The salted paper process was developed by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1840 to create negative images (photogenic drawings) on a sensitized sheet of paper.

The paper is first rinsed in salt water, then allowed to dry fully. The salted paper is then coated with silver nitrate, which combines with the salt to produce silver chloride. The silver chloride records images far more effectively and visibly than silver nitrate. Exposures range from 5 minutes up to 2 hours depending on amount of silver and strength of the light.

After exposure, the print is already fully visible. This is a "printing out" process, where the image appears during exposure and requires no additional development. Once finished exposing, the print is washed in a salt water bath to remove any excess silver nitrate that soaked into the fibers of the paper. After a wash, the print can then be fixed, creating a permanent image.