Photos on Canvas – Stop Your Pictures From Fading

If you’ve been printing or developing photographs for a number of years, chances are some of your photos are already fading and losing their original quality. The fact of the matter is that properties of most photo paper and the chemicals and dyes used in printing on it don’t react well to long periods of exposure to light and air. Even when properly framed and stored, the average time it takes a photograph to start losing quality is roughly six to seven years, and within twenty years noticeable overall fading has usually set in.

So what’s someone to do if they don’t want their favorite memories to have a life of less than twenty years before they need replacement? Easy: print photos on canvas.

Canvas pictures are a new phenomenon in the world of photography, coming to full fruition only a few years ago when technology advanced enough to make canvas printing as affordable as traditional photo printing. Printing pictures on canvas is cheaper than ever, quicker than ever, and more used than ever. The best part? Pictures printed on canvas can last well over one hundred years before noticeable fading begins.

Look back to all of the long-lasting remnants of culture throughout the world. What are the two best preserved formats found by archaeologists time and time again? Stone and canvas. Obviously printing photos on stone isn’t really plausible (or likely something you’d want to do), but canvas? Photos on canvas can be ordered by simply uploading a digital picture to a professional canvas printer’s website, or by attaching it to an email to a qualified canvas printing technician.

Now, you may think that printing photos on canvas (or canvas prints in general) shouldn’t last as long due to the way they’re printed on the canvas, and not painted into it like traditional works of art from hundreds of years ago. While it seems like a logical conclusion, it’s very wrong. Thanks to the current technology used with canvas prints and specialized inkjet printers, your photos are transported to the canvas prints in a fashion similar to traditional painting by injecting the canvas with special dyes and ink, ensuring high quality images with rich vibrant colors which will most likely remain vibrant and show no color loss until the day you die.

Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. is just one of the many reputable organizations which has taken their time to look into modern canvas prints to try and figure out how long they can last before they begin to fade. The result is an astounding 60-148 years without any noticeable fading in a humid, sunlit environment. For most people in the United States, you’ll be looking at the upper end of the spectrum as many places don’t reach regular year-long humidity levels of 60%, the baseline used in Wilhelm’s testing.

How can you tell if canvas prints will last a long time where you live? Let’s look at some basic weather facts. The ten most humid environments in the United States are all in Alaska, with an average humidity in the 70-80%’s. One of the most extreme environments possible in the United States when it comes to housing your canvas prints, Alaska also features a varying amount of sunlight throughout the year with some months having near constant sunlight. Even in these most adverse settings, according to one of the researchers at Wilhelm, a high-quality canvas print can still last approximately 70 years on average in Alaska assuming the owner keeps it in an environment not completely exposed to the outside elements. For the rest of the country where there’s far less constant exposure to sun and a much lower level of humidity, that’s fantastic news.

In most areas of the US, humidity levels rarely reach above the mid-30s. Taking the average temperature, amount of sunlight, and humidity in the United States, canvas prints last (on average) well over a century if they’re kept in a stable environment. As you can see, printing your photos on canvas is not only affordable with prices starting under $25, but is also well worth it, as your memories will assuredly last a lifetime.

Thinking About a New Job?

Are you bored to distraction with your current career? One tip that may help you decide on a new direction for yourself is simply to walk around your home. Play detective and discover yourself. Are your paintings on the wall outdoor scenes of stallions or flying geese, yet you work in a health care facility with few windows. Are you surrounded with photos of your grandchildren but your job at the bank only gives you one week a year to visit the kids? Are you playing bolero music while you cook in a small apartment in Maine? Do you want to be an artist even though you have a student loan bigger than your house payment for your mathematics degree that you thought you wanted? Do you read about fashion and work in a library?

Everyday other people pack up their family and their belongings and move to new jobs in new locations. Many leave the countryside in search of the excitement of the city. Many leave the city for the tranquility of the countryside. Some make the change, are still dissatisfied and return to where they started. Nevertheless, they made the effort to find themselves.

After a break-up or a divorce, when the kids leave for school or if a parent or spouse passes away, people often want sudden change to help to alleviate their pain. Traumatic events can shake up the stability of a once happy, satisfying life. It is best not to make a big change if you are in the early stages of grief or experiencing depression. Most grief is manageable after six months to a year. That may be a better time to think more about change.

