Create Controversy with “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

stickers_crop2Introduce controversy into your Christmas album with “Baby It’s Cold Outside” stickers. The song, which has been banned from many radio stations due to its unsuitable lyrics that promote date rape, is available as a sticker in the Creative Memories Season’s Greetings Stickers.

Sales of the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” are increasing due to the controversy, with the song climbing the billboard charts. Demand for the Creative Memories stickers is also expected to increase, so get your Season’s Greetings stickers while they’re still available.

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Preserving More Than Memories

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Trump and the Republican have created a looming debt crisis through their massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Trump’s response is an apathetic “Yeah, but I won’t be here.” Trump’s actions toward the environment are similarly destructive, and his refusal to consider the potential danger of climate change can only be described as irresponsible. He and the Republican party clearly do not care what they do and what they leave for future generations.

Why am I writing about this here? It’s because memory preservation is about future generations. It’s about preserving today’s memories, even when we won’t be here. I create photo books, not only because I enjoy looking at them, but also because my two sons enjoy them. It is my way of preserving memories for a time when I won’t be here.

I also preserve my memories on Forever. Their business objective is memory preservation. Other internet sites have different business objectives, either advertising or product sales. These sites will preserve photos and videos as long as it is in their business interest to do so and they will delete them when they feel it is in their interest to do so.

If we are are concerned preserving memories for the future, we should be concerned about the future in a broader sense. After all, what good is a photo book or an online photo preservation site, if our environment is polluted and our cities are under water?

 

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Video Storage with Forever

Save Your Videos

In August, Forever launched added video storage to their photo preservation site. I saw the email but put off transferring videos to my site until now.  First, I would like to congratulate Forever in meeting the timeline they announced in 2017 for allowing video storage. Second, I would like to say that the service is incredibly useful, in spite of the flaws that I will enumerate below. Until now, I have relied on YouTube to preserve my videos. I like YouTube but I have never been comfortable with relying on Google (the owner of YouTube) to preserve anything. Google’s business model is based on advertising not preservation. I have no confidence in them to preserve my files.

Using CDs and DVDs to preserve videos is also problematic since these materials have a limited lifetime, generally 10-20 years. Stable discs are available, but these discs require specialized writers, and if the disc is lost or damaged, the video is lost as well.

Here are my comments after adding my videos to my Forever account:

  • Unless you pay extra money (see below), Forever does not convert your videos to the best format (H.264 mp4 1080p 30fps). Their selected file format is good, but saying they will convert your videos to this format in 10-20 years unless you pay extra just doesn’t make sense.  I want to know that my videos are preserved in the best format now, not in 10-20 years. To work around this feature, you will need to convert your videos prior to uploading them. It’s doable but beyond the scope of this article.
  • The cost for viewing the videos directly on Forever exceeds what I am willing to pay, and it’s not based on how many videos you upload. If you’re standing, please sit down now. The premium video plan is $1999, and no I didn’t leave out a decimal point! A monthly plan is $11.99/month and a yearly plan is $119/year, but these defeat the reason I originally bought my Forever account, which was to make a single payment and have no future charges FOREVER.
  • CM_002.The organizational tools are inadequate for video. When I look at the videos in an  album I created, and conveniently named Video, I cannot easily tell what is what. When your mouse is held over a video, you see about the first 15 characters of the file name. There is no easy way to see all the file names, and if the first 15 characters are not adequate to identify the video, you are out of luck. You can click on the video to get more information, but that process is tedious at best. There is no way to define a specific image to represent the video. My advice is to think very carefully about the first 15 character of the file name.
  • Forever doesn’t automatically transfer videos that are on other internet sites such as YouTube. See More About Video Preservation if you need to transfer videos to Forever.

Even with its limitations, Forever’s video storage is highly recommended. At this point there is simply no other good way to preserve videos.

 

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Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation

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Mizen_Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation_20180924_Page_01IS&T’s Technology for Digital Photo Fulfillment conference was held in Dresden, Germany on September 24, 2018. This meeting was held in conjunction with NIP/Digital Printing for Digital Fabrication 2018. At the Technology for Digital Photo Fulfillment Conference, I presented a Mizen_Review of Factors Related to Photo Book Preservation_20180924.

