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:

  1. 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.
  2. Areas where there is a concentration of hydrocarbon exhaust, such as an urban street level display.
  3. Conditions of high heat and/or humidity. These conditions greatly accelerate chemical reactions within the emulsion.
  4. Direct sunlight or other high intensity lights will accelerate fading.
  5. 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.

More on protecting your prints…