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Dye Imbibition Process

From George Eastman House : Notes On Photographs

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A dye imbibition print is a color print made of dyes transferred from three gelatin matrices onto a sheet of paper coated with gelatin. To make a dye imbibition print, three separation negatives are made. From these negatives, gelatin matrices are created that are capable of absorbing and releasing dyes of the primary subtractive colors. When placed in exact registration on the paper, the transferred dyes create a full-color image. The process was favored for the high degree of control over the final print image that it offered photographers. Dye imbibition prints are noted for their permanence, and the black-and-white matrix film used in the process is more stable than chromogenic color film so that new dye imbibition prints could be made many years after the original print was made.[1]


  1. George Eastman House. 2002. 1000 Photo Icons: George Eastman House. Koln: Taschen.