View Full Version : Inkjet print longevity

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04-10-2010, 07:31 PM
I do know that if I posted a link to my writeup on how to scan B&W with Vuescan, I'd get knocked for it.

That is true and it is unfortunate. It would be nice assemble some sort of wiki on scan techniques, at least on the topic of scanning for presenting items in the gallery. (Especially since virtually all of the items in the gallery are scanned)

Tim Gray
04-10-2010, 07:42 PM
Word. Maybe I'll contact one of the mods about it. I think I derailed this thread enough :D

04-10-2010, 07:54 PM
So Mark of Aardenburg Imaging has joined the discussion and brought up the very analog issue of lightfastness sensitivity of silver gelatin prints due to optical brighteners. Perhaps this thread could move in that direction as opposed to scanners! ;)

Nor I, but then again, I'm a brand new participant in APUG as well.

I'm trying to get my bearings. I still shoot film, and I have decades of experience in the darkroom. However, when Kodak killed my beloved Dye Transfer process, I went to the IRIS 3047 and at that point, I was an early adopter of hybrid film/ digital workflows. As I now understand it, APUG is trying to confine the discussion to a strictly classical analog photographic workflow. While I understand this philosophical construct really well and have a soft spot in my heart for it, the simple fact is that anyone shooting with film these days is going to be hard pressed not to move to some kind of hybrid analog-digital workflow, if not for all of one's work, at least for some of it. So, I also just joined the Hybridphoto.com site, but I have mixed emotions about all of this. I really hate to compartmentalize my comments along these analog-digital divides. I'd feel much happier in a forum where the members didn't freak out if I was talking about mixing and matching digital and analog technologies as opposed to talking about pure analog workflows only. No doubt, I wasn't here when the decision to move the "gray area" over to a new site called hybridphoto.com occurred. Had I been, I would have strongly suggested it's a mistake. But that's water under the bridge.

Anyway, I want the Aardenburg Imaging and Archives digital print research program not to overlook the classic processes, and indeed add some important ones as benchmarks to compare modern digital output to in terms of print longevity.

I will try to stay all analog on this forum. In that spirit, I would like to say that my years in strictly analog photography leave me with a soft spot in my heart for it. After all, I have a degree in Photographic science from RIT, and it was all analog at the time! My new company, Aardenburg-imaging & Archives is trying to change the game for the way print longevity information is presented to the consumer. In particular, I'm trying to give relevant print permanence information for fine art printmaking community rather than more liberal consumer photofinishing requirements. My test methods lend themselves naturally to digital workflows, but when I created my test targets I kept in mind the idea that the targets should be possible to print using purely analog workflows as well. So, I standardized on a color target the is mostly comprised of the Macbeth ColorChecker Chart. Hence, analog practitioners can simply photograph the ColorChecker target to produce test samples I can evaluate. Similarly, the monochrome target I use, ableit very easy to reproduce in a digital workflow, can in effect by printed using strictly analog workflows as well. What all this means is that the Aardenburg Imaging & Archives light fade testing program is in fact extensible to analog workflows as well.

One of my goals for this year is to get the classic analog color processes of Ilfochrome (formerly Cibachrome) and Kodak Dye Transfer into test using the latest lightfade testing protocols before these materials become totally lost to the ages. Likewise, I'm looking to bring some classical silver gelatin print materials into light fade testing.

Glad to be here,


David A. Goldfarb
04-10-2010, 09:52 PM
We've discussed these issues at great length on the forum, and what we've decided for some time is that even if many of us are using digital and hybrid techniques, APUG.org should continue to be focused on traditional processes. Lots of APUG members, myself included, are doing some digital work, but we discuss it elsewhere. There are many forums where one can discuss scanning and digital printing, but not so many that are dedicated to being information rich resources about traditional processes, and safe spaces for discussion of traditional techniques. The idea is that if someone wants to learn how to retouch negatives with pencils, dyes, abrasives, and knives, they can find that here without having to wade through a lot of discussion about the cloning tool, and their interest will be encouraged rather than disparaged.

We tried having a "gray area" forum for hybrid discussion, but it was difficult to keep it on topic and to keep the digital discussion from overflowing into other forums. Some people come to APUG to get away from the extensive discussion of digital methods on virtually every other photographic forum on the internet, so Sean thought the best way to give hybrid workers more leeway without losing the focus of APUG.org was to create a separate forum, which is hybridphoto.com. The hybrid forum isn't as big as APUG, but it's quite a bit larger than a few independent spinoffs created by former APUG members, and it's growing steadily, and my understanding is that Sean and JD Callow, who is the main organizer of the hybrid forum, have plans to build it out further as the forum has been attracting more interest.

If there are hybrid topics that haven't been discussed on the hybrid forum, I would encourage people to bring them up there, and chances are, you'll find some very knowledgeable people who have good answers, even if they haven't said anything about those issues before. Hybridphoto.com tends to be more business and less chit chat than APUG, and I think a lot of the hybrid participants like that, because it means that the forum members are engaged and working actively, and there's a sense that it's all new for everyone, and everyone has something to learn and something to contribute. I have participated in many online discussion forums over the years, and it is very difficult to maintain that kind of atmosphere as a forum grows, so I highly recommend that people who are interested in combining traditional and digital processes take a look at hybridphoto.com and enjoy it while it's still small.

04-10-2010, 10:05 PM
I would certainly support a policy permitting lockable threads in APUG directing people's attention to threads on particular "hybrid" subjects at hybridphoto. IMHO, this thread would be a prime candidate for that.

David A. Goldfarb
04-10-2010, 10:16 PM
We do usually lock threads and direct people to hybridphoto.com for relevant subjects, but since this is a sponsor thread in a sponsor forum, it seems right to allow the sponsor to decide whether they want the thread locked, and if there is a lot of off topic discussion, we can move that to a new thread.

Tim Gray
04-10-2010, 11:40 PM
I still think a proactive sticky with a link to a FAQ style page on hybrid photo would curtail a lot of the threads that don't belong on APUG.

04-11-2010, 07:21 AM
I still think a proactive sticky with a link to a FAQ style page on hybrid photo would curtail a lot of the threads that don't belong on APUG.

I agree and I suppose there could be a prominent button somewhere near the APUG menu that says "New to Film?" with a direct link to a set of articles...

David A. Goldfarb
04-11-2010, 07:29 AM
We could do that, but a lot of the new users who post such questions haven't figured out how to use the search engine effectively, and aren't yet aware that there are sticky posts for frequently asked questions. We'll mull over it for a bit and think about how to create a sticky that will attract the relevant posters and redirect them to the hybrid site, because it does seem to be the right time for that, as membership on APUG is growing and we're getting more of these off-topic threads.