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News & Blog

Caring For Your Photographic Prints

Posted on: 2 March 2021
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All photographic prints from Real World Art are produced using the highest quality archival inks and papers designed to stay bright and give years of enjoyment.

Here are a few tips on how to care for your photographic prints from Real World Art as well as any others you may have in your home.

Handling

  • Skin contains natural oils or other contaminants, which can be easily transferred to your print, so it is important to wash your hands before touching any photograph. For extra protection you can purchase lint-free, white cotton gloves that are specially designed for handling artworks.
  • Use both hands and support the back of a print when picking up the photograph to avoid creasing.
  • Never attempt to rub the surface of the image with your finger or fingernail as this could scratch the surface of the print.

Exposure to the Elements

  • Keep your print out of direct sunlight; even the highest quality inks and papers will crack and fade if exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight. Normal incandescent light bulbs do not present a problem for photographic images however fluorescent lights do emit harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • Hang your print away from areas where airborne grime, dust and pollutants could leave a discolouring residue either directly on your print or covering glass.
  • Avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture and temperature. Excessive fluctuations between dryness and humidity, or extreme heat and cold will negatively affect your print. You should be wary of hanging your print in areas such as kitchens or bathrooms unless they are in a frame which is hermetically sealed.

Framing

  • When looking for frames to house your print bare in mind that there are many types of glass available; good quality glass specifically designed for protecting fine art and photographic images will not have the 'green tint' associated with poorer quality glass and may come with coatings to protect your print against harmful UV rays. It is also advisable to place the print behind a mat made from acid-free board to prevent the print and glass from touching.

Storage

  • If you are not framing your print, store it away from anything that might press against the image surface. Some objects may not seem sharp enough to damage the print, but could still cause a scratch, tear, or rip.
  • Do not stack prints directly on top of each other but separate them with pieces of acid-free paper to avoid damage.
  • If you need to transport your print make sure to put a piece of acid-free paper over the front to protect the print and then encase it in thick cardboard to avoid bending and creasing.
  • Prints should not be stored in plastic for long periods of time; if there is humidity in the air, mould may begin to grow. Cotton, acid-free sheets are best for keeping the dust and dirt away.

Cleaning

  • The print should only require a light dusting every now and then with a clean, soft cotton cloth to prevent dust build up. NEVER use cleaning products or water as this may permanently damage the print.
  • Do not be tempted to blow dust from your print as you may inadvertently deposit water droplets that can mark your print.
  • You can remove dust with compressed air, however you should only apply in short bursts with the nozzle at least 12" away from the face of the print and directed at a slight angle to lessen the force of the air.