Print Permanence refers to the length of time a print is expected to last. Simply speaking, print permanence relates the permanence of a printed photograph. The degree of print permanence depends on the type of medium that carries the image as well as the quality and types of colors of the image itself.
While water, tears and excessive sun exposure will cause paper photos to deteriorate, glass that has been impressed with an image can be ruined if it is chipped or shattered. Similarly, metal photograms are susceptible to being melted or bent.
Keep in mind that lighter images full of yellows and oranges tend to fade and deteriorate faster than those with darker colors. Another rule for print permanence is that black and white photos generally last longer than their color counterparts.
Currently, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is researching ways to prolong print permanence. However, although these standards haven’t yet been developed, practicing proper photo storing and reconstruction techniques can preserve your memories for a significant amount of time. Similarly, digitalizing your images and then burning them on CDs provides you with a backup copy should anything happen to your pictures.
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