Carbon transfer

Carbon transfer is one of the most important permanent techniques and as such it used to be one of the most popular ones in the past.  At one time papers for this technique used to be made by the Autotype company; hence its popular name.

It may be noted as a point of interest, and proof of the importance of the technique, we may note that many photographers used to offer prints made with its use only to the most demanding and extravagant of customers. While the cheaper prints were made with other techniques such as the albument print, the most luxurious ones were carbon transfer prints.

Carbon transfer, size of the original: A2, photo by Radosław Brzozowski

Carbon transfer, size of the original: A2, photo by Radosław Brzozowski


Even though, just like gum bichromate, it uses the fact that organic coloids (gellatin in this case), sensitized with potassium or ammonium bichromate, lose their solubility once exposed to light, this is as far as the similarities go. Carbon transfers, even those made up of a single layer, are characterized with powerful blacks, great power and expression as well as rich detail.


ⒸRadosław Brzozowski; landscape – near the ruins of the Cisy Castle, scanned carbon transfer

Today, after years of relative oblivion, the technique is regaining popularity rapidly, offering creative possibilities that can’t even be imagined in most other processes, such as:

  • great permanence that may be estimated at hundreds of years,
  • unrivalled detail,
  • unrivalled depth of blacks,
  • extreme tonal range,
  • unparalleled level of control over contrast and intensity of the print,
  • ability to create images consisting of a single layer as well as of multiple layers,
  • ability to create full colour images,
  • ability to make images on surfaces other than paper.

Our unique two-day workshop in carbon transfer offers an opportunity to acquire sufficient skills and information to start independently using the technique.

The programme covers:

  • basic theoretical introduction to the carbon transfer process, explaining the tools and materials,
  • preparing the carbon tissue,
  • preparing paper for carbon transfer,
  • preparing a negative for carbon transfer,
  • demonstration of carbon printing,
  • learning to do both single and double transfer,
  • learning methods of controling the contrast and intensity of prints,
  • making carbon transfer prints,

ⒸRadosław Brzozowski; Sculpture in Książ Castle, scanned carbon transfer print

All participants will be provided with:

  • materials necessary for carbon printing
  • ready made papers and carbon tissue,
  • workshop negatives
  • UV light sources
  • copying frames
  • opportunity to print their own large format negative from a digital file (3pcs),
  • fully equipped workroom,
  • hot drinks (tea and coffee)

Here you can see a short film about the carbon transfer process:



ⒸRadosław Brzozowski; the ruins of Cisy Castle, carbon transfer print

Maximum group size: 6

Duration: 16 hrs (Saturday and Sunday)

Instructor: Radosław Brzozowski, the author of the only Polish textbook devoted entirely to carbon transfer printing.

Price: 240 euros. 

Date: 11-12 Sept 2021

Link to buy:

Location: Tricity School of Photography, 100/6 Świętojańska St, Gdynia, Poland

Nearest airport: Gdańsk Rębiechowo, Poland


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  1. Hello Radoslaw,
    Do you use the new system of sensitising with DAS? I am keen to use something not toxic.
    I hope you will do another workshop next year when the coronavirus has gone.
    Thank you,

    • No, I use the traditional form at least for now. I am not familiar with toxicity reports on DAS but then, if it denatures protein (this is the essence of the process), I somehow don’t see it as harmless:)


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