Process: Le Procede Fresson

Theodore-Henri Fresson invented the process at the turn of the century in France. This unique method of color printing produces an image that is characteristically diffused and subtle, reminiscent of the “pointillism” style of Impressionist painting.

The Atelier Fresson is located in a small town about an hour’s drive outside of Paris. The inventor’s grandson, Michel, and his son, Jean Francois, presently run it. Michel and Jean Francois carefully select the photographers for whom they’ll print. “When they come to us,” Michel says, “we see if we get along and if the process works with their work…and then we decide.” The Fresson family has no plans to expand or franchise their process. Due to their limited production and their exclusivity, I am honored to be a part of the Fresson family of photographers.

Each Fresson print requires about six hours of time. The process is so painstaking that the studio limits its production to fewer than two thousand prints per year. The exact procedure is a closely held family secret; however, this is a general description:

The original artwork is reproduced on a four separate transparencies, in cyan, magenta, yellow and black. To create a print, a separate exposure is made for each color separation transparency, onto a fibre-based paper using an extremely bright carbon arc lamp. The paper is coated, exposed, developed and dried four times, once for each color. Like some other color prints, the emulsion of the Fresson print is gelatin; however, unlike other processes, the Fresson emulsion contains color pigments rather than dyes. These pigments are similar to those used in oil paints. During the exposure, the emulsion is hardened in proportion to the amount of light received. The prints are then developed in a solution of water and sawdust along with several secret ingredients. The water softens the areas  of the emulsion not affected by light and the sawdust acts as a mild abrasive, which pulls of surplus gelatin. What remains after the development is the final color image.

This image is extremely stable, consisting of only gelatin and oil pigments on pure rag paper. The Fresson print is considered to be the most archival of any color procedure in use today.  They are located in France.

Process: Epson Canvas, Iris & Traditional

The Epson 7800 prints range up to 24″ wide by any length.  The 7800 uses 8 colors of Ultrachrome K3 ink.  This new ink was developed by Epson and has a higher density and a higher DPI resolution of 2880 x 1440. With the changes made in printing technology, these new developments guarantee a higher level of excellence in image quality. Epson uses three different black pigments giving Black and White images the same stunning vibrancy as Color! Canvas and Watercolor paper will make you think you’re looking at a painting while Digital photographic paper gives a more traditional look.

Process: Ilfochrome

The Ilfochrome print utilizes a dye transfer process and is printed from a slide. Monsieur Roland Dufau is considered one of the premier printers, printing over 500 photographers from National Geographic photographers Roland and Sabrina Michaud to famous French photographer, Lucien Clergue. His studio is in France.

Process: Qoro

Qoro, LLC utilizes the latest in digital technology, including those patented by DuPont.  Their inks are lightfast and water resistant. They are authorized by several museums to replicate their paintings and by many well known artists. Qoro Replica brand prints are available on either watercolor paper or canvas. They have a lifetime guarantee.