Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Printers For Black&White
For making gallery-quality prints, you need to have the right tool
Digital technology has confused the issue of image longevity for many photographers who didn't fully under-stand the process or why one type of print was considered to be archival while another was not. Some clarification is relevant to a discussion of black-and-white printers because the process for creating a digital black-and-white print is thought to have more in common with color science and technology than traditional black-and-white wet-darkroom printing.
Traditionally made color materials—prints, negatives and slides—generally aren't considered to be archival because their processes leave a number of reactive chemicals such as dye-couplers and acids. Most traditionally made color images will fade or color-shift over a relatively short time when exposed to light. Of course, there are exceptions, such as dye-transfer prints, Kodachrome transparencies and some others, but generally, color images were never expected to last and weren't considered to be archival.
Another part of the archivability problem is in the paper. The manufacture of paper uses all sorts of nasty corrosive chemicals. Most papers are loaded with acids and over time they break down the paper. But all papers aren't created equal—some are completely acid-free. Have you ever pulled an old paperback novel from your shelf and noticed the yellowing along the edges of the page? This is because of the chemicals in the paper reacting with the air. On the other hand, if you have an old, particularly well-made photo book on your shelf and you pull it out, the edges may still be a perfect pure white because that paper was made to acid-free standards.
Page 2 of 4
Get 11 Issues of Outdoor Photographer for only $14.97!
That's 77% off the cover price!