gelatin silver print - can someone explain this process?


Link Posted 19/12/2009 - 23:42
I have been looking through a few photography books that celebrate Photography over the last 100 odd years and noticed that a lot of the pictures are created via the "gelatin silver print" process.

Is this a type of film or medium or a type of processing of the film and is it still available for 35mm film cameras?

Just curious really as the results in b&w look outstanding quality wise



K7D DA 18-55 mk11WR|50-200 wr|DA16-45|Tamron SP90|lots of manual pentax glass


Link Posted 20/12/2009 - 00:10
Ten years ago this would have been an amazing question, but now that digital photography has taken over almost entirely it had to happen!

The "gelatin silver print" is the black and white print process that has been ousted by digital. In other words, standard traditional black and white paper, processed in a darkroom. Printed from a negative.

Yes, you can still do this, and many people still do. You need an enlarger, chemicals, trays, a red safelight, etc. and the process is very rewarding. Black and white film is still available - all you need is a film camera to put it in.

The name "gelatin silver print" is the fancy name that is put on what we might term "fine art prints" and the quality of a black and white print can be truly staggering. A book or computer screen cannot do justice to the very best printing on photographic paper and I would really urge anyone to go and see some quality exhibition prints to see just what is possible.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 20/12/2009 - 00:23
Thanks John
There is a part of me that is very tempted to try this out

K7D DA 18-55 mk11WR|50-200 wr|DA16-45|Tamron SP90|lots of manual pentax glass


Link Posted 20/12/2009 - 01:28
I went to an exhibition of Ansel Adams photographs a couple of years back. Large format negs expertly printed at anything up to 6 x 4, feet that is. It made me realise that the various books I had seen did not do his photographs justice. Big subjects, big negatives and huge prints, just stunning.

Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.