So what is Pixel Preservation International and who is this guy, Joe LaBarca?


I retired from Kodak in January of 2011 after 34.5 years in R&D, commercialization, technical and management roles.  I spent my entire career in various aspects of hard copy output technologies, with the first two-thirds of the career working on professional color photographic paper.  I managed the Kodak Professional Imaging Systems lab and oversaw the systems and integration development of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Endura papers and display materials (look for “ENDURA” on the back next time you purchase prints).  A majority of my career found me involved in work on image permanence testing, reporting, and communications, both internally with Kodak and externally with the ISO international committee developing image permanence and physical durability standards. Within these roles I became expert in the permanence of not only traditional silver halide color photographic paper, but also the newer “digital technologies” – thermal dye transfer (think instant prints from retail kiosks), inkjet (think prints at home from your inkjet printer), and electrophotographic (think photo books from retail and online locations).

So why tell you about this? Here’s today’s reality. People – your customers – have millions, if not billions, of pictures stored on mobile devices, computers, external drives and clouds.  When those technologies become obsolete, how will they access those memories, those moments, those stories? There is only one proven technology that we know consumers can use to view their images today, tomorrow and 100 years from now. And that is the print. Your job: help your customers free those images from their devices to create lasting, viewable photographs.

In the coming weeks, I’ll guest blog here on Wednesday Works on the topic of long term preservation of images through printing. Last week, Ed Monahan wrote about how soft-copy offerings can drive more hard-copy output. This need for hard copy and preservation are the reasons I founded Pixel Preservation International in 2011. Hard copy is the only format that is totally independent of any current or future digital technologies. Think about that – the only format.

This reality drives Pixel Preservation International and similarly, much of the R&D at Kodak. In essence, only technology independent preservation of digital files through printing can help ensure that as technology advances, your images and your customers’ images are “future proof.” This means making prints, including professional prints on silver halide paper, complementary professional products using electrophotographic media, and instant printing at places like Kodak Kiosks. Kodak has created a framework through which it offers commercial labs, professional labs, wholesale labs, retailers and by association, consumers, multiple proven methods to print, preserve and protect their valuable images. This will help ensure that decades into the future, these moments, these memories, these stories, will be accessible for generations to come.


  1. Joe, about a year ago, I bought a Kodak ESP5210 printer. My main reason was, my frustration from fading of ink jet prints. I had understood pigment ink to be more archival than dye based inks. Ran my own tests – placed matching Kodak print and an Epson RX620 print in a south facing window for 2 months here in Houston. Epson results showed massive density and color loss, while Kodak had absolutely no visible change. I now use the Kodak printer for all printing, and use my Epson for scanning slides and negatives only.


  2. Joe, I am a photographer with traditional darkroom. Too bad Kodak no longer makes Endura RA 4 paper for people like me who still print from negatives. Many people liked that better than the Fuji Crystal Archive – which is all that is left.


    • I’m with You Andre. I also still make RA-4 prints, and I felt so bad when I knew about Endura. Ultra Endura was my favorite! I’m 32 and two years ago I 90% switched to analog photography. You should say that I’m a novice in the traditional (COLOR) darkroom word.
      History doesn’t proceed on a single road!
      Long life to Kodak!
      We still want to shoot and print negatives!


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