Protecting Your Precious Photos From Deteriorating
Sunlight. It can be a photographer’s best friend and a photograph’s worst enemy. Sensibly, photographers like having their subjects well-lit and natural sunlight helps to make for bright and beautiful pictures. However, no photographer would ever like to have his or her developed photos spend time in the sun. The same sunshine that helped to provide the perfect lighting for photos is often a culprit in the dulling and deterioration of their prints.
How do photos deteriorate over time?
Sunlight is far from the only enemy of your precious photographs. Photo prints, as well as negatives, are created with the use of chemical dyes that are sensitive to light, humidity and changes in temperature. The chemicals used to create the images are subject to fading, turning yellow and even cracking when the photos are placed in direct sunlight. (side note: This is why we recommend only framing copies of photos – not the originals – to hang on your household walls!)
Dust, dirt, even natural oil residue from our fingers when handling our prized photo collections can contribute to their deterioration. Therefore, it’s important to consider the ways in which we store our photos. We often use shoeboxes, bins and non-photosafe albums to house our pictures and then store them away in the downstairs closet, garage, basement or other out-of-sight locations. We assume that these photos are stored away safely, but the truth is that our homes don’t always provide safe havens for old photos.
Now that the summer is here, high humidity levels can wreak havoc on photos that are piled on top of each other in your hidden shoeboxes or inside “magnetic” sticky albums. The added moisture in the air causes the prints to stick together or to the album pages and the damage can be extensive if the quality of air in the home is also poor. Also, if any little critters are creeping around your basement and getting into the storage spaces containing your photos, you might find pictures that have deteriorated at excelled rates! (The adhesive in those old albums is delicious to some bugs and rodents.)
What can be done to protect your one-of-a-kind photos from deteriorating over time?
One simple option is to utilize the wonderful technology of photo digitization. By digitizing your cherished photos, you have the added benefit of being able to digitally restore them! Scanned photos offer security through safe multi-location back up and assures them of long-lasting lives.
What are the top reasons to have your photographs digitized?
In addition to protecting your cherished memories from becoming faded scraps of paper, digitizing your photos is a great way to preserve memories in the event that you lose your original prints. We don’t often think about the possibilities of fire, flood or divorce but these are just a few of the circumstances that can cause families to lose their one-of-a-kind photos. Digitally restoring your old photo album pictures will ensure that they are protected from fading and other damage before it’s too late!
As well, those old “magnetic” photo albums that require you to stick photos on adhesive-laden pages don’t protect the images – they destroy them. Will you allow me to give you just one piece of advice today that will instantly make your photos safer? Remove your photos from those sticky albums immediately. If you find they are really stuck and begin to tear when you attempt to remove them – contact me for help!
PhotoWise offers Photo & Document Scanning to help you organize, preserve and enjoy your cherished photo collection. We happily give families the peace of mind in knowing that their fondest memories will be preserved forever and ready to share with the next generation. Contact us to find out how we can protect your precious photos from deteriorating today!