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ISO Photo Book Test Method Now Available

18948_Photo Books_2018_FDIS_Page_01_cropA new ISO standard describing test methods for photo books issued on November 13, 2018. While this standard, ISO 18948:2018, stops short of providing a specification for long-term permanence,  it does provide specific test methods that manufacturers can use to evaluate photo books.

  • Page pull test
  • Peeling and lamination durability
  • Book block attachment to the cover
  • Page stability, including storage and vehicle transportation
  • Deformation caused by humidity

Photo book manufacturers have resisted the development of standards giving requirements for photo books intended for long-term preservation; consequently the best information that is available comes from the publishing industry with ISO 11800:1998. This standard provides specific requirements for manufacturing durable and long-lasting books.  Much of the information is also relevant to photo books.

I have also previously provided information on Photo Book Construction and Preservation in All About Images and in the related presentation.

Posted in ISO Standards, Photo Books | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Zink Twice about Polaroid

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Warning: Polaroid cameras that produce Zink photos are not recommended for preserving memories.

Polaroid or should I say what’s left of Polaroid continues to push instant photography, including cameras that produce Zink direct thermal prints. Camera models include Snap, Snap Touch, and Pop. Zip is an instant photo printer. The cameras and printer are available at Target, Walmart, and other mass retailers.

Direct thermal prints contain all the chemical necessary to produce the photo. Unlike with conventional photography, nothing is removed during processing. Stability is a concern since the chemicals that are necessary to produce the photos at elevated temperatures are also likely to react at standard temperatures, destroying the photo.

Polaroid and Zink have chosen not to provide any stability information on their products. One can only assume that the expected lifetime for this product must be poor, since if it were not, they would have every reason to publicize it. Simply saying that the prints are “long-lasting,” as DP Review did in their review of the Polaroid Pop does not make it so.

I wrote Zink about Zink in 2013, and the situation has not changed since then. No more information is available now than was available five years ago, and Zink is still not recommended for scrapbooking and other projects intended to preserve memories.

Note: Fuji Photo Film previously developed Printpix, which uses similar thermal technology. Fuji published stability data indicating that their product had a life expectancy of eight years when displayed and 12 years when stored in an album. Unfortunately, Zink is not the same as Fuji, and there is no reason to believe that Fuji’s stability data also applies to Zink’s products.

November 26, 2018: I received some additional information from Michael Zhang at Petapixel:

One challenge Zink Imaging scientists faced in developing the technology was image longevity, but Wicker says they leapt that hurdle. “It’s important for photographs to be archival. It took us a long time to really perfect the technology, but we have; and Zink prints will last as long as a typical photograph,” he states. “We determined that with accelerated testing of the media under a variety of different conditions. For example, we put the paper under very, very intense light sources, which simulates being in sunlight for multiple years. We put it under hot and humid conditions to see what happens. By placing Zink prints in those environmental chambers, we’re able to predict how long an image will last. The results have been very encouraging they will last for years and years and years.”
“Instant prints right from your digital camera? Zink Imaging makes it possible..” The Free Library. 2007 PMA Magazine

The Photo Marketing Association published this information in 2007. The problem is that this report has no details and cannot be evaluated independently.  Without data, the claims are meaningless.  If Zink wants their claims to be believed, they need to either publish the technical details through the IS&T or other similar organization (Fuji’s approach) or have the claims validated through an independent testing laboratory, such as Wilhelm Imaging Research. Because they have not taken either approach, I cannot recommend their products for applications involving photo preservation.

Posted in Cameras, Photo Prints, Printers | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beer for Any Occasion

ISO American Aleedit_IMG_7854I was in charge of organizing an ISO meeting on image permanence and durability in Chicago, and one of the members had offered to brew beer for the occasion. A plain brown bottle wouldn’t do. I took a couple of old photos I had taken in Chicago and added some text. The resulting beer bottles are distinctive and serve to document the event. Some attendees even took their bottles home with them.

I used Artisan to add the text. While the program is intended for photo books and photo gifts, its flexibility, along with the ability to save and print the resulting design, makes it ideal for special projects.

TC42 WG5 Kolsch_revised

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