Cibachrome has earned its title as one of the most beautiful hand color printing processes in the world of fine art photography. In the Fatali Galleries, we are fortunate to have over 60,000 patrons who haveexpressed their love for our Cibachrome Original Photographs.One of the distinct advantages of Cibachrome comes from its 13 layers of Azo dyes containing silver. These many layers of silver halide emulsion create an astonishing high resolution of detail, color saturation, and an expanding tonal range of values that sets it apart from other photographic images.The unique Cibachrome process has become a lost art in a world drawn to the speed and ease of digital photography. Many of today’s digital ink spray processes simply do not retain their color for long periods, nor do they provide the same depth and luminosity.To test its longevity and resilience, we placed one of our framed Cibachrome photographs out in the elements of sun, rain, and snow. After three years under a high intensity of sunlight and weather conditions, the outcome remained picture perfect!Though I knew the day would eventually come, last year I was notified by the Cibachrome lab in Switzerland with the bad news. Due to a shortage of raw materials, plus the radical reduction in orders because of widespread use of digital, the company stopped production and their specialty Cibachrome paper and chemicals are no longer obtainable.
I immediately purchased all of the paper and chemistry available to me and stored them in a walk-in freezer to slow down their expiration dates and prolong its use for as long as possible.
Until then, I will be very selective about the new images I print in Cibachrome. I have enough material to last five to seven years and that is it. I may have to go back to coating my own film plates and paper like the photographic pioneers once did over a hundred years ago. It will be the start of a new adventure—one with the same goal of creating a legacy for sharing the spirit of nature through the beauty of photography.
“In celebration of light, land, and spirit always” –The Fatali Family