Photographic Degradation Course

Photographic Degradation

To understand how to correctly identify and preserve photographs, we must first understand how they degrade and decay. A full understanding of the factors and processes which cause damage and loss to photographic objects is critical to the essential cause of photographic preservation, and underpins both preventive and interventive conservation.

This course works through essential foundational material, and then examines from both theoretical and practical standpoints the science of photographic degradation.

Course Trailer

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Not just another webinar

We’re in an age of webinars now, and that’s excellent. However, we didn’t set out to teach you something you can learn in an hour. Photographic conservation and preservation are expansive topics in a field where comprehensive training opportunities are few and far between.

That’s why we have invested in working towards a deep training program with relevance to vocational work in the heritage sector.

Watch our latest trailer and see the course outline below.

Course Structure

The Fading Committee
A brief introductory review of the first investigations into image stability and photographic deterioration, and how those findings are still relevant today.
Physical Degradation
A brief summary of additional factors that affect historic photographic objects, beyond simply the images they carry.
Light
While essential to the production of a photograph, discover how light retains an almost equal potential for destruction if left unchecked.
Temperature
Explore 4 ways in which environmental temperature and temperature fluctuations can have a dramatic effect on photographic degradation.
Relative Humidity
Water is a simple but potentially devastating substance in the endeavour of photographic preservation. Understand the effects of environmental RH on photographic materials.
Air Quality
The presence of gaseous pollutants, whether in the wider environment or a localised space, can greatly harm historic photographs. Understand the source, nature and effect of these substances.
Biological Attack
Explore the 3 main categories of biological agent which stand to damage and degrade photographs, and the many constituent actors which you might encounter.
Residual Processing Chemistry
Understand the retention of chemical substances following the production of a photograph, and how these substances can be active or inert with regard to the stability of the image.
Enclosure Materials
A diverse range of enclosure materials exist and have been used to store and protect photographs. Explore the variety, design, efficacy and risks of these enclosures.
Mounting Materials
Briefly explore the range of different mounts and mounting materials which have been used historically, and the nature and stability of these materials.
Adhesives
Adhesives are often an invisible and overlooked material substance involved in the preparation and presentation of photographs, but their degradative effects on object and image stability can be very visible. Discover how the adhesive materials and manner of attachment used are factors which can inform the identification, dating and preservation of our photographs.
Benign Neglect
A look at some real life stories which exemplify how easily even very significant historic photographs can fall subject to benign neglect, and some of the different forms this can take.
Motivation for Examples of Degradation
Introducing the importance of comparators and the value of a broad range of reference objects, as well as the need to be able to correctly interpret evidence from multiple overlapping modes of degradation.
Case Study 1
A detailed study of the history and nature of an 1860's topographical print, looking closely at the identifying factors and evidence of degradation present.
Case Study 2
A detailed look at a 1930's silver gelatine bromide print both before and after interventive treatments were applied, and the combination of degradative factors at work.
Case Study 3
Explore this large format print by Herbert George Ponting, and the identifying and degradative factors it presents.
Case Study 4
Look in detail at these two Daguerreotypes from the mid-1800's, and the various forms of deterioriation that they have sustained.
Examples of light degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of light-based environmental degradation which they display.
Examples of temperature degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of temperature-influenced degradation which they exhibit.
Examples of RH degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of degradation from relative humidity which they display.
Examples of air quality degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of air quality degradation they show.
Examples of biological attack
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of degradation from biological attack which they present.
Examples of residual processing chemistry degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of degradation from residual processing chemistry which they display.
Examples of enclosure materials degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of enclosure materials degradation which they show.
Examples of mounting materials degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of mounting materials degradation which they exhibit.
Examples of adhesives degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of adhesive-related degradation which they display.
Examples of benign neglect degradation
A collection of reference comparators and the specific impact of degradation from benign neglect which they present.
Conclusion
Closing words to conclude the course.

Course Pricing

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Our earlybird offer hasn’t sold out – yet!

Grab your earlybird pass below while you still can.

Earlybird Pass

Earlybird Offer Closing December 2023

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21 places remaining

Earlybird Access

Exclusive offer to earlybird customers
£ 450
00
  • Instant access to foundations primers
  • Instant access to theory lessons
  • Instant access to reference examples
  • Life-time access - all content yours to keep, forever
  • 25% discount
  • Exclusive to our earlybird customers
ENDING SOON

Standard Access

Enrolment for the online course
£ 600
00
  • Instant access to foundations primers
  • Instant access to theory lessons
  • Instant access to reference examples
  • 60 day access to course lectures
  • Life-time access to reference examples
  • Available to all
Earlybird Pass

Right-place right-time special offer

Still some available!

You’re here at a very special time – our first online video course has launched!

We’re offering an earlybird discount to the first 50 individuals to register for the course.

If you enrol before these limited places sell out, you’ll get a 25% discount now and you’ll get discounted pricing any future courses and products we release.

We’re also offering 10 site-license earlybird discounts to organisations and institutions – please contact us via the contact form for pricing.

Frequently Asked Questions

The course takes somewhere around 2 full working days if you work through the material intensively, or it can be spread out over a longer period.
 
We’ve tried to make the course really accessible and flexible, both in terms of the amount of content and the timeframe over which you can consume it.
Speaking just to the main videos for the first two modules (Foundations and Theory of Degradation) – they span a little over 7 hours of teaching.
 
You’ll receive a daily email with a reminder about each new lesson in these modules, but you don’t have to follow that schedule and can go through the content faster or slower as you prefer. Most lessons range from 10-45 minutes, so they’re accessible in smaller chunks of time.
 
The Examples of Degradation module then contains a larger collection of shorter videos, each watchable in just a few minutes.
 
In total across the course, there are currently 152 videos totalling around 12.5 hours.
 
Our goals in structuring the course this way are to serve enrollees not only all across the world, but also those who wish to take the course ‘intensively’ over a short time window as well as those who prefer to pursue a more gradual way integrated alongside other responsibilities.

The course is available to start whenever the timing is right for you – participants don’t all have to follow the same fixed schedule.

The course content can be accessed online as soon as you’ve completed registration.

All our customers will have lifetime access to the library of reference examples.

For Earlybird customers, you’ll also have lifetime access to the entire set of course lectures. Standard Access customers will have 60 days to access and complete the lectures.

We aren’t planning any face-to-face workshops in the foreseeable future, but you can access our whole course material online in a time and place of your choosing using our online platform. No travel or accommodation expenses required!

There is no pre-set number of course enrollees for a site license, and therefore no specific one-size-fits-all cost, but we can work with you to cater to your organisation’s particular needs. Where an organisation has multiple employees or members they wish to attend, we aim to make this more accessible to them.

Please reach out via our contact form with details of how many people you’d like to enroll and we can provide you with more information.

If you’re unable to use the card payment sign-up flow directly, please reach out to us using our contact form. We can usually provide a direct invoicing flow where necessary.

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