Photography is a very specific medium, because of its high technicality (in the shooting but also printing process) and reproducibility. 

You can learn here about terms specific to fine art photography and its market.


A thick paper material that results in a very smooth surface and a definite white colour, achieved through the presence of Barium sulfate. 

Traditional silver printing technique using charcoal pigments (initially) or gouache / watercolours (nowadays). Beyond its stability, this technique is praised for the wide tonal range and amazing pictorial effect it creates.


A process of dye destruction which became widespread in 1963: this method allows for the production of an image on paper throu- gh a positive-to-positive photographic process. It stands out for its high-intensity colours and allows for long-term conserva- tion of the image.

Chromogenic colour prints – or C-prints – are full-colour photographs on glossy paper, produced from an original colour negative.

Compression can greatly reduce the size of a file corresponding to the image (or sound, etc.) digitized. The method for optimizing the file size is: when it is useless to assign a number to each digital pixel (example: a sky of a uniform blue) one digitizes only one pixel and indicates the range of uniformity (the number of pixels that follow): this is the basic principle of digital compression.


Rephotography of a film image, which avoids going through the negative; the duplication of the negative is called a facsimile.

Duplication (offset, silkscreen, file ...) of an initial photograph, limited in number or not, with the consent of the artist or his successors. If the print is very small and if the artist creates, controls and signs the work, it is called original. A copy can be signed by the artist, but then should not be confused with the originals: see prints.

A process invented by the Swiss chemist Heinz Sovilla-Brulhart in 1969. It invol- ves positioning the print under Plexiglas to reinforce its protection. It is a protected trademark held by the Swiss society Alrane Inventing AG.

A brand of a “sandwich” structure using two aluminum panels with a polyethylene core on which the print is stuck to ensure its rigi- dity. The trademark was registered in 1992 and is held by 3A Composites, a division of the Swiss group Schweiter Technologies.

Created by Epson, Digigraphie® is an authenticity-ensured printing method for producing photographic images from com- puters on large-scale, high-quality printers. The technology uses certified paper, prin- ting a certificate of authentication and the artist’s signature.

Exact replication of a document or drawing by any copying process; in argentic photography it is the duplication of the negative and not that of the test, which is called a contretype.

Fine Art prints are produced from a digital file and printed using artistic – matt or glossy – paper and pigmented inks. 

This term is used to describe the coloured version of the charcoal printing technique created by Poitevin in 1855. Pierre Fresson created this method – using charcoal prin- ting to produce colour images - in 1952 and operated out of the Fresson workshop in a Parisian suburb. Resulting in a technically and aesthetically high-quality print, Fresson print slowly decomposes the colours in the image.

Silver printing using gelatine-coated paper for higher light-sensitiveness, leading to a faster printing process and a better rendition of the photograph.

The grain of a medium (paper or photo film) is the minimum size of the fixed luminous element (the equivalent of the pixel of a digital image); the ideal is that they do not see each other, the definition of the image being maximum. For photographers artists, granulation effects can be sought, for example to make the image more silky, even paradoxically more realistic.

In this process, the inkjet printer uses liquid ink which is essential in the creation of a hi- gh-quality color rendition, staying faithful to the colours in the original image.
“archival” quality refers to the use of superior pigmented inks which allow the preservation of the image over time, all the more when they are applied to fine art papers such as Hahnemühle Photo Rag.

A photograph printed on traditional silver sensitive paper, using only a digital file.

Action of sticking the main work of art (in our case, the photograph) to another mate- rial, supposedly sturdier: a thicker paper, a canvas, a board, etc...

In argentic photography the cliché developed is in negative form, where blacks and whites are reversed; the inversion is repeated during the transfer to paper, the print is thus restored to positive. On the other hand, a slide is a non-inverted (or doubly inverted) film to be projected on a screen, the inversion taking place during this projection.

By analogy to a background sound: random interference of a digital photo by pixels overpainted in the image.


Printing process using a transfer of the original image onto a roll, which is then used to print sheets of paper.

This is the minimum unit of the surface carrying a digital image; comes from "picture element". For a high quality home camera, 12Mpx (12million pixels) is very sufficient to obtain an excellent image of medium dimension (because the more you enlarge, the more the pixel becomes big and therefore the image less clear); above 12Mpx, the quality of the lens is the limit of definition. The more pixels there are, the larger the corresponding digital file: so increasing the definition of the sensor (number of pixels) is not only useless but makes the storage and transmission of images difficult, hence a compromise to look for.

Born in Russia in 1916 with Constructivism, photomontage is the assembly of several photographs in collage form or through software which allows for graphical retouches.

Ancestor of the lens, it is a tiny hole pierced in a photographic chamber; arrived at the bottom of this black box, the (inverted) image can impregnate a sensitive plate; the sharpness is all the better as the subject is far away, situated "at infinity", and the pinhole small; the installation time required is even higher than the hole is small.

Created in 1830, this technique, using Pla- tinum and/or Palladium instead of silver, helps to create matte prints with particular- ly intense contrasts, the tonal range stret- ching from deep blacks to brownish red.

Drawing glued to the back on an aluminum plate and in the front on a plexiglass plate (called acrylic glass).

The printing process aims to attain one or more positives from a single negative or file. Analog printing, produced by inversing the range of greys, is most frequently carried out by an enlarger in a lab. It can also describe a reduction or be created through contact between the negative and sensitive paper. The digital image, for its part, only becomes a photograph after printing, when it takes the form of a tangible image on paper. Printing is therefore both the action of transferring the image onto a medium and the final result.


Designed for making prints from colour negatives, RC Paper is paper constituted of a combination of different chemicals and resin-coated to increase the ink’s resistance to the ozone and atmospheric gasses.

Using objects placed on sensitive paper, this technique uses the path taken by the light around the object to create the image. Following exposure to light, the paper is submerged into a developing bath to create a negative. The areas covered by the object having stopped the light remain white; the parts partially covered are grey, whilst tho- se totally exposed are black.

Paper type resistant to water and atmospheric degradation, commonly used in digital printing; it is obtained by a gelatin type topcoat.

To describe a print produced from a negative (or file) after the death of the original creator: reprinting is an interpretation outside the ar- tist’s control, meaning it cannot be conside- red as an original work in legal terms.

The silver print allows the creation of a photograph using a photochemical process including the exposure of a photosensitive film, then soaked into a revealing bath and a fixating one, to obtain a negative. Its name comes from the use of light sensitive silver salt in the process.  

In "vintage" photo (or "vintage print") distinguishes the prints of the artist's time, made by him or under his control and provided (it is a convention) that he is at least superior at 10 years, some even restrict before the 1970s, in any case never prints after him or recent. In addition the print must be from the original negative and must be numbered. But in the 50s or 60s some artists were not that rigorous. As a result, prints combining all these qualities of authenticity are more valuable because more sought after by connoisseurs. An "early print" (an "original print", not to be confused with an original print) is a first print by the artist but without co-notation of seniority. A "new print" or "posterior print" is a reprint made after the death of the author.