The Carbro Process:
"It is very doubtful whether any process so completely fills the requirements of the artistic photographer as does the carbon process. Its long scale, its permanence, its wonderful transparency in the deepest shadow combine to render it the most perfect of photographic printing methods."
T.S. Baldwin, 1903
Mac McCowan has devoted ten years to the reinvention of this beautiful process. Using the latest in modern materials, the quality and the permanence of the Carbro Process is available again.
Carbro Ltd., founded by Mac McCowan in the early 1980s, has processed many black and white and some color carbro prints for museums and galleries the world over. The Ellis Island Visitors Center displays 18 Carbro murals produced
The Carbro Process derives its name from the cross between carbon and
bromide prints, hence carbro. Carbon and Carbro both use carbon as a
pigment, giving the prints a pigment that is permanent for hundreds of
years. The tonal range is very long, providing faithful reproduction of
gradation in the negative.
Carbro is a variation of the carbon process. It uses a bromide print as an intermediate step. Carbro will give excellent separation of detail in the shadow areas of the print, much better than is possible with matte-surface techniques. The gelatin layer is thicker in the shadow (darker) values. This gives the shadow a slight gloss, and increases the separation of shadow tones.
The layering of the carbon/gelatin image gives a relief effect not available in any other black & white printing form.
Jim Schoppman has been working with Mac on B & W carbro prints from 1994 and has a good grasp of contemporary processing and the old techniques to make superb carbro prints. During Mac's absence, Jim will continue to take orders for Black & White carbro prints in order to keep our promise to meet the growing interest from the world over.
Mac is now in Shanghai, China, doing commercial photography. Jim is
minding the carbro shop in the States. When Mac returns, they will be
working together again. If you would like to contact Mac directly, his
e-mail address is ChinaPic@guomai.sh.cn
If you want prints from your own negatives that can be passed down to your great, great, great grandchildren, contact Jim. It will be one of the best investments you will ever make.
The carbro process can be applied to any black and white image using typical film products available for commercial use (read anything current or archive). For further information, or to obtain a sample, follow our links to the Order Desk. We would love to hear from you.