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C-type prints, also known as C-prints or chromogenic prints, are color photographs printed from a color negative or a digital image. Produced during the mid-20th century, the process of printing a C-type involves chromogenic chemical reactions to produce the dyes that make-up a color image. The term C-type originated from paper of the same name, made commercially available by the Kodak Company in the early 1940s.
In a chromogenic process, the paper, which has been is embedded with layers of cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes mixed with silver salts, is exposed optically from the negative. A series of chemical reactions take place to process these chemical compounds with another emulsion called the dye coupler allowing each color to remain in its layer and forming a full color print.
C-type prints can be made using digital methods as well. An LED or laser printer, such as the Lambda model, is used to expose the image. Processing takes place in a more traditional way, as C-type prints are extensively washed to remove residual chemicals and increase the archival nature of the print.
American photographer William Eggleston is known for both his banal subject matter and the rich color he achieves in his chromogenic C-print photographs
Photographer Gregory Crewdson is well known for his digitally printed c-type photographs. His subject matter is staged scenes of American domestic life, using a theatrical lighting and rich tones that often hint at a sinister underbelly to the scene
The modern equivalents of Kodak's Type-C paper are Kodak Endura and Fujifilm Crystal Archive papers. Used in chromogenic processes, the papers are used by many professionals and have a long history of good quality