“What does ‘photographic print’ mean?”

The term photographic print can be confusing, as the ‘print’ can imply an ink and printing press print like a lithograph or etching.

A photographic print is a photograph made, or ‘printed,’ from a negative or transparency. A transparency works the same as a negative, but the image is positive instead of negative. The vast majority of photographs are photographic prints, including the paper photos in your old family album. Most photographic prints are on paper, but are occasionally found on glass, metal and plastic.

Examples of photographs that are not photographic prints are 1800s Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. These were not printed from negatives.

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