Trichrome Carbro and Wash-Off relief prints
Some time in the early spring of next year, I plan to do a fashion shoot, 1930s style, using a 1930s car, with clothes and props to match.
As it will be shot in colour, I would like the best of the results to look as if they were colour prints made in the 1930s - i.e. to look as if the prints were made some 70 years ago.
The principal colour print processes used in those days were Trichrome Carbro and Kodak Wash-Off Relief.
Does anyone know, or have any thoughts on, what a Carbro or Wash-off relief print would look like now having been printed 70+ years ago?
By this I mean: Colour Dye fading, Lack of density, Chemical attack on the dyes or paper base. Or other reasons.
I would think that the Cyan dye faded fastest, giving the print a magenta/red appearance, and maybe the highlights would bleach to yellow, similar to the early Agfacolor CN111 paper. But on the other hand, with entirely different dyes used, the prints may have faded in a different manner.
Any suggestions gratefully received. M.T.
The Wash Off Relief was called Dye Transfer. There is a dye transfer forum on Yahoo that might be able to help you more on this subject. Also, the moderator is Jim Browning who is an APUG member. He may be of assistance in all of your questions about this material.
I know of no current carbro users that might help you though, but I am sure there are some out there.
Google Todd Gangler Seattle Washington.
Thank you for the info. I'll try Yahoo.
Dye Transfer was the improved version of Wash-Off Relief, introduced in 1946 in the U.S.A. (1947 U.K.). Dye Transfer used a tanning developer where W.O.R. used an ordinary negative dev. like DK50 and then the matrices were tanned in a bichromate solution. The gelatine was then "washed off" to give the relief images. There were a few other improvements.
In my last year at photography college I remember I did some research into Dye Transfer in the hope that I might make a Dye Transfer print one day. I even sent off for the Kodak booklet , No.E-80, on the process which I still have. At that time I was heavily engaged in making duplicate transparencies, the odd interneg, and C and R type prints so I never got round to making a Dye print. But it's interesting reading about how dye transfer and carbro prints were made. M.T.
Bob Carnie, Thank you for the name to google.M.T.
I have the book by Leadly and Stegmeyer on both processes and a few others. It is fascinating.
I met the son of Louie Condax a few months ago and new Louie when I was at EK. I aalso knew Spot Inkley. Both of them contributed to those books you mention.
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With respect to Carbro, Mac McCowan can be a source of information. He's the only one I know of that claims to have made 3 color carbros recently. His website indicates that he currently only does monochrome, but that he has done 3 color work in the past.
Mac McCowan website
There is also an example of a 3 color carbro currently on our favorite auction site that has a good image of the vintage (1950's) carbro.
Vintage 3 color carbro
You can see there doesn't appear to be any fading or deterioration of the image. Carbro uses pigments to form the image which should not fade.
Thank you for the info on Carbro sites. I will check out the sites.
Four U.K. published books on Carbro and Dye Transfer that might be of interest:
"Amateur Dye Transfer Prints" 1955 1st and only edition, AFAIK.
"Amateur Carbro Colour Prints" 1955 3rd Edition
Both by Viscount Hanworth, published by Focal Press. These books are mainly aimed at the beginner. Excellent instruction books but a bit out of date. They are now more of historical value.
"Colour Photography in Practice" By D.A.Spencer. I've got the 3rd edition, 1948. I think the 1st edition was 1938.Published by Pitman/Greenwood.
Very detailed book covering Carbro, Dye T., Dufaycolor, Finlay, plus the then new tri-pack films of Ektachrome, Ansco-color, and the 2nd type of Kodacolor film with the black and white mask. Well worth finding a copy if you are interested in the history of colour photography.
"Autotype Colour Printing Processes". Published about 1944. The (U.K.) instruction book for Trichrome Carbro by The "Autotype Company Limited" London. Apparently this company manufactured all the materials for the Carbro worker in the U.K. Very detailed book, worth finding if you are interested in Carbro. And, of course, Jack H. Coote's books, "Making Colour Prints" and "Colour Prints" are well worth a read."Making Colour Prints" had 17 editions! The later editions cover Tri-pack film and print processes very thoroughly as well as Dye Transfer. (Focal Press)
Very good selection of books for information on tricolor carbro.
Originally Posted by Michael Talbert
I made quite a number of tricolor carbons and carbros in the 1980s and early 1990s. With appropriate of light fast pigments one should not expect any fading of color carbon or carbro prints. I have had a couple hanging for close to two decades in a room that gets a lot of light and they have not faded at all.
Tricolor carbro prints do tend to have a kind of vintage period look, which comes from the fact that the overwhelming percentage of prints were made for advertising and other commercial purposes. The cost and complexity of the process put it out of the hands of most amateurs, even fairly advanced ones. So the look tends to be very dramatic, with very vivid colors, to attract our attention.
Last edited by sanking; 12-20-2009 at 09:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.