“I,” said the page, beginning to fade.

Portrait at the Bay. Leica M4 shot of the preparations.

Toronto. The title of this post is from a song by Pete Seeger. On March 15, 1979, I took my family to The Bay at Cloverdale (long gone – became Zellers, then Target, and now empty for over two years).

The professional photographer did a number of portraits of my children that day. The results were shown to my wife and me and those we selected were printed. The framed portraits were hung in a hallway well out of sunlight and even incandescent lighting as the hallway I chose led to bedrooms.

To my dismay, in few years, the photographs faded very badly to a muddy looking brown. They did not last a ‘lifetime’ as suggested in a two plus decade old Kodak ad. The professional had used Ektacolor paper which was intended for both professionals and amateurs.

An article around that time¬†discussed a lengthy American lawsuit between Kodak and professionals who had been chastised by a legion of disappointed clients, especially wedding parties. In 1992, a respected American scientist, Henry Wilhelm, of ¬†Wilhelm Imaging Research, published his 700+ page book on ‘The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs’ which supported the earlier issue with Kodak’s Ektacolor paper. Long out of print, in 2003 the book was offered as a free download from the Institute – a 35 mb informative read, well worth the download and reading time in spite of its dated material.

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