A Fascinating Look at the Photogravure Process—Printing Photos Using a Copper Plate

Chuck Close's Obama portrait gets a special printing process

When we think of photo printing in the modern era, the most common thought is an inkjet printer, but there are so many other amazing ways to bring images into the real world, including this venerable process known as photogravure.

This video documents the process of master printmakers David Lasry and Craig Zammiello as they work at Two Palms studio in New York. The image is a portrait of President Obama shot by iconic portrait artist Chuck Close.

The final print literally pulls the ink from the etching in the metal. Chuck Close

The process is a very complex one that involves specialized machinery, tedious work, and lots of chemicals. Ultimately, the goal is to create a copper plate with peaks and valleys that hold ink that can then be transferred to the final substrate.

The resulting print is beautiful and watching the process—even if you never plan to do it—is rather mesmerizing.

From: Reddit