Contact Print

A contact print is a photographic image produced from a film, usually a negative, The defining characteristic of a contact print is that the photographic result is made by exposing through the film original onto a light sensitive material pressed tightly to the film. Since this process produces neither enlargement nor reduction, the image on the paper print is exactly the same size as the image on the negative meaning a whole 35mm film can be viewed as one contact sheet if needed. Useful as an aid in the selection of images for further enlargement, cataloguing and identification.

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Queen Elizabeth II, by Cecil Beaton, 15 November 1945 - NPG  - © V&A Images

Queen Elizabeth II
by Cecil Beaton
15 November 1945
NPG x26023

Margery Allingham, by Francis Goodman, 1949 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Margery Allingham
by Francis Goodman
NPG Ax39593

Julie Elizabeth Andrews, by Cecil Beaton, 1958 - NPG  - © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby

Julie Elizabeth Andrews
by Cecil Beaton
NPG x40609

Fidel Castro Ruz, by Ida Kar, 1964 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Fidel Castro Ruz
by Ida Kar
NPG x132352

Cecil Beaton, by Ronald Traeger, 1966 - NPG  - © estate of Ronald Traeger

Cecil Beaton
by Ronald Traeger
NPG x40497

Caryl Phillips, by Jillian Edelstein, 1992 - NPG  - © Jillian Edelstein / Camera Press

Caryl Phillips
by Jillian Edelstein
NPG x87281

Jay Jopling; Sam Taylor-Johnson (Sam Taylor-Wood), by Jillian Edelstein, 8 November 2001 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Jay Jopling; Sam Taylor-Johnson (Sam Taylor-Wood)
by Jillian Edelstein
8 November 2001
NPG x125407

Charlotte Stockdale, BY Anna Bauer, February 2008 - NPG  - © Anna Bauer

Charlotte Stockdale
BY Anna Bauer
February 2008
NPG x131803

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