However, if you are in good shape emotionally and still hungry for more life than you are living, you can make changes to enhance your situation. Enhance may mean taking a pay cut, selling a mansion, or even working twice as hard in the new job that you love, instead of dread.

If you are longing for a different environment and a new way to spend your day, perhaps an adventure is just around the corner. If you are a highly qualified and experienced individual, you may be able to arrange a sabbatical from your position. A sabbatical could allow you to spend a year in Spain painting the ocean by day and serving food and drinks at night to pay the rent. Then you can return (if you still want to) to the old job. Could a complete shift in your world be the enrichment that would make your present career a stepping-stone instead of a terminal position? Can you imagine the kind of work that makes you jump out of bed eager to get started?

Look around your home to discover your secret desires and interests. Find the true you and make some simple changes or big ones. You begin by believing that you deserve to be happy while you work.

Space Derby – How to Win at a Fun Cub Scout Activity

Last Saturday, my 8 year old son participated in his first Space Derby with his Cub Scout pack. A lot of boys, parents, siblings, and Cub Scout leaders showed up for the event. What is a space derby? Well it is probably a little different than what you imagined.

Each Cub Scout gets a Space Derby kit through their Cub Scout pack. The kit consists of balsa wood that each participant will use to form the body of a rocket. There is also plastic material in the kit that can be cut to fashion fins for the rocket. Here is where it starts to sound a little strange. There is also a propeller in the kit. A propeller?!! I thought this was a rocket? Well, it is supposed to look like a rocket, but the propeller actually propels the rocket. The Cub Scouts race their rockets four at a time. The rockets hang horizontally from a fishing line and the propellers are powered by a rubber band that comes with the kit.

The rockets are judged in three categories; speed, beauty, and originality. It quickly becomes apparent that the primary thing that makes a rocket fast is its’ weight. Since all the rockets are powered the same and wound equally, the lighter your rocket, the faster it will go. However, if you make your rocket light, you risk structural failure when the rubber bands are wound. So there is a balancing act to having a light, but strong rocket in order to have a fast one.

My son and I decided to go for the beauty category since this was his first space derby. We wanted to get an idea how the other rockets would perform in terms of speed this time out. We followed the directions in the kit and started by gluing the two balsa wood halves together. Later we used very course sandpaper to begin making the shape of our rocket. I later found out from some of the other parents that a potato peeler works wonders for shaving wood from the body to get the rough form of the rocket. Not having this information to begin with, we used sandpaper. Once we got the basic shape we wanted, we used finer sandpaper. We switched to 400 grit sandpaper, then finally 800.

Next we sprayed the rocket with primer. Once the primer dried thoroughly, we sanded it with the 800 sandpaper. We then added another layer of primer and sanded it again. We continued this process until the rocket body was smooth enough to satisfy us. I have a friend who said I should have used sanding primer. He says it would have filled in the cracks in the balsa wood with only one or two coats. I’ll have to take his word for it. I used regular spray paint primer…the cheap stuff.

Once we were finished priming and sanding, we sprayed a coat of candy apple red on the body. When spray painting, there are a few tips that will make a huge difference in how your finished model will look. Spray paint in a well ventilated area only. It is important that you hold the spray can the correct distance from your model…about 6 inches is usually recommended. If you get it too close your paint job will have runs in it; too far away and your paint job will have an orange peel effect (it will look rough and dull). Keep the can moving while spraying… again, too much time spent in one spot will result in runs and a not-so-great paint job.

When spray painting your rocket, you can fashion a fuselage holder from a clothes hanger. This prevents you from getting spray paint all over your hands and from getting finger prints on your fresh paint job. Be sure to have a secure spot where you can place the end of your hanger, keeping your fresh paint from touching anything until it dries. Allow plenty of time for your paint to dry (30 minutes) before adding a second coat or (2 – 4 hours) before touching the rocket body, depending on humidity.

Once the first coat was dry, we added a second coat of candy apple red. We painted the fins and the propeller chrome after priming them. Since we didn’t have any decals handy, I used silver and black sharpies to draw lightning bolts on mailing labels. I then cut the lightning bolts out and stuck them on the rocket body. My wife used a fine tip black sharpie to add Capt. Justin Rodgers to one of the rockets’ tail fins.

Justin’s rocket won first place in the beauty category. He did OK in terms of speed, but we will definitely make a lighter rocket for next year. I hope you found some useful tips in this article for building your own winning space derby rocket.