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  1. #11

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    I use 8x10 paper for 8x10 prints. There is no need to use a larger size paper. I then trim the prints and dry mount them. My article "Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage" clearly shows that dry mounting on the proper board (not just any "100% all-rag board, most of which do not do the job of protecting the print), provides far better protection from pollutants than hinging prints.

    Now, if you dry mount prints and use an overmat, or even if you hinge them, you have two choices with the overmat—you can cut it to exactly fit the print, and not show any border--or you can leave space around the print.

    It is almost impossible to cut an overmat to fit the print exactly without overlapping the print a little bit. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel that the photographer is responsible for every square millimeter of the print, the way a composer is responsible for every note, and that to cut off even a small sliver of the print destroys the integrity of the picture. My photographs are seen right to the very edge, and so this is important to me.

    If the overmat allows a border around the print it is more than a little distracting to have white photographic paper surround the print. When looking at a photograph one's eye usually goes to the brightest thing. If the brightest thing is the white photo paper surrounding the print, that is a serious distraction. If the mat board, of a surface with less reflectance than the print, constitutes the border between the print and the overmat, it is not distracting, and helps to focus attention on the print itself—the place where attention should be directed.

    And yes, we will have 11 x 14 paper in the spring.

    Michael A. Smith

  2. #12
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Thanks Michael,

    I searched up the article. I thought I had read it before, but i hadn't. It's very interesting, and well worth a read. The article is here:

    http://www.superiorarchivalmats.com/sam/Article.html
    That's just, like, my opinion, man...

  3. #13
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I have been using CRI's negative envelopes (4-fold) and storage boxes for 15 or 20 years...good stuff. I haven't been using their matboard, but probably should be...

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

  4. #14
    TN98's Avatar
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    Thanks, everybody for your kind comments. I don't have a dry mount machine and the overmat would be the only choice. May be I'll try it with the heat transfer machine (for T-shirt).

  5. #15
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Michael,

    Isn't the mat board itself usually white too? If yes, the entire overmat would be distracting the eye from viewing the print.
    Just out of curiosity, I'm not trying to contradict you, I'm just speaking my opinion, how do you reason with the overmat possibly being the brightest point of the entire presentation?

    I like how a rebate around the print looks, surrounding the print inside the overmat. To me it's not a distraction at all, no more than the overmat itself.

    - Thomas

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
    I use 8x10 paper for 8x10 prints. There is no need to use a larger size paper. I then trim the prints and dry mount them. My article "Advances in Archival Mounting and Storage" clearly shows that dry mounting on the proper board (not just any "100% all-rag board, most of which do not do the job of protecting the print), provides far better protection from pollutants than hinging prints.

    Now, if you dry mount prints and use an overmat, or even if you hinge them, you have two choices with the overmat—you can cut it to exactly fit the print, and not show any border--or you can leave space around the print.

    It is almost impossible to cut an overmat to fit the print exactly without overlapping the print a little bit. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel that the photographer is responsible for every square millimeter of the print, the way a composer is responsible for every note, and that to cut off even a small sliver of the print destroys the integrity of the picture. My photographs are seen right to the very edge, and so this is important to me.

    If the overmat allows a border around the print it is more than a little distracting to have white photographic paper surround the print. When looking at a photograph one's eye usually goes to the brightest thing. If the brightest thing is the white photo paper surrounding the print, that is a serious distraction. If the mat board, of a surface with less reflectance than the print, constitutes the border between the print and the overmat, it is not distracting, and helps to focus attention on the print itself—the place where attention should be directed.

    And yes, we will have 11 x 14 paper in the spring.

    Michael A. Smith
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #16
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Thomas, I believe Michael said that since the mat board is more of a matt surface, it does not reflect as much light as the glossy white of the print...thus the mat board does not compete for the eyes' attention.

    I believe the eye also is drawn towards black if it is surrounded by white -- as much as the eye is drawn towards white that is in a field of black or darker tones. So a white mat board can help to isolate and draw the eye to the image.

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

  7. #17
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thanks Vaughn for chiming in. I'm a little bit surprised. I guess I need to do more research on how the human eye works. I've never heard that before.
    But then again, I'm not usually one to find out what others do before I do it myself, I just do what I like or think will work off the bat and live with the consequences.
    With that said, I still like the rebate, and don't intend to start over-mating my prints differently. It does look better with matte paper, however, so I can somewhat see the point being made.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #18

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    Thomas,

    Vaughn has it right. The matt board is of lesser reflectance than the print and so the eye is drawn to the print, If the surround of the print is white photo paper, the eye is drawn away from the print because of the reflectance of the paper (assuming glossy paper is being used). I am not sure what you mean by the "rebate." Do you mean the black edge of the paper where the film was clear?

    Michael A. Smith

  9. #19
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thanks Michael,

    I mean to mask the print so that there is a clean white edge around it on the paper, of say 1/2" on each side, and then the over-mat.

    So if you printed an 8x10 neg on 11x14 paper, you would have a print area of about 7.75 x 9.75 (after masking the edge of the negative with ruby lith or similar), and then have an overmat with an opening of 8.75 x 10.75 so that there is a distance of 1/2" between the bevel cut of the over-mat and the actual print edge that is paper white.

    This is how I have presented my prints for years now, and it never even occurred to me that the white border was distracting. I just thought it gave the print a nicely weighted and balanced appearance in the overmat.
    It could have something to do with it that up until recently I've used mostly matte or semi-matte paper.

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #20

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    Well maybe, Thomas, with matte or semi-matte paper there is not the problem there is when glossy paper is used, but I still think I would prefer to have the mat board itself surround the print. I think the entirely different surface would set off the print better than the photo paper.

    Michael A. Smith

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