movie category

The Workshop | The Fresson Process

  • France
  • fr
  • en
  • 50'
The Workshop | The Fresson Process


In the secrecy of their workshop, a real time capsule that takes us back to the 19th century, the Fresson grandson and great-grandson are at work. Guardians of a legendary photographic process, they can spend up to two weeks on a single print. An intimate film that offers insight into a technique, but also into a family of craftsmen who have been part of the history of photography for more than a century. A rare documentary that reveals the difficulty of preserving an art that is slow and fragile in a world addicted to speed, where digital and inkjet printers reign.

What you will learn in this film…

A unique printing process • Direct charcoal printing • The stages of a four-colour print • An entirely artisanal photographic printing workshop created by a carpenter • Seeing an image appear with Fresson know-how• Seeing retouching by hand • The Fresson workshop archives • Preparation of a colour based on pigments • Founder Théodore-Henri Fresson's great inventions • A craftsman-printer's tips

At the start, I have a fairly precise idea of what I want to do. Then you have to give way to the process. The process has its own personality too.

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Further exploration


Materiel used


• BERNARD PLOSSU : WESTERN COLORS - author: Francis Hodgson ; 2016 ; Thames and Hudson Ltd 

• EDGES - artist: Dolorès Marat ; 1996 ; Dewi Lewis Publishing

Wood enlarger • pigments • 90° alcohol • Dichromate • Sawdust • Pans • Fans • Gas lamp