I can remember when it became an option to purchase a CD of your images from the film you would drop off at your local pharmacy or convenient store. At first, we didn't want to spend the money on a CD when we were getting the prints anyway. We also didn't have a computer to even view them on until around 2000. Then, it became the way to 'back up your pictures' in the case that you lost them or they were damaged over time. Now, it seems, we choose digital negatives as the only way to preserve our memories. Unfortunately, we never asked ourselves, "What do we do when we break or lose the CD or the files on it are corrupted?"
When we received our processed film, we were also given the negatives of that film. Meaning, if your pictures were ever damaged, the lab could go back and reprint them over and over again. I can honestly say, that we still have negatives from the film that was developed from our childhood. All these years later and we can still reprint the memories that we cherish even more now than we did then. The CD's we purchased? I don't have a single one of them. A whole decade of my life is missing due to having images put on files on a CD. At one point, they would give you the negatives with the CD and I'm sure THOSE are still in a box somewhere - but that CD is long gone.
As a photographer who received most of my technical knowledge through Black & White Film Photography, I processed my film and prints by hand. I know what goes into creating an image and the amount of technical knowledge one had to have to really be creative with a print created from film. Let me share with you some of my Black & While Film Works. I have been reluctant to scan these as they are really, truly one-of-a-kind and there are no duplicates that are exactly the same as these images anywhere in my collection.
For this reason, I request that you please respect Copyright Laws and not save, copy or screen capture these images.
Even the slightest variation in exposure time could alter the outcome of a film print processed by hand. In order to be consistent, we would write the processing details on the back of each print.
At a recent American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Jose, Cerf — one of the “fathers of the Internet” — warned that a second dark age may be looming in the horizon due to the fact that so much of our data these days is kept in digital formats.
“If we don’t find a solution our 21st Century will be an information black hole,” Cerf warned the audience. “We think about digitizing things because we think we will preserve them, but what we don’t understand is that unless we take other steps, those digital versions may not be any better, and may even be worse, than the artifacts that we digitized.”
You may think digital files are safe but they can suffer from what's referred to as 'file rot' (file corruption occurring at random due to errors in hard drives or network transfer). Your digital files are safe on the Cloud right? This can be a pricey option, and there’s no absolute guarantee these companies will still be around in the coming decades.
One of the best options you may have right now for ensuring the long term survival of important photos is to print them out physically (with materials designed for longevity) and to keep the prints in a safe place.
THE NEXT STEP...
The first step is understanding WHY printing is important, now let's talk about your options!
I offer a wide range of products - from 30 page albums to accordion booklets - to gift to friends & family or create your own portrait wall gallery.
First, Let's talk Photographic Papers...
I typically print with these 3 archival papers. Archival refers to paper that is made slightly alkaline or with a neutral pH so that it will not yellow and turn brittle with age. The process for making this paper is more complex, resulting in a more expensive end product.
Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Super Type PD Luster
The latest Fuji Crystal Archive Super Type PD, Professional Lustre finish paper, is the newest evolution to Fujifilm’s family of professional color papers. Improving on their renowned Crystal Archive Paper technologies, print output results in more vivid color reproduction, plus improved highlight detail. Paired with Fuji’s Digital RA Pro chemistry, The print lab I work with obtains the highest Dmax and incredibly brilliant whites; the result is a sharper, crisper image.
FujiCrystal Archive Pearl Paper
Developed exclusively for digital output, Pearl Paper yields high quality glossy digital prints with a distinctive pearl-like appearance, making it ideal for professional applications such as commercial, fashion and portrait photography.
Fuji Crystal Archive Professional Deep Matte Paper
With a true matte finish, Fuji Deep Matte paper offers bright whites and wide color range with a smooth texture. It’s unique lusterless surface provides elegant color reproduction with subtlety and warmth. Great with soft, light images, skin tones, and black and whites. Due to it’s deeply matte finish, it is typically not recommended Fuji Deep Matte for images with dense shadows and rich blacks, although I usually break the rule on this.
Let's Talk Presentation...
Adhesive Mount Albums
5×5, 8×8, and 10×10
Black Onyx Silk
Fuji Luster Photographic paper
In-lab professional assembly
Black Executive Packaging
Why they're great - A professional and stylish way to display your images in a coffee table ready album. Books have exactly 20 or 30 pages, depending on the size, and are bound with Black Onyx Silk. All pages are thick and rigid with photographic prints mounted onto them. These are a great way to get a majority of the images from your session and make great gifts for friends & family!
Gallery Wrapped Canvas
400 GSM White Poly Canvas
1.5″ Gallery Wrap Frames
Select from black paper backing with sawtooth hanger or open backing with hanging wire
Select from Many Different Gallery Sizes
Why it's Great -
Thoroughly experience their images with a gallery wrapped canvas! The gallery wrapped canvas I offer has superior color rendition, rich blacks and a smooth gloss finish. It is printed on the highest quality 400GSM white poly-cotton canvas to ensure that the saturation and sharpness is positively awe-inspiring. All of our canvas is printed and stretched right in the lab for impeccable quality assurance.
The mounting options I offer are prepared using the latest in pressure sensitive adhesives, archival boards, and mounting equipment. Professional technicians mount your prints on one of the widest varieties of substrates in the industry.
Black & White Styrene
This unique material is exceptionally strong for its thin size. At approximately 3/32″ thick, it’s thin enough to fit into a frame, or stand alone without worry of warping or denting. Because of it’s solid-but-thin feel, the moment you have it into your hands, you’ll know that it’s a professional material. Available in both black and white and up to 30″x40″, styrene mounting is a great substrate for any print! All of the loose prints you purchase are mounted on styrene.
Standouts are sleek and elegant, but surprisingly simple. Intended to go right on to a wall without a frame, these lightweight boards have a heavy appearance, but are actually made of a lightweight, stiff foam core with a neutral colored panel backing. The sides of the boards are fully protected by black or white textured paneling, giving your mount a fully finished and sealed look. The back panels contain pre-drilled holes making them easy to hang on simple nails or screws. Make this your easiest and most cost effective way to turn your portraits into high-end wall art.
It's Time to Create Your Wall Gallery!
Now that you have selected your presentation, paper and mounting option, Lets put together a wall gallery designed custom to the walls in your home. I offer many pre-designed options, or we can put together a gallery based on a gallery you already have designed for your wall! The sky is the limit with what we can do to display your finished pieces.
I hope this information helps you get an idea of the value and quality you are investing in when you choose AKPratt Photography for your portrait needs. I can't wait to work with you and start designing a gallery just for you!