How do you make postcards nowadays? (for postcard exchange)

Discussion in 'Postcard Exchange' started by TheToadMen, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'm interested in joining the postcard exchange, but never made postcards. So I wonder what options are available nowadays.
    I don't want to use online service like Hallmarks (and I don't have a inkjet printer either), but want make the postcards myself using some of my pinhole images like these:

    image004.jpg image009.jpg image011.jpg image020.jpg

    Pin_6x17_Fuji_RVP-001.jpg Pin_6x17_Fuji_RVP-003.jpg

    Konica_PRO400-landscape-7.jpg Konica_PRO400-1a.jpg

    But I have also some monochrome alt-photo process prints (gum, cyanotype, casein, albumen and carbon prints) I would like to reproduce as postcards:
    Casein_print_Bert_Kuijer_15jun-13-meeuw.jpg Casein_print_Bert_Kuijer_15jun-13-roos.jpg glass-neg-1928-willow-wrens-birds.jpg

    I read some of the threads here but only saw the Ilford postcard paper mentioned.
    So, tips are welcome so I can try it myself and maybe join this exchange in the near future.
    Thank you,
    Bert from Holland
    http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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  3. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    Glad you posted this Bert. I have similar questions and I want to join in too. I bought some of the Ilford postcard paper just for the exchange but I don't like the glossy finish nor the pearl finish either, so I am wondering what others are doing. I tone most of my prints and rc just doesn't do it for me. I will use if though if there isn't a better alternative.

    If most people are using it then I will too. Just wondering.
     
  4. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Instead of Ilford postcard paper, you can print to 4x6 (any other size) paper and then just cut it down to whatever size you need per postage regulations.
     
  5. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    That might work then on the Art300. I have a pack of 5x7 and it tones well too. Thanks Terry.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you can just put a stamp on a photograph and mail it :smile:
    if it is bigger than 3.5x5.75 ( or whatever the tiny postcard size is )
    they will charge you the same price as a regular letter ..
     
  7. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    It's up to you. Ilford's postcard paper is the most common choice. I made cyanos once, on Stonehenge. It was alot of work, but was appreciated. FB papers show up, sometimes 30 year out-of-date ones. If they are double weight, they stand up to the mail just fine. Single wt might get creased. Some folks put their postcards in envelopes. Photomat colour prints, with a stick-on label have made their appearance too. If the post office will accept it, so will APUG.

    In Canada it costs the same for a letter as a postcard, and that is going up by 1/3rd this spring - which is going to price me out, I think.
     
  8. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Assuming you have an enlarger, just buy a 250-pack of small (5x7 or 6x4) paper and print on that. That's what I did. Or if you have some 12x16 paper, you can get 8 postcards out of 1 sheet with a spot of cutting...
     
  9. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    Lots of good answers here. I've seen almost any type of paper used with handwritten addresses or stick on labels. Most make it through with little or no damage.

    Here is a link to Canada Posts standards http://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/standards/PSMach_SL-e.pdf long and complicated, pages 16-17 & 22 apply to postcards - your local postal service will likely have similar standards available. Basically anything with an address on the right side & a stamp seems to make it through. So why not join us and give it a try.
     
  10. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    5x7 costs nearly twice as much as 4x6 cards. I just print 2 on an 8x10 sheet of plain old Orient Seagull VCRCII. I then cut them out and lick a stamp and put them in the box. Nothing special and they make it to their destinations just fine.
     
  11. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Apparently you can buy postcard backing paper that you stick on the back of the 4x6 print. This gives you the same backing as on Ilford postcard paper and is probably easier to write on. It can of course be added to any paper of your choosing. It adds stiffness to it so is probably the equivalent in stiffness and weight to Ilford postcard which is Portfolio paper.

    I don't know about prices in the U.S. but in the U.K. I can say that nowadays Ilford Postcard paper is a total rip-off( is this a U.S. term? If not I mean by "rip-off" an extortionate price) in terms of price.

