solution of silver nitrate, gallic acid and acetic acid. After the paper is exposed in the camera it is then fixed in a solution of potassium bromide, or ‘hypo.’ Often times the paper is then waxed to create a translucency. These paper negatives are used to make salted paper photographs. Popular 1840s-50s

CARBON PRINT
A pigment print is made by coating the paper with a layer of bichromated gelatin mixed with a carbon pigment. The paper is placed in direct contact with the negative and then exposed to light. The gelatin hardens according to how much light it receives. After exposure the paper is then put in contact with a fresh sheet of gelatin coated paper and then washed in a warm bath. During the bath the original sheet of paper floats free and the unhardened gelatin is removed. The remaining gelatin creates a relief transfer to the second sheet of paper. This process is very similar to the Woodburytype. Popular 1870s-80s; Revived 1910s-30s.

CHROMOGENIC PRINT (C-PRINT)
Also known as a “dye coupler print,” this process was developed in the 1930’s. Colored dyes are put on the emulsion in multiple layers and are sensitized to different wavelengths of light. During development, the silver image is bleached out, leaving only the dye image. This type of print uses Type-C paper.

CIBACHROME
A process by which a photographic print is made directly from a color transparency. Although still widely used, the Cibachrome name was changed to Ilfochrome over a decade ago. This process’s qualities include rich color, clarity and unprecedented archival quality for color prints. Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) is the trade name originally given to this printing process by Ilford/Ciba-Geigy in the 1950s. This type of print uses Type-R paper.

COLOR CARBON TRANSFER PRINT
Carbon printing has always been the most difficult but also the most beautiful of all photo printing processes. The first color print affixed to paper was made in 1868 by Louis Ducos du Hauron using the carbon process. Color carbon transfer printing is an assembly process where the original transparency is separated into negatives that contain the information for each color layer. Each separation negative is contact printed to the appropriate dichromated pigment saturated gelatin film made with cyan, magenta, yellow and black light-fast pigments. The action of ultraviolet light on dichromated gelatin colloid renders the gelatin insoluble. When developed in hot water, the unexposed gelatin washes away leaving a relief image. In exact registration, these reliefs are mounted one on top of the other onto a temporary support and then transferred to gelatin-coated fine art paper.

Because the carbon printing process uses pigments instead of dyes, it is more archivally stable than any of the other color processes and has the longest tonal scale, highest resolution, and largest color palette giving the prints rich color reproduction and subtly nuanced tone transitions. If light-fast pigments are used, carbon transfer prints are truly permanent prints that can be expected to remain unchanged for centuries.

CONTACT PRINT
Any print made in which the negative is in physical contact with the paper, the result being an image the same size as the negative.

CYANOTYPE
An early printing-out process invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. The paper is coated with ferric salt and potassium ferricyanide and is put in direct contact with the negative to create an image. When exposed to light the areas not covered by dark imagery or objects became a bright blue color. The paper is then washed in warm water to fix the image. Popular 1850s-1900.

DAGUERREOTYPE
Introduced to the world in 1839 by Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre and reputed to be the first photographic process. Daguerreotypes are unique images on a silver coated copper plate. The copper plate is cleaned and polished and sensitized with iodine vapor. After the plate is exposed in the camera it is then developed with mercury vapor and fixed by washing in a salt solution. The images are direct positives and no negative is required. The surface of the plate is very sensitive after fixing and the plates are displayed with a glass covering to protect the image. Other direct positive processes are Ambrotypes and Tintypes. Popular 1840-50s.

