JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Archival photographic prints from jpegs #general

tom klein <jewishgen@...>

Even though a lot of companies are selling what they call "archival quality"
materials these days, the term is probably misleading. Dye-based inks fade
rather badly, no matter what paper they are on, and in spite of any
predicted behaviour based on accelerated aging tests. For example, it
seems that air pollution destroys them prematurely. To my way of thinking,
20 years is a very short-lived "archive".

By comparison, a good silver-based photographic print will easily last 60 years,
with very little special care. and so will silver-based negatives.
(there are also more exotic types using selenium or platinum that last
even longer.) i have family pictures that have held up very well (except
for mishandling) for at least that long, and they were definitely *not*
stored under "museum conditions". But these are *not* made with the
"black-and-white" setting on a colour minilab - the key being to use real
silver-based materials. (if they don't understand "silver-based", try
somewhere else.)

Most people who have their own darkroom will be using a silver-based wet
process to do monochrome printing.

One practical option is to print the jpeg files to a temporary paper
"negative", using something like an inkjet printer, and then copy it to a
silver-based photographic paper. (a full-sized "negative" can be contact
printed very easily, for example.)

The advantage to storing pictures as 8x10 prints is that future generations
will not need any special apparatus to "read" them. Whatever format the
picture came >from will determine the quality of the image (yes, jpeg files
contain less information than tiff, but almost all digital formats suck,
badly, compared to good 35mm film), but the printing materials ultimately
determine its longevity.

And that's what the original question was about.

Tom Klein, Toronto

anna.olswanger@... (Anna Olswanger) wrote::

Can anyone refer me to a photographer who makes archival quality
8x10 black-and-white prints on photographic paper >from jpegs?