Photographic Art Terms

Darby Creek Trading features a line of fine art photography. Each photograph is personally shot by the name photographer and each print is personally created by the photographer. Before each photograph is singed, it is checked by the artist for image quality so the collector is assured of the best representation of the scene as seen through the artist's eyes. Following are some of the methods used in creating fine art prints. Because of the color accuracy and availability of different art papers, Darby Creek is currently offering all of its photographic art by using the Giclee method exclusively. Darby Creek also offers oil paintings, oil tapestries, fine art woven tapestries, and other forms of visual arts. See our complete art collection here.


Giclée - The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt." The term "giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology using special commercial grade digital printers in which archival quality inks are sprayed onto the substrate. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans or directly from digital photography and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art paper, and photo-base paper. The giclée printing process provides the highest degree of accuracy and richness of color available in any reproduction techniques.

Platinum Printing Platinum

paper is created by hand coating an acid-free paper with liquid platinum. The image is then contact printed onto the paper, creating a print that is the same size as the negative. The image becomes embedded in the paper, creating a three-dimensional depth specific to platinum prints. The delicate, rich platinum tones range from warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone grays that are unobtainable in silver prints. Over the years, the only obstacle to widespread enjoyment of platinum has been lack of access to this rare process. At the outbreak of World War I, platinum abruptly could no longer be obtained. What little platinum was available went into strategic needs of the war. This shortage continued until the end of World War II. However, few photographers immediately resumed the use of platinum, largely because commercially made, platinum-coated paper was unavailable. Platinump prints are not only exceptionally beautiful, they are among the most permanent objects invented by human beings. The platinum metalss are more stable than gold.


Silver Gelatin Printing

The most widely used black-and-white printing process was introduced in the late 1880s. It employs papers coated with a gelatin emulsion of light-sensitive silver halide. The print is produced by exposing a negative onto the paper, either by contact-printing or through an enlarger. The print is then chemically processed, fixed, and dried. Gelatin silver prints may be toned using a variety of compounds or minerals to create a wide range of subtle hues.

Dye Transfer

Dye Transfer In this method of color printing, an original transparency or negative is projected or contact-printed onto three separate sheets of film through red, green, and blue filters. These separation negatives are then projected or contact-printed to make three relief matrices dyed in cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes. Each of the matrices is then brought into registered contact with a sheet of special transfer paper which absorbs the dye. The finished print is therefore made up of a combination of dye images. Dye transfer is one of the most permanent color processes.

Iris Print

Iris Print A digial process in which the original photographic negative or print is scanned into a computer, then printed to an Iris inkjet printer. The prints can be produced on a variety of artist's papers. The paper is wrapped around the printer's drum, which rotates at a high speed while a set of nozzles distributes inks of the four process colors - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Iris technology was first developed as a proofing process by the commercial offset printers. The high quality of the process was noticed in the early 1980s by two pioneers of Iris printing: Graham Nash (yes, the musician), a Morrison Hotel Gallery photographer and owner of Nash Editions, and Jon Cone, of Cone Editions, who then developed inks that expanded the color range and archival quality of Iris prints.

Lambda Print

Lambda Print Uses three lasers (Red, Green, and Blue) to print digitized images onto traditional photographic paper. This allows consistent reproduction of large run editions with the same quality as traditional print techniques. This process typically uses C-type paper.