Mounting prints on tissue or not?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    While I was in photo school in college, we were showed a couple of ways of properly mounting and matting prints. When mounting, we were taught to use mount tissue and mounting prints with photo corners. Also, we were also taught to use acid free mat board in both instances. I fell out of mounting with tissue since getting access to a heated mounting press was harder and favored using mounting corners with linen tape. I now have easier access to a mounting press and I'm thinking about mounting with tissue again. Do some galleries frown upon using dry mounted prints? I'd like to get a sense what APUGers are doing. I'm particularly interested in what gallery owners require for black and white fine art prints that are matted.
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    You might look through some of these threads...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/search.php?searchid=45551

    I dry-mounted my 16x20 silver gelatin prints due to my presentation method -- print trimmed to image area and dry-mounted in a window one inch bigger than the image area. I like how the edge of the print/image to be defined by itself, not by being over-lapped by the mat board.

    Platinum prints and carbon prints I do not dry-mount, but instead hinge-tape from the top to allow the paper to hang flat behind the window. I usually show the rebate with platinum prints.

    Galleries and museums like work not to be mounted -- this allows the print to be removed easily if the mat is damaged or the print needs cleaning/restoration.
     
  3. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks for your insight. I'm thinking of dry mounting because my 8x10 silver gelatin prints are pretty curly. But I've been doing well not dry mounting my prints if I mat them. The link to the thread seems not to work.

    Best,
    Don
     
  4. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    For many years I also dry-mounted silver prints but not pt/pd. I no longer dry-mount, seconding Vaughn's comments. If the mat board gets damaged so goes the print.

    http://jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Sorry about the link -- it works for me. Just do a search using "mounting prints" -- that will do the same thing, in theory.
     
  6. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I no longer dry mount either, though I have a press, which I use only for flattening. I hinge with linen tape, and cut the overmatte to reveal a bit less than a centimeter of white border, beyond the image end. I sign the back of the print and the matte.
    For flattening fiber paper, see the first sticky in the Film, Paper, & Chem forum, lots of info.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey thanks!

    I'll look for info on flattening prints and forget about dry mounting.
     
  8. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Check out the sticky I mentioned in the other forum. It's a long read, but full of info and lots of different experiences by many APUGers.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Due to the aesthetic reason Vaughn mentioned, I continue to drymount the prints I sell. I prefer to have a flat, free-floating print and hate overlapping mats. Unsold prints are kept unmounted in an archival box until they have found a buyer. If a gallery insists in unmounted prints, they get one from the box, but nothing is as flat as a drymounted print.

    I think the 'if the mounboard gets damaged' issue is overrated. I didn't have a single case in 30 years. However, I had a few cases were the glass broke and the print was damaged.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's a personal choice. There's no way I'd dry mount a print which I intend to keep or sell, wheter my own work or one I've bought or swapped.

    Much of my exhibition work is going to a museum, and I also sell prints to collectors etc, as Vaughn says they prefer images to be unmounted.

    As I have numerous exhibitioins sets -so far more prints than frames - occasionally mount boards do get damaged, or images might need to be reframe in a different size frame for an exhibition. So now way I#ll go back to dry mounting.

    Ian
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Ian is right, it's a personal choice. For me, drymounting is the only way to go. I want control over the entire viewing experience. The pure thought that a gallery or buyer puts my print into a non-fitting frame or displays it on a black mountboard scares me. A bad mount or frame can destroy the image and ruin the photographers reputation. The only exception I'd make would be an exhibition at a trusted gallery or museum.
     
  12. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I guess it does come down to personal choice. I'm wondering of you can avoid dry mounting and still have free-floating prints by using invisible photo corners. The are products like 3M ATG or Kolo photo corners http://www.dickblick.com/1/1/39510--photo-album-accessories-photo-mounts-pkg-of-500.html


    I think both adhesives are archival. I've used paper corners with linen tape and it's too cumbersome. What are your thoughts on that Ralph?
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If some doesn't like the colourof your mount Ralph they can still add a black over-mat :D

    The issue of frames arises when a mounted image has to be put in a galleries set of frames, they may be a different standard, Centimetre rather than Inch, or vice versa, but with photography it's rare that galleries use anything other than white mounts. I prefer to do the matting change myself, but it doesn't happen very often luckily.

    Ian
     
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  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Well, I had a couple boxes of mounted and over-matted prints out in the garage (left in there for the summer after moving into a new house until I had a studio set-up) that became ant nests. It seems that the space between the print itself the next print sitting on top of it in the box makes for wonderful ant apartments.

