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  1. #1
    Toffle's Avatar
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    actual size of standard mattes

    I apologize if this has been covered a thousand times, but I've been searching the archives and have not really found what I need to know.

    I have some commercially cut "5x7" mattes which actually measure closer to 4 1/2x 6 1/2. That is good, because I can print to about 1/4 inch of the paper size for those prints. I don't have any 8x10 mattes to measure, but I would assume that there would be a similar variance.

    My first question, what is the actual cut size of the mattes you use? If you cut your own, as I know many of you do, what is your variance so that the edge of your printing paper is hidden behind your matte?

    My second question, looking at the problem from the other perspective, when you print to a particular size, how close do you print to your actual paper size?

    I recently had a request for a 4x10 print, actual dimensions. I ended up using half a sheet of 11x14 so that there would be something left to fit behind the matting.

    Any and all opinions are welcome.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  2. #2
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Tom: I cut all of my own mats, but 1/4" reveals around the edges of prints is pretty standard. Sometimes people use larger (or, I imagine, smaller) reveals. I have a Clyde Butcher print that has 1/2" reveals on the sides and tops, and a 1" reveal at the bottom.

    I adopted a style of mounting and matting where I trim to the edges of the print, and then cut the mat with a 1/4" reveal sides and top, and 1/2" on the bottom. The result is that the mounting board shows between the edge of the print and the overmat. The edge of the print makes a slight relief appearance, with the end result being somewhat like a double mat, but more understated. You don't lose anything from the edges of the print this way, but you have to make sure that you cut absolutely square, and placing the overmat is critical.

    Hope to see you in Cross Village in June.
    Dan


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  3. #3
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dan... I've never really gotten that far into the presentation aspect of my photos, so there's a whole new vocabulary I need to familiarize myself with.
    I'll be up in Michigan for the last couple of days of the big do. By then I hope to have some properly prepared prints to display.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    My 16x20 silver prints are mounted the same way as Dan's. Only, I cut the window 1/2 inch bigger than the image area on the top and sides, and 3/4 inch bigger on the bottom. Outside measurement of the mat board is 24x28. And Dan is right...it must be carefully done. For my own work, I do not like hiding the edge of the photograph behind the matboard.

    My 8x10 platinum prints are mounted on 16x20 board, with the window cut slightly larger than the image area -- showing the black rebate around the image...perhaps 1/4 inch top and sides and 3/8 inch on the bottom. My 4x10 platinum prints are mounted the same way on 12x16 board.

    I have never had anyone ask for a print that was precisely x by y inches. I would be tempted to tell them that I don't sell prints by the inch...LOL!

    I window matted a retrospective show for my old photo teacher -- actually for his widow. Thirty prints or so, all old vintage prints already dry-mounted. It was a tough job...not because of cutting the windows (I have done so many that I think I have done it in my sleep), but because of the artistic decisions I had to make. I had to overlap the sides of the prints with the windows...and deciding how much to cover, etc was tough. But generally, I tried to cover no more than 1/16 inch of the image. But many were not dry-mounted square, or the prints themselves were not square. I have always felt that the edges of an image defines what is in the middle -- so deciding how much to crop out with the window was not a easy decision.

    But it was a great experience...most of the images I had cut windows for over 25 years ago when I was a student, and I earned my beer money by cutting mats for students and faculty. And working with the prints so intensely, I got to have a much more personal involvement with them than just looking at them on a gallery wall.

    As for the outside dimensions, I tend to work in the "standard" sizes. 8x10, 12x16, 16x20, 20x24...I deviate from this for 16x20 prints. For 16x20, I do not like the look of 22x28 boards..especially for hortizontals -- too much "extra" space on the sides (it actually works fine for verticals), so I use 24x28.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  5. #5
    fdi
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    Most off the shelf mats are cut with the opening 1/2 inch smaller. For example a mat for an 8x10 print would have an opening of 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 which means that 1/4 inch of each side of the image is covered up. Custom frame shops will typically cut the mats 1/4 inch smaller so that much less of the image is masked. Personally, I felt that 1/2 was too much so my company standardized on 1/4 smaller unless the image is larger than 18x24. When float mounting so the entire image is revealed it is common to leave 1/4 to 1/2 inch border around the image and sometimes more on the bottom if there is a signature in lower margin. Of course, just as in photography, there are no rules, just guidelines.

    When the mat does not overlap very much of the image it can be more difficult to get the image centered well enough. I have a trick for that here: mounting info

    Cheers,
    Mark



 

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