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Proceedings Paper

Paperless or vanishing society
Author(s): Joy Turner Luke
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Paper Abstract

In the 1940s color photography became available and within a few years, extremely popular. As people switched from black and white photographs made with the old metallic silver process to the new color films, pictures taken to record their lives and families began a slow disappearing act. The various color processes, coupled with the substrates they were printed on, affected their longevity, but many color photographs taken from the late 1950s through the 1970s, and even into the 1980s, faded not only when exposed to the light, but also when stored in the dark. Henry Wilhelm's excellent book 'The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs' documents this history in detail. Today we are making another transition in the storage of pictures and information. There are questions about the longevity of different types of digital storage, and also of the images printed by various types of inkjet printers, or by laser printers using colored toners. Very expensive and very beautiful works of art produced on Iris printers are appearing in art exhibitions. Some of these are referred to as Giclee prints and are offered on excellent papers. Artists are told the prints will last a lifetime; and if by change they don't it is only necessary to make another print. Henry Wilhelm has begun to test and rate these images for lightfastness; however, his test method was developed for examining longevity in colored photographs. It is of interest to find out how these prints will hold up in the tests required for fine art materials. Thus far companies producing digital inks and printers have not invested the time and money necessary to develop an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard method for evaluating the lightfastness of digital prints. However, it is possible to use ASTM D 5383, Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists, to pinpoint colors that will fade in a short time, even though the test is not as severe as ASTM D 4303, which is used to rate the lightfastness of artists's paint.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4421, 9th Congress of the International Colour Association, (6 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.464548
Show Author Affiliations
Joy Turner Luke, Studio 321 (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4421:
9th Congress of the International Colour Association

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