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Popular Photographic Print Processes: Carbon Prints

Lower Falls of Yellowstone, Wyoming
Detroit Publishing Company, publisher. Lower Falls of Yellowstone, Wyoming. Carbon print, copyright 1908.
LOT 12690, no. 22

Dates in general use: ca. 1870-1900

timeline 1870-1900

Description: Carbon prints use a gelatin layer (called a tissue) coated with light sensitive carbon pigment. The tissue is exposed to a negative. The image is formed by washing away portions of the pigment. This printing process could use any pigment, and carbon black was one of the first to be used. The prints can be any color, usually appearing blue-brown, similar to the albumen prints of the time. These prints are also usually richer and more intense than albumen prints. They were more popular in Europe than in America, and were often used to reproduce artworks, and for book illustrations.

Further information and examples

View Photographic Print Processes Introduction and Table of Contents

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  March 25, 2022
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