Monday, December 04, 2006

Preserving & Protecting Your Photographs

Storing photos will affect their lifespan. Here are some valuable tips on how to preserve your photos and how different elements affect them.

Obviously the first enemy of photographs is light. Light can damage the photos over time by causing them to fade. If you are going to display your photos a good practice would be to keep a copy and store them in a dark place.

You should keep your photographs in a cool, dark place with low humidity. The best place would be a closet on your first floor since most places in a basement or attic will have high humidty during different times of the year.

Temperature and humidity are enemies of photographs, as mentioned above. When they are exposed to high and then low temperatures, your photos will expand and contract, causing them to crack and flake. Attics and basements present either temperature problems or high humidty and you should not store your photos in either of those places.

Acid, lignin and PVC are also likely cuplrits in damaging your photographs. Acid & lignin cause them to yellow and detoriate. PVC which is contained in some albums, can break down and emit a gas that causes rapid deterioration and sticky pictures. Use only archival quality scrapbooking supplies and photo albums to preserve your photos.

Avoid touching the pictures as much as you can by handling them by their edges and do not use paperclips or binders that can scratch them. Also avoid writing on the backs of photographs with a ball-point pen. This can damage the photos from the back and cause the emulsion, which holds together the image on the photos, to break down.

These tips can help you preserve your photos for generations to come and will take the worry out of discovering that your photos have cracked, yellowed or faded over time.


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