Silver Gelatin

During the first half of the 20th century, printing photographs on silver gelatin paper was the most widely-used photographic process. Its manufacture involves coating high quality paper with light sensitive silver salts suspended in gelatin. Silver gelatin paper was used for every purpose, from everyday snapshots and wedding pictures to the legendary landscape photographs of Ansel Adams. At the consumer level it was supplanted by color photography beginning in the 1960s. Silver gelatin paper was manufactured in a wide variety of textures, sizes, and weights. Although first introduced in the 1870s, the process did not gain popularity until closer to the end of the 19th century. In our own age of digital photography, silver gelatin paper is no longer used to produce millions upon millions of snapshots as it once was and Eastman Kodak no longer manufactures it. But the paper is still being made by other smaller companies and remains a very popular medium for many fine art photographers. A beautifully crafted silver print has a rich, luminous quality that is unique.