A chromogenic color print, sometimes called a C-Print, is a full-color, silver-based photograph that can be produced from a color negative, a slide, or a digital image.
The chromogenic print process was developed in the 1930s and first marketed as reversal-type films (Kodachrome ®, Agfacolor Neu ®), then later as light-sensitive paper in the early 1940s (Kodacolor ®). It is an industrial photographic process in which the dyes are formed by a reaction between chemicals during development. The support is covered with multiple layers of gelatin each containing light-sensitive silver halides combined with one of the three dye couplers (cyan, magenta, and yellow) required for a trichromatic subtractive color system. During development, the couplers react with the color developer to form a different colored dye in each layer.
Chromogenic prints were less costly than other color printing processes in the 20th century, and offered a wide variety of surface textures: matte, pearl, glossy, or ultra-glossy. Starting in the 1970s, it became the most common color process, until digital prints appeared.
Visual glossary of photographic techniques
© ARCP / Mairie de Paris, 2013