What is a C-print?

A type of digital print, C-prints are made by printing a digital file on a continuous tone printer—commonly a Lambda laser printer—that uses silver-based paper. The photograph is produced by exposing light onto color paper—generally Fuji Crystal Archive—which is then developed using traditional RA-4 chemistry.

During the process the color negative or slide is exposed to Chromogenic photographic paper that contains three layers, each of which is sensitized to a primary color. After this exposure, the image is then submerged in a chemical bath and develops into a full-color image. The image continues to react even after this process has completed. It is difficult to protect C-Prints from deterioration because the chemicals used are very sensitive to light, heat and water.

C-Print was originally the trademark used by the company Kodak for the paper they used for making prints from color negatives but now it is more generally applied to all color photographic prints.

See examples of C-prints in artworks such as Mona Hatoum’s Red Jesus (Venice), 2003, 2005, Ingeborg Lüscher’s Eyes (Claudia I), 1998, or Noa Gur’s Painting on All Fours (part one and part two), 2010.

 

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