Using acid-free mount boards prevents acid burns (yellowish-brown burn lines) from appearing on artworks over time.


Archival properties

Different types of photographic paper have varying degrees of susceptibility to fading over time. The main cause of this is exposure to UV (ultra violet) light, although humidity, temperature, pollution and acidity are all contributing factors. Exposure to direct sunlight should be avoided, and UV-resistant glass can be used when framing.

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Chloro-bromide Print

Chloro-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 bromides or silver chlorides, they have a warmer brownish-black tone.

Cibachrome / Ilfochrome Classic

A particular type of reversal (R-type) colour paper and printing process which gives strong colours (often with striking reds) and creates a long-lasting print. Printing in this way from a positive image results in exactly the same colour saturation as the original, and greater contrast.



CMYK is an industry standard abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These are the colours used in standard four-colour printing (as in inkjet and Iris printers).

C-type printing

C-type printing involves printing colour paper enlargements from small, colour negatives. This is the most common type of colour printing found in the high street and mini-labs.

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Digital colour coupler

Digital colour coupler Colour coupler prints, or chromogene prints, are very similar to standard C-type prints, but the silver salts 'couple' with coloured dyes, rather than being replaced by them. The end result is very similar to standard C-type prints. Colour coupler prints have the benefit of using the same extremely light-sensitive silver salts as found in silver gelatin prints, but they form high-resolution colour images rather than black and white ones.


Digital Inkjet

Digital printing that produces images directly on to the material (e.g. canvas or special paper surfaces) from a digital file through a stream of very fine dye drops controlled by the computer system. (See also Giclée prints).


Digital interneg

An Interneg produced by digital means, rather than traditional photographic methods. Digital internegs are made by scanning an original negative or its positive image, before laser-writing the digital negative.


Dye-based inks

Dye, unlike pigment, dissolves completely in solution (pigment-based inks leave tiny particles floating in the solution). This means that dye-based inks are entirely absorbed into the paper that they are printed on - the image is in fact a highly controlled stain. The resulting images can thus appear very slick and even, with a vast range of subtle colours and extremely fine detail. However, dye-based inks are more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV light than pigment-based inks, and should be kept out of direct sunlight. And since they are soluble they should also be kept away from water, which causes them to run. Images printed with archival dye-based inks onto archival paper will last for at least 70 years if stored in the proper conditions.

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Fibre-based paper

Paper or material-based paper type used in printing black and white images from negatives (C-type). Available in all surface finishes, this thicker paper has a high-quality texture, gives an excellent finish, and adds 'depth' to the image through the faint weave of the paper/fibre.


Fuji colour crystal archive

A C-type colour resin-based paper made by Fuji. It offers excellent colour reproductions and has superior archival properties (over 70 years if kept in controlled conditions).



A C-type colour paper made by Fuji which offers an extreme gloss finish.

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Gicler, a French verb meaning 'to spurt', is another industry term for inkjet printing. See inkjet.


Gloss surface Lambda print

See Lambda.

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High reflection print

A C-type print produced on resin-based paper with a supergloss finish - see Fujiflex.

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Ilfochrome (previously Cibachrome)

Known correctly as Ilfochrome Classic. See Cibachrome.



A broad term for four colour (CMYK) printing in which liquid inks are sprayed onto the receiving material in very fine droplets not visible to the naked eye. Inkjet printers can print onto a variety of materials, although not as broad a range as is possible with Iris printers.



A negative produced to replace an original negative. If an original negative is lost, damaged or too valuable to use, then a new negative can be made by photographing a transparency or print of the original.



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 on traditional photographic papers. As a relatively new printing process (developed in the early 80s), research is still taking place into the archival properties of Iris prints, with the key factor being the material that the image is printed onto. All Eyestorm Iris prints have been purposely developed to have the highest archival potential possible: through the use of archival, acid-free papers and archival pigments.

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Regarded as one of the best digital printers. It uses three lasers (Red, Green & Blue) to print digitised images onto traditional photographic paper. This allows consistent reproduction of large run editions with the same quality as traditional print techniques. This process typically uses C-type paper.


Lambda on crystal archive

See Lambda and Fuji colour crystal archive.


Lambda on Gloss Fuji Archive

See Lambda and Fuji colour crystal archive.


Limited edition

Term used in multiples publishing when only a limited number of any print, book, sculpture or other artwork is produced. Editions can be limited to almost any number depending on the nature of the work.


Linocut on paper

A type of relief printing. A plate of linoleum (soft metal) is cut into to produce an image. Everything but the image is cut away so the image stands in relief. The plate is then inked and printed.



The design of the image is drawn on a flat stone (eg. Limestone) or metal plate with a greasy, water repellent substance (eg. greasy crayon). Water is then spread over the surface and the application of ink follows. After the ink is applied, the areas within the image retain the ink. Paper is placed onto the plate and the image is absorbed. Only one colour ink can be applied at a time, which makes the process time-consuming.

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A sheet of transparent film coated with silver salts which react when exposed to light (usually in a camera). In black and white negatives, one layer of salts reacts to white light (the full spectrum of light). The result is a reversal of normal vision: the shadows are light, the highlights dark. In colour negatives there are normally three layers, each reacting to red, green or blue light.



VHS video format used in North America and Japan.

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VHS video format used in Australia and Europe (excluding France).



P.F.T.s, or Print Film Transparencies, are positive colour reproductions from original negatives, produced as transparencies.



