Gelatin Silver


Gelatin Silver

Gelatin Silver Print

Gelatin silver was introduced in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox, leading to wide commercial use as a shelf-stable, long-lasting photographic paper that dominated both the commercial and fine art printing markets for over a century. The paper consists of a layer of gelatin with silver halides suspended within it. The paper is exposed to a negative (via contact printing or enlargement) and then developed using oxidizers to cause the silver to tarnish in places, creating a monochrome black and white image.

It is perhaps the most familiar photographic printing technique and is arguably not an alternative process because it is still used and not yet completely out of favor. Luminaria works with it because we want to keep it from becoming completely alternative and it has many favorable aesthetic traits.

Gelatin Silver Workshops


Gelatine Silver Print
Gelatin Silver Print

Luminaria's Capabilities

Digital negatives

Though gelatin silver does not require contact printing (meaning the negative is not enlarged but printed 1:1 on the paper) it is our preferred printing method. With calibrated digital negatives we can take any of your digital images and output the perfect negative for your final print. Print sizes are dependent upon the file size of your digital image. Do you have a negative to print? No problem. We can scan it for digital negatives and go from there..

Precise tonal range

Our calibrated digital negatives are designed to take advantage of gelatin silver’s versatile tonal range. Aesthetically, prints in this process can be beautiful in high-contrast, low-contrast, a compressed tonal-range, or a wide one.

Paper options

Gelatin silver paper is still widely produced with many different options from the surface quality to the tone. We are not loyal to a brand but have experience we use to pick the right type depending on the client’s criteria. We can help you decide which is best for you and source the right type for your aesthetic needs.


Our exposure unit allows us to print up to 24x36 inches.


Our pricing is based on materials costs and your customization requirements. Because of this we can only provide a basic estimate of pricing on our website. Contact us to discuss your needs or schedule an appointment to visit our lab and samples.

  • 8x10 | $75

  • 11x14 | $140

  • 16x20 | $200

  • inquire about larger sizes


Interested in another type of class? Here are some of our previous offerings. Join our mailing list at the bottom of the page to stay up-to-date on our workshops. Or, schedule and On-Demand Workshop tailored to your needs.