What is a photogravure?

Photogravure is a photomechanical process that combines photography and etching to make ink-based photographic prints. A photograph is etched onto a copper place that is then inked. A dampened sheet of paper is placed on top of the inked plate, which is then run through an etching press. Popular with Pictorialist photographers who wanted to raise the status of photography to fine art at the end of the nineteenth century, in the early twentieth century photogravure was popularized by Alfred Stieglitz, who included finely made photogravures in his publication Camera Work. Unlike photomechanical processes such as half-tone that rely upon dot patterns to reproduce an image, photogravure produces a finely-nuanced continuous tone image. Color effects can be achieved through the use of tinted inks.

Kirsten Hoving, Coma Berenices, 2010. Photogravure print
Kirsten Hoving, Coma Berenices, 2010. Photogravure plate