From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Photographic processing is the chemical means by which photographic film and paper is treated after photographic exposure to produce a negative or positive image. Photographic processing transforms the latent image into a visible image, makes this permanent and renders it insensitive to light.
All processes based upon the gelatin-silver process are similar, regardless of the film or paper's manufacturer. Exceptional variations include instant films such as Polaroid and thermally developed films. Kodachrome required Kodak's proprietary K-14 process. Kodachrome film production ceased in 2009, and K-14 processing is no longer available as of December 30th, 2010. Ilfochrome materials use the dye destruction process.