I Can't Believe Nobody Mentioned - - (Faded Digitals)
I can't believe nobody seems to have mentioned this, in regard to the comparison between film based photographic prints and digital based prints. And that is simply that any digital image, whether on a memory card, or CD, etc., can be taken to a photo shop and printed on the same paper and with the same process as is used for film. The only difference is the image source is digital. And the issue here isn't whether conventional film based prints will fade, but the prints made using consumer available printing equipment fading. In any case, there is no reason at all to abandon digital photography and return to film. That is moot.
And, I don't know if anyone else has mentioned printing photos with color laser. I have no idea what their life span would be, but it is a completely different process from any of the others. (Yes, I know they use dyes, but it still may be different.) Laser may suffer the same fate as inkjet; I don't know. It would be worth investigating though. Color laser is capable of producing some absolutely stunning prints with very saturated (brilliant, deep) colors.
All prints should be protected anyway, regardless of their source or composition. And if you are concerned about uv affects in displayed frames, here is a thought. It may be possible to get uv-blocking glass (or plastic) for your frame. That would provide some protection.
Here is another thought. These little specialized 4X6 printers that only print photographs, like from HP and Kodak, cover the photo after the color is applied, with a thin sheet of protective material. My guess is this also blocks uv. So possibly these prints would last much longer than those produced by ink jet, or anything else. Too bad they only have printers for 4X6. It would probably be too expensive for anything else. And if you need anything else, you can always go to the print shop. Especially now that these little key ring USB drives are so cheap. Just copy some pictures to your thumb drive. Many of these print places are self help now. You load in the pictures, tell it what you want, come back a little later and pick them up.
There will always be that potential trade-off between high tech and low tech. The digital images themselves on digitial media could be made to last a thousand years, as long as there is technology around to read it. But film, for instance, even though it may be subject to fading, if it could be protected from that, would still be ''readable'' without high technology. Maybe we are learning that writing on clay tablets wasn't such a dumb idea after all.
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