Current resin coated photographic papers are manufactured with near-archival qualities.
There are, however, a variety of environmental factors that can negatively affect the lifespan of your prints. All silver photographic images are subject to ongoing chemical reactions from common airborne pollutants; sulfides, acids or peroxides are just a few of the pollutants occurring in sufficient quantities to bleach or yellow silver photographic images.
Some circumstances to avoid in the long-term display of photographic prints are:
- Interior walls painted with alkyd (oil) based paints. These paints are long-term sources of peroxides even months after they are dry. Your prints will certainly bleach and/or yellow in this environment.
- Areas where there is a concentration of hydrocarbon exhaust, such as an urban street level display.
- Conditions of high heat and/or humidity. These conditions greatly accelerate chemical reactions within the emulsion.
- Direct sunlight or other high intensity lights will accelerate fading.
- Any other environment having solvents, oils, tobacco smoke in the air, such as hair salons, restaurants, etc.
Protecting R.C. Prints
If you anticipate displaying your prints in a potentially damaging environment, you can protect them, to a great extent, by lamination.
Laminating provides a physical barrier to airborne pollutants and as an added benefit, can provide a photo with a durable surface to protect it in restaurants, trade shows, etc.