Photo Books Are Green

I attended the Imaging Science & Technology’s 27th Annual Conference on Digital Printing in Minneapolis from October 2-6, 2011.

We have a choice. We can create a photo book or we can transfer our photos to a digital frame and not print them. Which option benefits the environment? Surprisingly, work by Tom Ethridge and Tim Strecker of Hewlett Packard shows that the environmental cost of the photo book is less than the environmental cost of a digital frame. The reason is that once a photo book is printed, it uses no energy, while a digital frame continues to consume energy throughout its life. In addition, the environmental cost of producing digital frames exceeds the cost of producing photo books.

Eye fatigue is also less with paper. Satoshi Mori and Makoto Omodani of Tokai University in Japan compared conventional books with various electronic displays. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs), which are commonly used in photo frames, had the highest level of fatigue and contributed to a reduction in the ability of the eye to focus.

Photo books also offer an ability to preserve photos for the future that is unmatched by electronic displays. Peter Mason and Adam Bush of Torrey Pines Research, highlighted the need for clear communication that relates product lifetime to how people use their photos. Photos that are printed in photo books are preserved “due to the low levels of exposure to light and environmental gases, the major cause of image stability.”


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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4 Responses to Photo Books Are Green

  1. I knew it! And now you have supported it. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Photo Books versus the Digital Photo Frame « All About Images Blog

  3. Pingback: Purposeful Photo Prints « All About Images Blog

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