Color pictures are composed of two elements: the negative and the image. The negative is the film while the image is printed on different types of paper. Today, most photographs are printed on resin coated (RC) papers. This means that the image is printed on a paper coated with a substance that protects the print surface from abrasion. Over time, these RC papers develop cracking.
Kodacolor film, Ektachrome slides and Agfacolor color are three of the color photographic processes used by family photographers that have had disturbing preservation records. However, instant pictures deteriorate the fastest.
Next week I’ll talk about instant pictures and special concerns. You can read more about this topic in my book Preserving Your Family Photographs or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.