Most print owners don’t realize, that maintaining a photo print can be a crucial aspect of increasing its life. The beauty of a photo print which is well-cared for, can be enjoyed for a really long time, and this requires only certain guidelines to be followed. Listed below are few points to help you with the long-term care and conservation of a photo print.
1. A print will be delivered to you, usually rolled and well-packed. However, at some point you will need to remove the packaging! While doing so, you must take care to not let any of the natural oils or contaminants on your hands, get transferred onto the print. Washing your hands thoroughly, with soap and water or wear well-fitting surgical gloves before handling the print.
2. Always lift the print from diagonally opposite corners, using both hands. Photo prints are prone to getting crescent shaped creases, which are nearly impossible to be removed later. To avoid this, let the middle of the print gently sag while holding the opposite corners of the print.
3. New prints are often rolled up, to facilitate easy delivery. They shouldn’t be kept that way for long though. Consider getting your prints framed soon after you receive them.
1. Use only acid-free framing materials (for mounting and matting) as acid can result in fading of the print and shorten the life of the print. Using glass with UV filter for framing, can slow down fading of the print.
1. Using even slightly moist rags to clean your prints is a big no-no. Clean your prints using a clean, soft piece of cloth.
2. While cleaning with compressed air, use only short bursts of it keeping the nozzle at least 12’’ away from the print.
1. To illuminate your print normal incandescent light bulbs do not pose a problem but might not be the best choice. Xenon light, due to its likeness to sunlight is a definite go-to for illuminating your prints. Xenon lights, however, are expensive and less easily available. LED bulbs or halogen lights are your next best options.
2. Avoid using fluorescent lights as they emit UV radiation that can be harmful to the print.
1. Sunlight accelerates fading of prints, which is why, it’s a good idea to place your prints away from direct sunlight.
2. Highly humid environment can increase the risk of fungal growth (molding), and insect activity. Dehumidifiers can help lower the humidity levels and prevent degradation of the print.
3. Climatic changes can create issues in a painting and fluctuations in temperatures should be monitored. For places in warmer climates, using temperatures must be controlled and a cooler temperature must be maintained using a climatizer.