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Easy Digital Imaging...
 

Paper, Canvas, and "Fugitive" Inks

Quality ink-jet papers are beginning to proliferate, but I'd suggest you first try Kodak's Inkjet Photographic Quality Paper Photo Weight. It comes in a 50-sheet box, costs about 60 cents a sheet, and produces a beautiful print. Polaroid also makes a nice paper...a bit warmer in tone but, alas, you cannot note your settings on the back of it with a pencil as you can with Kodak's...you'll need a Sanford Sharpie pen or equivalent.

Most ink-jet printers can also print on different textured media, including canvas and watercolor paper. If you print on special high quality glossy papers (about $2 a sheet) the results can be breathtaking. But rest assured, they'll be outstanding enough on Kodak, Polaroid and many other brands to satisfy you...or anyone else.

Until recently, there's been one drawback to ink-jet printers. Most inks currently in use are dye-based and not anywhere near archival...in the industry they're called "fugitive" inks because they tend to do a fast-fade act. How fast? "Ay," as Hamlet lamented, "there's the rub," for there's no way to predict when they're going to shuffle off. It all depends on how much and what type of light they're exposed to...and the kind of paper they're printed on. The image might last for years or do a disappearing act in months.

But that's about to change. Repeat-O-Type has come out with the first pigment-based replacement inks that work well with ink-jet coated papers. At present, there are long-lasting, dye-based inks being used for large Iris and Encad prints on artists' uncoated watercolor papers, but they lose their permanence when mixed with paper coating. Pigment based inks -although a shade less brilliant than their dye-based counterparts- blend well with coating, resist fading, and can last longer than color photographs...65 years or more. Archival inks have been the missing link in the digital imaging chain...as soon as they become widely available, digital photography will have come of age.

 

 

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