Carbon, also called carbon transfer, is one of the most beautiful of all photographic processes. Invented in the mid 1860s carbon prints have an image that consists of a pigment encapsulated in a uniform layer of hardened gelatin. This structures gives carbon prints a highly surface relief with true three-dimensional quality, a look that is unique among all photographic printmaking processes.
Carbon is the most archival of all photographic printmaking processes in terms of image stability and resistance to fading. Carbon printing is a time consuming and labor intensive printing process. However, because of its unique surface qualities, permanence and long tonal scale, it is considered by many as the aristocrat of all printing processes.