    About $70 per 100 sheet box. All Ilford paper has risen a lot in price in recent years but in about 2005-7 this paper was being sold at about $24 per 100 sheet box.

    pentaxuser
     
  12. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    Link?

    This would be a perfect solution, Pentax! I am thinking of using Slavich Unibrom 160 but it tends to curl so much, flattening would be a problem. A stiffer backing would solve that and I don't want to have to get out the glue stick. :D
     
  13. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    I don't think the rates go up until the end of March - maybe one more round?
     
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  15. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

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    Check with your national postal service. In Canada I can print as large as 9.2 x 4.7 inches for a postcard that can be mailed to the US or internationally with a normal letter stamp. I can actually print even larger for cards that are only being mailed domestically.

    For my last exchange I printed two cards on one 8x10 sheet of Ilford Art 300 which I selenium toned. Each 5x8 print was slightly trimmed to meet the standard. I used inkjet printer labels on the back of most of them although some of them I just wrote on and put in the mail. That's probably what I would do again in the future (no labels).

    I am going to do a cyanotype for the upcoming round. My local art supply store had some pads of 4x6 blank postcards on watercolor paper, made by Fabriano.

    I got a huge variety of cards in return. People have all kinds of ways of doing it and they all seem to make it through the mail quite nicely. It's a fantastic opportunity to see a lot of different printing styles.
     
  16. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A tip - the adhesive labels that will run through a computer printer will, when applied to the back of a print, add both strength and durability, while offering readability for both the postal service and the recipient.

    I just finished a 500 sheet box of Kodak Polycontrast III postcard RC paper that Dennis (dances with clouds here on APUG) gave me.

    So for the next round, I'll be cutting 8x10 sheets of Ilford MGIV RC glossy paper into three 4x6 sheets.

    In Canada, we don't get a postage break on postcards, but we can send a much larger card at the letter rate (domestic 63 cents now but going up to 85 cents at the end of March, when stamps are bought in packs).

    In the US, however, there is a really cheap domestic (32 cents) rate for 4x6 cards, and the $1.10 rate for international 4x6 cards is much cheaper than Canada Post's rate. As I can just about see the US from my kitchen window (there are a few trees in the way) and as I'm about 15-25 minutes drive away from a small border crossing, I print my cards to the 4x6 US standard and use the US postal service for US and international cards.

    I will be interested to see what the costs for sending mail to the US and internationally will change to after March. I would suggest though that if the costs concern you (as they do me) then you can always limit the number of cards you sign up for. I find 24 to be a good number for me.
     
  17. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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  18. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Go to a print shop and job out 1000 copies to the proprietor so he can continue paying his mortgage and insurance and taxes. That way you can have the matter professionally done, and you can throw the other 999 in the trash. Lick your stamp and stick it on the remaining copy and you're done. All this computer home-made junk just makes computer slaves out of you, and junk-mail for your recipient. :whistling:
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You realize Tom that each postcard is (in most cases) an individually printed darkroom print?

    The postcard exchange is an APUG exchange, intended to allow us to share our photography with other APUG members. My 24 cards will each be exposed individually in my enlarger, developed in (mostly Kodak) chemistry, washed, toned, dried, labeled and mailed by myself.

    Most others do something similar.
     
  20. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Can't blame a guy for defending his livelihood, even if it is making wagon wheels and buggy whips now, can you?:smile:
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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  23. Mark_S

    Mark_S Member

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    On the last postcard exchange I used the Ilford postcard paper for most of them, but I did about a dozen which were Cyanotypes. The Cyanotypes do take longer, but you have the option of not doing so many cards - you could probably do some great pinhole cyanotypes!
     
  24. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    Hi AgX - Thanks for posting this link. I tried to order 10 pks but there is a glitch in the shipping choices (doesn't allow me to choose a method) and I can't get past it being blank. Do you know of any other place that might sell these? They're exactly what I need. I will keep trying to search here. Thanks.
     
  25. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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  26. VaryaV

    VaryaV Member

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    Thanks Eddie and everyone. Much appreciated. Now I will be able to print on the paper of my choice.