A photogram is a photograph made without a lens or camera: objects are placed directly on top of a sheet of photographic paper which is then exposed to light. Where the objects obstruct the light, the paper remains unexposed (light in tone), while the rest darkens through exposure.


Photographic collage

A single image built up from several photographic prints.



Also known as heliogravure, photogravure is arguably the finest photomechanical means of reproducing a photograph in large editions. Copper plates are acid-etched directly from an original silver print; the etched areas then hold differing amounts of ink in order to correspond to the tones of the original print. If prints remain untrimmed, the impression of the printing plate will remain on the paper (around the image). Blacks often appear as delicate charcoals, and whites – when printed on high quality paper – remain white. The photogravure technique results in incredibly beautiful prints, with excellent detail and sensitive tones.


Pigment-based inks

Pigment, unlike dye, is a powder made up of tiny granules that will not dissolve completely in solution. This means that pigment-based inks leave particles of pure colour bonded to the surface of the paper that they are printed on. The resulting images can thus appear very rich and physical, densely saturated in colour – although extremely fine detail may be compromised. Pigment-based inks are much more resistant to UV light than dye-based inks (they were originally developed for outdoor use) and will tend to keep their original colours longer. They are also less likely to run if they come into contact with water. Images printed with archival pigment-based inks onto archival paper (as all of Eyestorm's pigment-based-ink prints are) will last for at least 150 years if stored in the proper conditions.


Platinum print

Similar to silver gelatin prints, but using iron and platinum instead of silver salts. Platinum prints are valued aesthetically for their range of tonal variations (typically silvery greys) and unrivalled archival properties, although the price of platinum makes them expensive to produce.


A manufacturer/trademark of a photographic system which gives 'instant' prints, by which film, paper and developing solution are combined in one unit. As soon as the film/paper is exposed the image begins to develop, developing fully within a maximum of 5 minutes. All Polaroids on eyestorm have been professionally 'stopped' and removed from their developing backs to prevent potential over-developing.


Polaroid Polacolour 2

A type of Polaroid print.

Polaroid Polacolour ER

A type of Polaroid print.


Polaroid Polacolour Type 108

A type of Polaroid print.



A positive is, obviously, the opposite of a negative – that is, it is an image which is not reversed. Positive images are made through a double negative: silver salts react to light producing a negative which, when projected onto photographic paper (more silver salts), produces a positive.


Prestige print RA4 Ilford

A prestige print is a handmade print . RA4 is the paper process used in printing colour prints from colour negatives.



Although it may seem too obvious to mention, may people are unaware of what exactly constitutes a print. Put simply, a print is a method of image-making that allows the work of art to be created more than once. The size of the edition (i.e.the number of prints produced of the one work), the significance of the work in the context of the artist's oeuvre, the condition of the print, and whether or not it is signed by the artist, are all factors that can affect the value of a print.

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Resin-based paper

Plastic-based paper type. The most common paper type for printing colour images as it gives greater gloss potential than fibre-based papers (e.g. supergloss on Fujiflex).


R-type paper

R-type papers work in the opposite way to traditional papers. A transparency (positive) is projected onto reversal paper which thus develops a positive image.


R-type printing

R (or Reversal) type printing is a more expensive process than C-type, printing from a positive slide or transparency onto R-type paper to give exactly the same colour saturation as the original image. This method can potentially heighten contrast by reducing shadows.

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Screen printing

A stencil is made up for each colour of the image and put over a fine fabric mesh that is stretched over a metal frame. The coloured ink is spread over the mesh and stencil and the ink falls through the stencil to the underlying material (usually an art paper) to produce the image. The surplus ink is washed away. Once the ink has dried the next stencil (i.e. the next colour) is placed and the process begins again.

Selenium gelatin photogram

See photogram and selenium toning.


Selenium toned gelatin print

See silver gelatin print and selenium toning.


Selenium toned photogram

See photogram and selenium toning.


Selenium toning

A type of toning using the metal selenium to replace silver salts. Used both for the aesthetic benefits of a slightly warmer tone and greatly improved archival properties.


Silk screen

A printing process in which ink or paint is brushed through a screen made of silk, on which areas have been 'masked off' to produce the image.


Silver bromide 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.


Silver chloride print

Silver chlorides 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 bromides or chloro-bromides, they have a cooler, bluish-black tone.


Silver gelatin print

Silver gelatin prints typically give deep rich blacks and crisp whites on a high gloss paper. They have extremely good archival properties, lasting over 100 years without visible fading if kept carefully. There are three key types of black and white gelatin prints: silver bromide, silver chloride and chloro-bromide.


Silver salts

Silver salts are light sensitive chemical compounds. When exposed to light – either in a camera (in the case of film and negatives) or in the dark room (photographic papers) – the silver salts react by darkening in proportion to the amount of light reflected from the subject.


Surface finishes

Matt, gloss, supergloss, satin and pearl are all finishes available on different paper types. Satin and pearl are different names for the same finish (somewhere between gloss and matt).

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Tinting or tinted prints

A process similar to toning, but involving the addition of a single colour over the whole print. The effect is most visible in the image's highlights and mid-tones. Used purely for aesthetic reasons, tinting does not affect a print's archival properties.


Toned gelatin silver print

See toning or toned black and white and silver gelatin print.


Toning, or toned black and white

Toning images allows an artist/printer to alter the colours of a photographic print (by replacing the silver in the silver salts with another metal). Toning can be used as an aesthetic decision by the artist, or it can also be used to improve the archival properties of a print.



See positive.

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