Gator Birkin Dye Transfer by Tyler Shields




Dye transfer photograph


20 x 15 Inches


Museum quality. Edition of 3






Gator Birkin Dye Transfer

Dye Transfer is a continuous-tone color printing process, and is considered
to be the finest production process in the history of color photographic

The use of dye imbibition for making full-color prints was first patented by
Charles Cros in 1880, and popularized by Eastman Kodak in the 1940s.
The process requires making three printing matrices, which absorb dye in
proportion to the density of a gelatin relief image. Successive placement
of the dyed film matrices transfers each primary dye by physical contact
from the matrix to a mordanted, gelatin-coated paper. The dyes and
chemicals are spectrally pure compared to normal photographic dyes,
and have excellent light and dark fastness. The Dye Transfer process
possesses a larger color gamut and tonal scale than any other process,
including inkjet. Dye Transfer allows the practitioner the highest degree
of photographic control compared to any other photochemical color print

Irving Penn, the “Picasso” of photography, is considered the most important
pioneer in the use of Dye Transfer. Inexplicably in 1994, Eastman Kodak
stopped making all materials for this process. For this exhibition, Tyler
Shields tracked down Irving Penn’s master printer, who is one of the
last remaining people in the world with not only the knowledge of the
process, but who also owns a limited cache of Kodak’s original chemicals
and papers. This master printer agreed to use his remaining materials
to produce an extremely limited number of these exclusive Dye Transfer
prints for Tyler Shields. Once all the chemicals have been used, this
process will be gone forever.

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