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Photogravure printing is a form of intaglio printing, in which a photographic image is chemically etched into a copper plate. When the plate is inked, then wiped clean, the ink remains in the pits of the plate and is transferred to a sheet of paper during the printing process. In the photogravure process, the printing plate is first dusted with a resin, creating a random dot structure that allows for the continuous tones of the original photograph to be reproduced. The plate is then coated with bichromated gelatin and exposed in contact with a positive photographic transparency. The printing plate is etched in those areas where the gelatin remains unhardened (forming the shadows), but not in those areas where the gelatin hardens (forming the highlights). William Henry Fox Talbot experimented with photogravure as early as 1852, but the process was not widely used until the 1870s, when Karl Klic developed a way of satisfactorily dusting the plates with resinous powder. This is a very complex and exacting photo process which produces great longevity.
Above: The print making studio