Jun 08 2012
Once you've snapped that perfect photograph worthy of framing and sharing, the next step is to figure out how you will transfer it onto a printed surface. There are numerous options out there for the professional and novice photographer alike, but one of the most popular of these is the C-Type print. C-prints are so popular, in fact, that if you see any colour printed photograph there's a high likelihood that it's a C-Type!
History of C-Types
The first C-Type print was introduced by the Kodak company in 1942, when they rolled out their Kodacolor process. They sold a special chromogenic paper called "Type C" for this process in the 1950's. Although the name was eventually discontinued, people still use the terms Type-C or C-print to describe any colour prints that are made using this chromogenic process.
How a C-Type Print Is Made
A C-Type print can be made from a colour negative, digital image, or slide. The prints are made by exposing light onto the paper, which is developed and washed using chemical photographic techniques. Each print has three emulsion layers of silver salts which are light sensitive. The three individual layers will be sensitised to a corresponding primary colour, including cyan, magenta, and yellow. Because it is sensitised only to that colour, each individual layer will then record different information. Chemicals are finally added during the printing process, which form the correct colour-coded dyes in each of the emulsion layers. The end result is an accurately coloured print of the original negative. This is the most common type of photographic process for colour photographs.
Technology Used Today in C-Type Printing
Digital printing is extremely common today, and if you want a clear, accurate print this process is a good option. The C-type prints are exposed by high resolution digital printers, which give a high quality and consistency that are difficult to achieve by other amateur printing methods.
There are many different types of professional printing paper that you can use for the chromogenic process, but two of the most popular are the Kodak Endura and Fujifilm Crystal Archive brands. If you want special effects, you can use different types of papers to achieve them. For example, a backlit effect can be achieved by using plastic printing surfaces, such as the Kodak Duratrans.