DIGITAL C-PRINT
A chromogenic print made by exposing Type-C photographic paper (such as Fuji Crystal Archive) with a digital enlarger instead of projected light by a traditional enlarger. The digital C-print is then processed in a color processor, or a wet darkroom process, just as a traditional C-print would be. (see “Light Jet print” definition)

DYE TRANSFER PRINT
“In this method of color printing, an original transparency or negative is projected or contact printed on to three separate sheets of film through red, green and blue filters. These separation negatives are then projected or contact printed to make three relief matrices dyed in cyan, magenta and yellow dyes. Each of the matrices is then brought into registered contact with a sheet of special dye-transfer paper which absorbs the dye. The finished print is therefore made up of a combination of dye images. Dye-transfer is one of the most permanent color processes. However, the film was discontinued in 1996.” (An excerpt from AIPAD’s brochure “On Collecting Photographs.”)

FUJI SUPER GLOSS
Silver color reversal print

FUJIFLEX
Fuji-made chromogenic color paper (C-print) which is extremely glossy, similar to an Ilfochrome or Cibachrome: A process by which a photographic print is made directly from a color transparency. Although still widely used, the Cibachrome name was changed to Ilfochrome over a decade ago. This process’s qualities include rich color, clarity and unprecedented archival quality for color prints. Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) is the trade name originally given to this printing process by Ilford/Ciba-Geigy in the 1950s. This type of print uses Type-R paper

GELATIN SILVER LITH PRINT
A lith print is a silver gelatin print that has been over exposed and partially developed in highly diluted lith film developer.

GELATIN SILVER PRINT
These prints are produced on a paper that is coated with a gelatin emulsion, which contains light sensitive silver salts. Popular 1900s-present.

GUM BICHROMATE PRINT
A process introduced in 1894 which produced color tones, almost painterly like, by printing on any type of paper coated with layer(s) of sensitized and pigmented gum arabic.

GUM DICHROMATE PRINT
In the three color gum dichromate process, a sheet of watercolor paper is repeatedly coated with a sensitizer (gum arabic, a potassium dichromate solution to make it light sensitive and a watercolor pigment), exposed through the relevant negative (separation) and processed. The image is built up in three successive printings, one for each of the process colors of yellow, magenta and cyan although this order can vary between printers.

The three parts of the sensitizer are mixed together and painted by brush onto the paper. A thicker mixture containing a higher proportion of pigment and having a short exposure time will place the color primarily in the shadow areas, whereas a thinner mixture with less pigment and a longer exposure will give color mainly to the highlights and lighter tones. So some contrast control is possible in the printing.

Immediately the coated paper has dried, it¹s exposed in contact with the corresponding separation to ultraviolet light. A registration system is crucial to ensure that the negatives are positioned correctly for each printing.

-Keith Taylor

HAND COLORED TONED CYANOTYPE
An early printing-out process invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. The paper is coated with ferric salt and potassium ferricyanide and is put in direct contact with the negative to create an image. When exposed to light the areas not covered by dark imagery or objects became a bright blue color. The paper is then washed in warm water to fix the image. Popular 1850s-1900.

HAND PAINTED GELATIN SILVER PRINT
Handpainting of photographs has been done since the beginning of photography and is mostly done on gelatin silver images using oil paints or color pencils, although this process can be done on other mediums including platinum prints.

HAND-COLORED CYANOTYPE
A cyanotype that has the addition of colored pencil.

HAND-COLORED PHOTOGRAVURE
A photomechanical printing process very similar to intaglio. A copper plate is coated with a light sensitive gelatin, put in contact with a positive photographic transparency and exposed to light. After a wash the hardened gelatin that remains is on the plate is the negative image used to print the photogravures. The plate is inked and put through a printing press in direct contact with the images final paper support. Popular 1900-present.

ILFOCHROME PRINT
Contemporary term for Cibachrome print – A process by which a photographic print is made directly from a color transparency. Although still widely used, the Cibachrome name was changed to Ilfochrome over a decade ago. This process’s qualities include rich color, clarity and unprecedented archival quality for color prints. Cibachrome (now Ilfochrome) is the trade name originally given to this printing process by Ilford/Ciba-Geigy in the 1950s. This type of print uses Type-R paper.

