Imaging Permanence: Professional Photography

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The advent of digital imaging has fundamentally changed the workflow of the printing industry and the photographic industry. The media used for printing digital images span a wide range of archival and light stability. Photographic laser recorders expose photographic papers of similar stability performance than traditional photo papers, however other hard-copy technologies and especially ink-jet media have fundamentally different characteristics. Electrophotography, dye-sublimation and ink-jet compete in the photolike imaging market and their light fastness, dark stability and mechanical permanence will be compared.

Ink-jet with its versatility is the most successful among the photo or successors. Depending on the layer system used, polymer or porous, and the inks, pigment or dye-based, aqueous or solvent, the permanence can vary over orders of magnitude. Dark and light stability for such systems need to be taken into considerations. Photo permanence can be surpassed, but only with some compromise in photo image quality or gamut.

All components in an ink-jet system, the base, the ink-receiving layer, the colorants and the ink formulation contribute to the overall stability. The environmental factors, light, temperature, humidity, abrasion and air pollution have different effect on the different ink/media combinations. The influence of the various components and their interaction with the environmental factors will be discussed.

The traditional test methods in graphic arts or photography needed to be supplemented by additional test that are still being developed. A short overview about the current state can be given.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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