Piezography’s Historical Longevity

“…It is our intent that Piezography be considered of historical longetivity, because certainly color inkjet process cannot. Historical longetivity needs to preserve the original intent of a photographer over the length of time so that subtly toned black and white prints do not resist density loss, but also do not color fade when a color ink component cannot match the longetivity of the carbon pigment” John Cone of www.piezography.com

To understand the confusion that presides over the matter of print Longevity, we must go back to the advent of color photography in the late 50’s. History in color had become a mind-boggling reality! The modern person might not understand this significant change; the end of gray tones; life, family, friends, events, captured magnificently as they are, in color, but the photographic world was not ready for the challenge this meta-shift would bring to print longevity!

It would take decades before tests in life, and in labs, revealed how impermanent color prints are. It seemed reasonable to everyone that the color prints would last as long as the traditional black and whites, but how wrong they were! By the 80’s, some prints had faded to almost nothing. This activated the industry back to the research table resulting in developments from dye-based color photos to dye-based inks, improved equipment, and improved paper receptivity of dye droplets, though none of these resolved the issue of fade.

Today, seemingly, the post-modern global cult that lives virtually in a cyber world alleviates the pressure of producing quality prints; Photos fly across the stratosphere in milliseconds without requiring the squirt of even one picoliter.

Where does that leave the purist who faces a dwindling stock of film, and thirsts for excellence, quality, and the task of realizing his or her creative photographic vision on archival long-lasting prints?

Clearly, no one would disagree that, so far, the digital darkroom has failed to live up to its analog predecessor! The inferior quality of digital prints throws the lover of black and white photography constantly back across the analog/digital line to older methods.

Happily, for neo-black and white lovers, the story does not end badly. In comes Piezography’s pigment-based inks with zero dye. Even the new pigment-based OEM inks carry anything from 1-5% dye, but NOT piezography®.

On the 20th September 2012, a new acquaintance, Lorne Wolk (I recommend a visit to his outstanding photography website, particularly his Estado de Gracia series of photos in black and white at: http://www.lornewolk.com/tango-series-estado-de-gracia ), suggested I put the historical longevity of a Piezography print to the test. I placed two identical copies, one into a folder, and the other in the full sunlight of my print studio window.

We are at day number 214, and counting. I can report the good news, that there is thus far NO discernible difference between the two prints.

Shoot with passion. Print with excellence

Loys – 25th April 2013

Dedication:  To Lorne Wolk, who inspired me to go deeper

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