I scatter inkjet prints and true photographs in all my photo albums. It will be really interesting in my afterlife, as a ghost, poltergeist, or other spirit entity, to watch over the children as they turn the pages of those musty volumes...
Originally Posted by elekm
"Good god, look how badly THIS one faded."
"Yeah, gramps probably used bad ink on some of them. Maybe it's the paper."
"This one looks great!" Flipping a couple prints over. "Who is this Kodak company? And this one, 'Fuji Crystal Archive' eh? That one REALLY holds its inks!"
The *might* figure out that some are photos and some are inkjets. Who knows? The inkjets may be the ones that last! I do wonder if they'll keep or even want the negatives I have stored all the years. Probably headed for the dustbin.
Who knows, you might have a descendent relative who is interested in the collection. I have a small family collection ald like to see how each paper has held up.
Originally Posted by Wolfeye
I think pigment inkjet printing seems promising. But, recalling PE. There are very fade resistant dyes and not very lasting pigments...
Meanwhile, in the audio recording industry:
Magnetic tape as a futureproof medium.
No, it's only good for photographs.
About 1 1/2 years ago my 40 year old son learned that a woman that lived in his neighborhood had been our neighbor when he was about two years old. The lady was within a year or two of my sons age. He learned that her brother of about 1 year younger had passed away at the age of 19 due to an extremely rare disease and that their mother had hardly any pictures of them as young children since the parents divorced at the girls age of 3 and the father took most of the pictures with him and has refused to share since. It took me about 1/2 hour to retrieve a B&W negative I had made of the girl and boy sitting together on a "hot wheels" tricycle when I first began doing photography. While the negative was quite poor by my standards now I was able to make several reasonable quality 8X10's on good fiber paper for a Christmas surprise. I learned the mother was in tears when she opened the gift from the daughter at Christmas and she sent me a beautiful "thank you" note. Highly doubt if digital files would have made to almost 40 years so easily!!!
a digital file might not last 40 years...but a modern c-print is also only rated for 40 years...
comparatively, modern inks in pigment printers, such as the Epson Ultrachrome K3 and HDR inks are based heavily on carbon pigments...
"but that only applies to certain ink and paper combinations" you might say.
true. but doesn't that also apply to RC vs. FB? Toned vs. Untoned? Optical brighteners or lack thereof? UV resistant multicoated plexi or just cheap picture frame glass? We have had some inkjet prints of my dad's around the house for the past 3-4 years that were all printed with Ultrachrome K3 inks, that are in broad daylight much of the time, rather abundant in yellow and green hues (acknowledged as being the least stable of ink colors), and they have shown -zero- signs of deterioration, so far, and I doubt they will anytime soon.
The longevity of any "fine" print is far more dependent on the materials used to display it, in most cases, than the materials used to actually produce the print. I have no doubt that my archivally fixed and toned bw fiber prints, matted behind acid/lignin free 8ply mats with archival backing board and hinge mounted with linen tape will last a very, very long time...I also don't doubt that an inkjet print made with a paper such as Epson Exhibition Fiber or Museo Silver Rag and K3 or Ultrachrome inks presented in much the same way will also last an extraordinarily long time.
How many people actually work to such exacting archival standards? Not many...not many...
Nb. I find it extraordinarily humorous that this board often disparages inkjet printing, and yet people complain just as much about their old chromes fading constantly...or that color negatives deteriorate...
As to the file format viability argument, the TIF file format standard has existed since the 1980s...last I heard that was still the standard format for most digital printing applications...
I find that most people who complain about their digital prints lacking the same quality as a darkroom print are not following as rigorous a workflow as they might follow for their wet prints.
An Epson V700 and an un-profiled entry level inkjet printer cannot, and will never deliver the same quality that a well maintained enlarger with a great lens, "good" negatives, and proper processing is capable of. On the other hand, a great digital camera or dedicated film scanner such as the Nikon 9000 or Minolta Multi-Pro, or Imacon with the proper holders and good scanning technique, followed by meticulous treatment of the file, and printed on a device such as the Epson -900 series printers is very capable of matching the technical quality of even the best darkroom equipment...or outdoing it in some cases.
not much difference for me between these two places...
There is a HUGE difference for me. That difference has nothing to do with quality or print longevity. The difference resides in my heart and in a peace of mind. I work on computers at my job and in varying aspects of my life, almost everyday. When it comes time to make art I want to get my hands dirty and I don't want to have a computer anywhere near me. Just like many painters who choose to use traditional materials rather than a tablet, software and an inkjet printer...
Originally Posted by Chris Lange
The process MAY not be important to the viewer but it CAN be integral to the artist.
I agree completely, Shawn :)
The difference for me is that I dislike working in communal darkrooms, and I dislike working on a workstation in a computer lab, or in an office cubicle environment.
The importance of environment in my creative process is more towards my surroundings being geared for the kind of work I'm doing. Good daylight, work up on the walls, a good cup of coffee or a cold beer and fresh air...no fluorescent lights...a comfortable chair. I know there are certain prints I can make only in the darkroom (anything dealing with toning and bleach...which I use quite a lot), and I know there are prints I would only use a digital output for (anything color...among other certain b/w purposes.)
I don't think one is inherently better than the other, that's all. Different, sure, but used in tandem effectively are capable of just about anything you might want.
There's never in any harm in being well-versed with as many different ways to realize your work as possible... is there?
I agree completely about environment and also that neither is inherently better on it's own. It's how process jives with the individual that can make a huge difference. For me and my creativity, darkroom work is better. But I can't stress enough that it's my personal experience and perspective that make it so.
Now as to beer and coffee, well, how could anyone do without those?! =P