IRIS PRINT
Iris printing is a specific form of Giclee printing. Giclee is a French term, loosely translated “to spray” which is an appropriate description of the Iris printing method. The Iris is a large cylindrical drum based inkjet printer made up of a complex array of mechanics which squirt minute droplets of ink from each of its four nozzles (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). The term “Giclee” was created to differentiate a commercial standard from the work of a fine art print and “Iris print” to differentiate other Giclee prints from prints specifically made with an Iris printer.

KALLITYPE
Developed in 1842 in England, this process uses a base sensitizer of iron salts and silver nitrate, then is combined with water and coated on paper. Then objects are placed on the paper and exposed to UV light, like a photogram or sunprint. The image is then developed and fixed. The result is a one-of-a-kind print. Similar processes are Van Dyke prints and Cyanotypes.

LAMBDA C-TYPE PRINT
A print made from a ‘Lightjet’ laser printer that reads a digital file, then uses red, green and blue lasers to expose the image onto Type C (light sensitive) photographic paper. The paper is then processed in RA-4 chemistry, a wet darkroom process.

LARGE FORMAT
Large format refers to the type of camera and film in which sheets of film are sized 4×5″, 5×7″, 8×10″ and higher, rather than using rolls of film. Because the negatives are so large, they do not need as much enlarging as a smaller negative therefore creating an image of the highest quality and least grain. Large format cameras are often referred to as view cameras. Commonly, contact prints are made from the negatives.

LIGHT JET PRINT
A print made from a ‘Lightjet’ laser printer that reads a digital file, then uses red, green and blue lasers to expose the image onto Type C (light sensitive) photographic paper. The paper is then processed in RA-4 chemistry, a wet darkroom process.

LIMITED EDITION
Set by the photographer, a limited edition is the stated number of prints reproduced of an individual photograph in all available sizes and formats. Once this edition has been set, the photographer does not / can not produce any further prints in that stated edition of this particular print.

MEDIUM FORMAT
A film size between small (35mm) and large format (4×5″ or 8×10″). The rolls of film, sold as 120 (for 10 exposures) and 220 (for 20 exposures), are 6cm wide and can generate an image space of 6x6cm, 4.5x6cm, 6x7cm, 6x9cm and 6x17cm panoramic. Square format is commonly referred to as 2 1/4 (for inches) and is produced by such cameras as the Hasselblad.

MIXED MEDIA
Art work created by more than one visual art medium. Usually a combination of one or more of the following: paint, photography, ink, pencil, collage, encaustic, sculpture, resin, etc.

MORDANÇAGE PRINT
Mordançage is a process whereby the artist strips away the darkest parts of the emulsion of a silver gelatin print. The stripping away of the emulsion is the most important stage of the process — the image transformation, creating a relief, or a raised area on the print. Water is used to float the delicate silver emulsion on the image so as to rearrange it and dry it back down on to the print. The end result is a one of a kind and unique photographic image.

OROTONE
A photographic process made popular by Edward S. Curtis in the early 1900s. A glass plate coated with a gelatin silver emulsion is exposed to a negative. After the plate is exposed and developed the back of the plate is painted gold, creating a positive image. Popular 1890s-1920

PHOTOGRAM
A cameraless, lensless, unique image made by placing objects on a photo-sensitive surface, then exposing to light. The object is removed and the paper processed. The paper stays light where the object was placed, and the rest of the paper darkens. First made by William Henry Fox Talbot in England in 1834, and later revived by such artists as Lazlo Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray. Adam Fuss is perhaps the most well-known contemporary artist using this process.

PHOTOGRAVURE
A photomechanical printing process very similar to intaglio. A copper plate is coated with a light sensitive gelatin, put in contact with a positive photographic transparency and exposed to light. After a wash the hardened gelatin that remains is on the plate is the negative image used to print the photogravures. The plate is inked and put through a printing press in direct contact with the images final paper support. Popular 1900-present.

