Care & Conservation

Care for Photographic Prints

When properly framed and presented in a relatively clean, non-dusty environment, a photographic print should require minimal care. The biggest concerns are dust, small bugs, and avoiding harmful UV light. Dusting the frame (front and back) on a regular basis goes a long way in discouraging small bugs and spiders from living in the nooks and crannies of the print. Frames should be occasionally wiped down with a damp cloth or organic light cleaning solution. Plexi-glass should ONLY be cleaned with a damp cloth or special plexi-glass cleaner such as Brillianize. Windex or similar glass cleaners will actually damage the surface of plexi-glass.

Display Life

Both Ilfochrome and Pigment Ink Prints have excellent display life ratings. Pigment Ink prints exceed Ilfochrome in direct display life, rating 80-150+ years without discernible fading. Original Ilfochrome tests rated the paper's display life at 29+ years, however, experts with the material believe it lasts much longer. Anecdotal evidence of print owners from the 70s claim no discernible fading. Dark stored, Ilfochrome is considered exceptionally archival, tested to 200-400 years. Regardless, either print type, properly displayed, will proved decades of enjoyment.

Conservation

Photography today is very confusing in light of conservation. Many photographers and print shops erroneously claim their products to be long-lasting, archival and conservation-based. While the technology of printing and infusing ink into materials such as aluminum, plexiglass, and other substrates is widespread, the true conservation characteristics of these practices is questionable. Display life may be long but the desirability of these pieces from a conservation/archive standpoint is suspect.

In photography, conservation implies the art work is reversible from its presentation and can be appropriately archived (i.e. museum or government archive) for the sake of historical perpetuity. In my photography, I honor this principle by creating displayed work to archival standards. All processes are reversible and work collected, if desired, can be confidently offered or acquired for philanthropic or conservation-minded ends.