Bleach Fix of color print

Bleach fix is a process that is needed in order to complete color print film processing with a few steps.

  1. After processing in the color developer, a bleach is introduced to remove all silver in the emulsion since the silver, having done its job of attracting and instructing color dye clouds, is no longer needed.

  2. After bleaching removes the rest of the silver, all that remains are individual color dye clouds in the several layers that now contain the image itself. A thorough, controlled washing then removes remaining unused halides and color couplers.

  3. The image on film is then chemically fixed for permanence. A number of washes and a chemical stabilizer are applied to complete processing.

  4. The film is then dried in a dust-free environment. What emerges from the chemical metamorphosis is an emulsion consisting of three (four with some films) semitransparent dye layers, each exhibiting varying densities of color. All the dye layers combine to produce a visible full-color image.

  5. After the film is completely dry, it can be printed. The color negative is then inserted into a film carrier. Enlarger light is passed through a set of calibrated gel or dichroic filters of yellow-, magenta-, and cyan-colored material. This light goes through the negative and is then projected onto a piece of color printing paper.

  6. The paper's construction is very similar to that of the film itself. There are some differences—principally, the paper's top, middle, and bottom color-record layers (which are light-sensitive) respond to the colors red, green, and blue, respectively, compared to the film's top-to-bottom sensitivity of cyan, magenta, and yellow. As with color print film, the paper's three color-record layers, once light-sensitized and chemically processed, combine to make a full color image that mirrors the color nuances and tonal range of the original scene.

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