PINHOLE CAMERA
The most basic form of a camera in which no lens is used. A pinhole camera is made by making a lightight container and poking a pinhole in the front of the camera where a lens would go. Light that enters this hole exposes photosensitive material which is placed on the backside of the interior of the camera.

Because the pinhole is so small, exposures made with this type of camera tend to be longer than on a regular camera and the depth of field of the image tends to be nearly infinite, although the edges tend to be soft due to diffraction.

PLATINUM
The most permanent photographic process. The platinum print is made by sensitizing a sheet of paper with iron and platinum salts. After exposure the paper is then washed with a potassium oxalate solution, which creates a photographic print with a great range of gray tones. Popular 1890s-present.

PLATINUM / PALLADIUM PRINT
The Platinum print image is made from finely particulate grains of platinum metal by a process invented by William Willis in the late 19th century. A photographer could purchase the ready-made platinum paper for use at that time. Today the modern platinum printer hand-coats the emulsion onto a good rag stock paper and exposes under ultraviolet light (the sun or a UV exposure unit). The resulting print is a warm black hue and virtually impervious to fading and bleaching from age or atmospheric pollutants.

POLYMERGRAVURE
A black and white image is laid on top of a steel plate which has been coated with a photo-sensitive emulsion and then it is exposed to UV light, causing the image to be etched onto the plate. A printer’s ink is rubbed into the etched image, and then the plate is run through an etching press to transfer the image to paper.

SALT PRINT
Invented in 1840, these were the earliest photographic prints on paper. The photographs are made as contact prints using calotype negatives. The paper is treated with light-sensitive silver chloride salts and exposed to light. The prints are then fixed in a salt solution and later in a solution of potassium bromide or sodium thiosulphate. Popular 1840s-50s.

SELENIUM TONED GELATIN SILVER PRINT
A black and white gelatin silver print in which a chemical solution containing selenium is used to tone or “hue” the overall image. This type of toning is used for extending the archival qualities of the print making it less subjected to atmospheric pollutants. If toned for a short period of time, it gives a “warmer” feel to the overall print, making the cold tone of general black and whites turn ever the slightest bit more brownish-purple. If toned for a longer period of time, the color of the blacks can change to an eggplant hue.

SOLAR PLATE ETCHING
A black and white image is laid on top of a steel plate which has been coated with a photo-sensitive emulsion and then it is exposed to UV light, causing the image to be etched onto the plate. A printer’s ink is rubbed into the etched image, and then the plate is run through an etching press to transfer the image to paper.

SOLARIZED PRINT
The effect caused by fogging (exposing to light) an image that has been partially developed, in which white areas turn black and black areas turn white, in essence reversing the image to almost look like a negative instead of a typical positive.

TALBOTYPE
The earliest paper negative process, invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1840 and patented in 1841. The paper is treated with a silver nitrate and potassium iodide solution. After the paper is dried it is then sensitized using a new solution of silver nitrate, gallic acid and acetic acid. After the paper is exposed in the camera it is then fixed in a solution of potassium bromide, or ‘hypo.’ Often times the paper is then waxed to create a translucency. These paper negatives are used to make salted paper photographs. Popular 1840s-50s

TINTYPE
This process is much like the ambrotype. It is a unique photograph on a sheet of iron that is coated with a dark enamel. The tintype, also known as the ferrotype, was essentially a collodion negative, which appeared positive when put against a dark background. The tintype became popular in the 1850s as a less expensive way to produce photographs for the masses. Popular 1860s-70s; Revived 1980s-Present.

TONED CYANOTYPE
An early printing-out process invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. The paper is coated with ferric salt and potassium ferricyanide and is put in direct contact with the negative to create an image. When exposed to light the areas not covered by dark imagery or objects became a bright blue color. The paper is then washed in warm water to fix the image. Popular 1850s-1900.

TONED GELATIN SILVER PRINT
A black and white gelatin silver print in which a chemical is used change the hue of the overall image to a shade of red, brown (sepia), green, blue or purple. Most toners extend the archival quality of the print by making it more stable.