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Two questions only
1. How can you find that beautiful picture you have taken?
2. In what condition will it be?
1. Classifying of negatives and slides
You have been taking pictures for the past year and maybe up to 20 years. You can remember may of theses images and sometimes thousands of them but you now have a hard time finding them. It would of been simpler to start your filing system them it would be much easier now for you and your children's to find yourselves.
Rule #1 : “NEVER MANIPULATE YOUR NEGATIVES OR YOUR ORIGINAL SLIDES TO FIND THAT IMAGE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.” It would be better to consult the pictures themselves. You can classify your negatives by year asnd your prints by subject, themes or events in a photo album or photo binders. This way they are easy to look at and it also protects the emulsion of the original negatives or slide.
A second option would be to get your pictures digitize by your favourite lab or photo store, You could start with your most precious or your best images and get them transferred on a CD-Rom. This way at home you can reclassify them by themes, event and the folders that you will have specifically created. Don't forget you could transfer them to a CD-Rom once your classification is completed.
2. Storage of enlargments
Pictures that make you proud to look and show. Now is the time to think of albums instead of photo finishing envelopes. Even for the passionate a portfolio would be a better way of showing your pictures. The important point is stop manipulating your pictures with your hands and leaving finger prints all over them. For the larger prints that you want to preserves as souvenirs, you could classify them in boxes by year or themes. That would be an ideal way to store them.
1. Negatives and slides
Be aware ,
there are plastic sheets and there is also archival plastic sheets. Yes it is important to preserve your original films. Make sure that the quality of these storage sheets is for archival of negatives. Sheets that contain PVC materials will with time liberate chemicals fumes that will alter your negatives. You need to get sheets that have a neutral PH and are made of clear polypropylene. As a matter of fact many of the archival products available do meet these important archival standards.
If we talked about negatives, albums also have pages that are made of the same material. For enlargements that are not mounted or framed, a box that will protect them from direct light will be enough as long as you separate each print wit a sheet of paper that a neutral PH. This way images will not be in contact with each and other and will not alter with time.
You are planning to show you best images? Laminating of framing them ? It all depends on how much you want to spend. Laminating is less expensive and is recommended for temporary situations where the pictures will be exposed from 1 to 5 years. But on the other hand, THAT PICTURE THAT YOU LIKE THE ONE YOU CONSIDER A PIECE OF ART ,deserves to be mounted on an acid free mounting board and framed under glass.
BE AWARE OF THE SUN ! Never place your prints close to a window or in front of them, UV rays will affect and rapidly alter the quality and the colours of your prints. Avoid also a place where they are in direct contact with a source of heat such as a fireplace or heating device.
I hope that these few tips and advices will help you preserve and store your images in a proper way so that you can preserve them and enjoy them for a long time to come.
Go for it, and Happy Shooting!
With the cooperation of Jacques Bourdages, PFE.