Reproductive Processes

Reproductive Processes invites you to think of photography as the act of reproduction, which may involve making records on film and digital media, or generating copies of images through rubbings, needlepoint, or other materials. Images can be malleable and transferrable. The following illustration recognizes some options for capturing, processing, and reproducing images and acknowledges the elasticity possible in rendering and duplicating a subject’s image.

: Jacqueline Mahannah. Reproduction workflow possibilities.

The techniques discussed in the Reproductive Processes section of the Reframing Photography book range from low to high tech, from analog to digital, from 2D to 3D, and from the hand-made to the commercially reproduced:

• Low-Tech Negatives and Positives introduces readers to ways to generate negatives or copies through transfer (oil/solvent transfer, injket transfer, woodcut transfer, and acrylic lift) processes, photo-copying, rubbing, and painting processes.

• Recording Images
describes how images are captured on black and white or color film and digital sensors, how to control color casts, what you need to know about film characteristics, how to determine digital resolution, compression, bit depth, color space, how to use filters, and how to process digital data or process film-based latent images into negatives.

• Processing Images: Developing Film describes how to develop black and white film.

• Printing Images: Traditional Processes describes black and white papers, chemistry and processes for wet darkroom printing including test prints, contact sheets, and enlargements, as well as other processes such as photograms, liquid emulsion, non-silver processes, and screenprinting.

• Processing Digital Images: Digital Workflow advises on a particular system for working with digital images, and describes ways to organize and format images in Adobe Bridge, Lightroom and Photoshop.  

• Printing Images: Digital Printing explains the steps involved in how to print digital images, including color management, how to print black and white photos on a color printer, and how to make a digital contact sheet.

• Other Printing Options
highlights other available avenues for producing images, such as commercial printing, photo kiosks, and the photo booth.


Here, on the website, you'll find additional methods and tutorials, including videos that walk you through the process of transferring images, descriptions of how to use Photoshop's Photo Filter, information about processing and printing C-41 color negative film, tips for how to do the process of cliche verre — to create painted negatives — and detailed instruction for many non-silver/historic printing processes and photo-embroidery.