Curiously, in spite of its potential and permanence, the carbon print process is one of the least practiced of the alternative photographic processes. May be due to the fact this technique is one that requires many more steps than you will encounter in other alternative processes, and each of these major stages has a number of smaller steps, that requires precision and patience.
Two weeks RadLab Studio was covered with gelatin, pigment, formalin, sensitizer and paper during our Carbon print workshop. Fortunately we were able to transfer and produce images up to 30 x 40, despite the volatile environment in the studio. Our participants also helped in exploration of the process with variety of images. The technique has several similarities to the gum bichromate process , but it is infinitely more refined in tonal values, in the subtlety of its highlights in combination with the depth and richness of its shadow details, and in having a true straight-line response to exposure. The image surfaces have a subtle relief effect seen when held at a near 180 degree angle and under the correct light. Even though the process is labour intensive and the dirty, the final images stand out with rich half-tones, tender details and archival quality.

This workshop is part of “Alternative Photography Processes” project, implemented with the financial support of the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria.