Display Recommendations, protecting the durability of the print
We all have seen colour photos that have faded with time. It’s an unfortunate fact that exposure to light fades colour photographs.
I find this quite ironic, considering that exposure to the light created the photographs in the first place however, chemistry and physics get the best of the inks and papers eventually.
Colour photographs will fade prematurely if they are not displayed or stored correctly and even with the advances in paper technologies and ink technologies over the past decade, there are still some guidelines that should be followed to maximize the lifespan of your prints.
The information on this page is intended to give you some guidelines to help you extend the life of your prints for as long as is possible.
While all of my prints are produced with modern inks and papers and under normal viewing conditions, these prints should have an archival life of 75 years or greater.
The following points apply, albeit can be further offset by protective sprays and varnishes on canvas.
- The lower the ambient lighting level of your room, the longer your print will last. A print in a moderately lit room will last much longer than one in a brightly lit room. Do not display your print in direct sunlight — exposure to direct sunlight is the surest way to fade it.
- Avoid displaying your print in areas of high heat or humidity. A cool, dry room is better than a hot one with loads of humidity in the air. An air-conditioned room is best. This is not possible when you live in warmer climates; however, for those of you in environments such as the Rocky Mountains where the air is dry, try not to display you prints directly over your furnace heat vents.
- Avoid displaying your print in a room where the air is polluted. Prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, pesticide sprays and other airborne contaminants will reduce the life of your print.
- Normal Viewing Conditions means that the photo is matted and framed under glass and is displayed under average room lighting conditions.
Dark Storage Conditions means the print is stored in the dark at 23° Celsius and 50% relative humidity.
Originally Posted: September 15, 2010
Updated: October 20, 2021
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