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May 26, 2015
“My phone died and I lost all my photos!”
“I lost my phone and all my pictures.”
“My memory card isn’t working, it has all my baby pictures on it.”
“I reformatted the card by accident, can you save my pictures?”
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard these in the last few years. Last year I began the slow process of scanning all my baby photos from the 70’s and 80's and I couldn’t help but worry for kids growing up these days. Their parents are taking more photos than ever thanks to the fact that every digital device has a camera in it these days, but they aren’t PRINTING any of them!
We have cloud backup and storage, we have FaceBook albums, Instagram, and DropBox, and all are adequate ways to preserve your digital files. (Facebook and Instagram downsize your files to a low quality setting that makes them easier to store and move along the web, but is not ideal for reproduction.)
Dropbox has apps for Windows, Mac OSX, iOS and Android and offers Camera Upload a tool that will automatically back up your images and video and allow you to view them on other devices. But the best “backup” for your images, is the one that needs the least technology to access. In the dark(room) ages when film was king, keeping your negatives safely stored ensured that as long as you had access to an enlarger, you had access to the information stored on the negative. A print was an interpretation of that data and could be viewed with only the basic equipment most of us are born with.
Photographic prints made 150 years ago are still readable today. From a quality print additional copies can be made through a “copy negative” or the print can be scanned and digital copies made. The best backup is a quality print.
While my late 70’s/early 80's color baby photos (EP2 Process) have faded to magenta, the papers and process (RA4) today produce color prints that are more stable than ever. With Fuji’s Crystal Archive papers we can make color prints that will resist fading for over 60 years, if stored properly. Giclée prints on fine art paper will last over 200 years. Drop your phone in the toilet or leave it on the bus and your images could be gone forever.
Make prints from your digital images, put them in albums and preserve your child’s past for their future. Stay away from the albums with so-called “magnetic pages” after a decade or so, the photos become nearly impossible to safely remove from the album, email me and ask me how I know.
By the way, in most cases, those old faded/color shifted prints can be scanned and the color shift fixed and new prints made.
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Our fine art printing process uses pigment based inks. Pigment printing processes have been utilized since the middle of the 19th century. The image stability of pigment printing is superior to that of any other method of printing. Pigment inks excel in permanence. A dye is molecularly soluble in its vehicle, but pigment is not. Pigment particles tend to be large enough to embed into the receiving substrate making them water-resistant. The particle nature of pigment inks ensures their archival superiority. A particle of pigment is less susceptible to destructive environmental elements than a dye molecule.
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