These High Quality Photo Prints are Made in the Darkroom: Similar to Chrome Film!

“Yes they are!” is what Ken, Printing Department Head over at Duggal, said about the Duggal HD-C prints!

Duggal renamed their chromogenic prints to their HD-C prints a number of years ago. Why? Maybe just to get with it in the digital world and for better marketing. But if you’re understanding of how fantastic prints from darkroom processes can be, then you’ll understand the affordable yet super high quality that they’re delivering to customers via ShopDuggal. These images are made using a very special machine that was previously in use for Spy work. Printing at 600DPI, Duggal’s HD-C Prints are made at a super high resolution that can only be experiencing when using a loupe put right up onto the photos.

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored blog post from Duggal

So how does it work? It’s done via what’s called the RA-4 method of printing. Here’s a bit more info about it:

  1. Identify your medium. In most cases, common photographic paper is used, and delicately exposed to form the latent image. A latent image is the invisible photo that has not yet been materialized into the final product, because it has not yet been exposed to light and color.
  2. Once you’ve converted the latent image, you then run the photograph through the RA-4 color process, by subjecting it to bleach, dye and other chemicals.
  3. It’s critical that this chemical process occur at exactly 100 degrees F. After the paper is complete with the coloring process, the remaining chemicals are washed out of the paper using water. Ideally, all elements of the photo will dry out evenly, which is your primary indicator that you’ve successfully C printed the color photograph.

The “C” in HD-C prints from Duggal stands for chromogenic–and this process has been modernized in Duggal’s labs to produce some of the highest quality in the world. “The original digital photo printing process was introduced in the 1950s by Kodak as the ‘chromogenic color print’ or ‘C-print.'” Ken tells us. “These prints use silver halide and dye couplers. The light sensitive plastic papers were originally exposed using enlargers to project negatives onto the C-paper.” He continued to state that most C-prints now are exposed by digital printers from digital files using lasers or LEDs.

“After the C-Print paper is exposed, the paper must be processed in photographic chemicals that develop the image. Besides paper C-prints, there are also clear base transparencies called Duraclear and Duratrans that have a white transparent base.”

This is the same process as developing slides in a darkroom–the only obvious difference is the light that would normally be passed through the film from a negative. It’s now a laser that exposes the image onto the paper, eliminating the need to have a negative. On top of all this, Duggal’s facility is very environmentally friendly and green.

Duggal’s HD-C prints can be made as small as 6×9 or 60×48. There are even 96×48 options if you’re going panoramic. Just imagine a print of that scale right in your living room or even better–sold to someone who genuinely cares about your work and who wanted a piece of it to keep as artwork. HD-C prints look good as both matte, glossy, deep matte, and metallic depending on your needs. Most consumers would be best served with matte prints of some sort if you’re hanging them up in a home due to how light interacts with matte paper vs the more reflective surfaces that gloss allows.

And with ShopDuggal, the company is elevating the standard of the consumer print to the level that they have been delivering to professionals for many years.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.