    I tossed out a lot (~60) of nice, but older prints (16x20's on 20x24). Actually I hauled the boxes out onto the driveway and scattered the prints on the concrete to get rid of the ants -- and it started to rain. If I had taped them in rather than dry-mounted I could have saved 90%+ of them.

    So s**t happens.

    Vaughn
     
  16. fdi

    fdi Advertiser

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    For conservation mounting the goal is to be able to replace all of the framing components since overtime they get contaminated with atmospheric pollutants. This is generally a concern for museums trying to make things last forever. They will also story the items in temp/humidity controlled rooms, and even though they will use UV filter glazing they will limit the items exposure to light and primary keep them in the dark.

    Drymounting makes the image a permanent part of the mounting board so if you do this you want to make sure the mounting board is archival if you want the print to last. Drymounting is very popular because it is the easiest way to ensure the print will remain flat.

    High end collectors actually appreciate a little curl and wave in the paper since it indicate the image is not permanently mounted. The average consumer on the other hand views the curl or wave as a poor mounting job. It is usually cost effective if you understand your market and meet their desires.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    A positive effect of dry-mounting is that the dry-mount material forms a barrier between the mat board and the print -- no contamination can come into the print from behind.
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Not on my shift!

    That's more like it if overmatting is acceptable.
     
  19. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It looks like you don't compromise when it comes to mounting and matting. You have high standards.
     
  20. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    No, my prints come mounted and matted.
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I have only use transparent photo corners to hold SX-70 prints on to the backing board. The window was cut so all of the SX-70 print shows with about 1/4" or so around the entire print. The corners are visible, but I feel that the subject matter and the media work very well together. The entire print is the piece -- just not the image area of the print.

    I never tried to dry-mount an SX-70 print -- don't know if they can take th heat or not.
     
  22. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    This isn't an issue with museum board mounting and matting.
     
  23. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Let me expand on that a bit. I hope it will explain why I do what I do.

    To me, the whole imaging and viewing process must become one to be truly successful. Some photographers never get into the darkroom or do the printing themselves. They capture the image and leave the rest to others.

    I just cannot do that. I would feel like missing 50% of the creative process. So, it must be image capture plus image manipulation. But why stop there?

    The mount, the mat and the frame highlight the print. They assure a proper 'environment' and eliminate surrounding 'noise'. That's part of the viewing experience. To me, it's part of the creative process. I want it to be part of my creative process. It cannot be left to others without potentially changing the appearance of the 'whole' print.

    I can take this further (and often do):

    1. What color and texture does the display wall have?
    It matters!
    2. Is it hung alone or as a panel? What's the arrangement?
    Some images work great on the right side of a panel but disturb the optical balance if shown on the left!
    3. Is sufficient lighting used? Is it too bright? Is glare reduced?
    Dim lighting makes for muddy images and dead shadows. Too much light is rare but it can kill midtones and highlights. Glare is a nuisance, and annoyed customers don't buy.

    Over the top? Maybe, but I can tell you, points 1 to 3 can make the difference between a mediocre and a successful display. And if that's the case, mounting, matting and framing will make a huge difference!

    Don't leave that to others, unless they can do it better than you can. If so, let them do it, but I would consider learning it is another step towards perfection.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2010
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Of course it is an issue -- otherwise museums would not worry about replacing the matting eventually to deal with atmospheric acidification/pollutants. There is some mat board that actively fights contamination -- buffering and such -- which might need replacing less often..

    But granted it is a rather minor issue. And we are talking storage beyond our lifespans here, too.

    And I am pretty much 100% with Ralph on the finishing work and display of our prints. I am not just an image-maker, but also a print-maker. It is what I find rewarding.

    Vaughn
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2010
  25. StigHagen

    StigHagen Member

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    I don't agree with the opinion "if the mat gets broken the image is ruined". Does not the mat somehow protect the image, is it not more protected with it fixed to a strong surface, than the paper alone? Also the overmat and framing will hide faults damaged corners etc....if that should happen, but you should anyway treat your drymounted picture as carefully as your paper alone.

    You can also get mount tissues (from Seal/Bienfang) where you can remove the image from the matboard by heating, if needed. Though I have never tried this.

    For me a perfectly flat image, dry mounted, makes a big difference, and for baryt paper I would never consider another option.
     
  26. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    True to a certain extent, but in some cases the print itself is damaged or otherwise need TLC -- perhaps a chemical treatment and/or washing -- hard to do that when it is dry-mounted with non-reversable mount tissue.

    For example back in the good old days, some platinum prints were never fully cleared, and ways have been developed to treat these to preserve them from further damage...and even reverse some of the damage perhaps. This assumes of course that the print is worthy of the time and effort.