The value of Silver Gelatin Prints or Gelatin Silver Prints
Gelatin Silver prints are used only by the masters of photography such as the estates of Ansel Adams. Ruth Bernhard, or Sally Mann, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Michael Kenna and are treasured by collectors of fine art photography.
Gelatin Silver Fiber black and white prints are the finest prints to preserve your family memories. The paper is thick, lush, with crisp whites, silvery grays, and deep rich blacks. The silver in the papers makes your images almost come alive. You want to touch them. Often there is a slight curl because they are printed wet and had to be air-dried. Think cashmere versus acrylic, leather versus vinyl, Ferrari versus Smart Car.
These prints will last forever, for many generations, are of the highest possible quality, are only printed by artisans, not photo labs. They are much much more expensive because they require more work that the press of a print button.
Gelatin Silver Prints are 100% absolutely archival and can be found dating back to the 1800s. These collectors items are made using a wet process, in the dark with chemistry called developer, stop, and fixer. This is the same process that the black and white prints have been made for 100s of years. Gelatin Silver fiber prints are only available for black and white.
These are the prints for your legacy wall. These are the prints that will last forever. It is my guarantee. It is the only paper that I print my special images of Morrison, and my family, on because I want these images to become family heirlooms. They are special.
But I purchased archival prints from my other photographer, you ask? Well, even photographers who claim to sell archival prints can’t guarantee they are archival unless they are Gelatin Silver Fiber prints. Why? Because the manufacturers won’t guarantee their paper is archival and it hasn’t been around for hundreds of years to make sure.
Schedule an appointment just to take a look and hold one of these prints.
These are your family memories, aren’t they worth preserving?
Print Samples and definitions
Resin Coated (RC) Luster prints are the least expensive custom print and commonly sold at most prosumer labs. Most photographers call them gift prints. The paper is thinner and covered with a plastic coating that contains the light sensitive silver particles that create the final image. Unfortunately this plastic coating degrades relatively quickly over time, making RC paper the least archival with some prints degrading in five to seven years depending on how they are handled. We offer this option because it is a lower cost alternative and can be perfect for gifts or if you are on a budget. These are similar to images that you receive if you were to print them yourself as most labs
Gelatin Silver Fiber prints are our favorite choice. The fiber paper has the silver embedded into the cotton fibers of the paper. The image thus becomes a part of the paper unlike the RC or digital prints where the image lies only in the thin plastic emulsion on the top layer of the paper. Gelatin Silver Fiber papers are extremely archival and can last for hundreds of years with proper care. This printing technique has been used since the beginning of photography and is the choice for those that want the look, feel, and longevity of a fine art photograph. Gelatin Silver Fiber print will show a greater richness and depth of tonality and detail in shadows.
Selenium-toned or Sepia-toned Gelatin Silver Fiber prints are the highest quality, most expensive, and most beautiful. The image is first printed on Fiber paper and then the print is placed in a bath of toner. Selenium toning intensifies the shadows with a distinct purplish-black or umber hue and brings out shadow detail but has little effect on highlights. Sepia toning creates a browning of the images’ highlights and shadows. The intensity can vary depending on the image. These processes insure maximum longevity of the prints as well as offer a beautiful antique feel.
Please note: Selenium toner is becoming more and more rare and while the selenium toned prints are still available now, it is predicted that these prints won’t be available much longer. These prints will become collector’s items within ten years.
Custom hand-crafted albums covered in antique Asian silks or Japanese papers of your choice are available with acid-free pages. Each album is made to order by a local artist collective and throughout the years as more photos are added becomes a treasured keepsake.
Samples are available at our studios or when you order your prints online.
Why should you invest in museum-quality framing?