Mounting prints....whats the best way? : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

I am in search of the best way to archivally mount B&W prints. During my photography education I printed mostly RC prints and then dry mounted them onto foam core and then used some sort of tape to mount a mat on top (I can't remember what the tape was called, it was basically just adhesive with a backing that was laid down. You then peeled off the backin leaving only the adhesive) Anyway, I am looking to take the next step. I plan to start printing archival FB prints but I don't know the proper way to mount them, or the advantages and disadvantages of each. Drymount or linen tap? What should I mount them too, foam core or mat board. I know instructions for this could get pretty involved so if anyone could direct me to a good website I would appreciate that as well. If not, any info is appreciated. I am looking to mount this for framed display in the best way possible. Somethins that would be considered museum/gallery quality is what I am looking for. Thanks.

-- Chris Long (, October 15, 2000


Dry mounting of course holds them nice and flat, but then they are stuck basically forever to their backing boards. If you use acid free hinge tape then the print can easily be removed from its backing. If you leave a generous white margin around your print, you will also have enough surface for the mat board and glass to push the print down, and hold it flat.

It really depends on what you are after.


-- Christian Harkness (, October 16, 2000.

The advantage of dry mounting is that the prints are held flatter, avoiding the annoying warps and wiggles you get with linen tape or corners, especially with large print sizes. Dry mounted prints just look better. Archival nuts and museums don't like dry mounting because the mount board cannot be separated from the print. Personally, I don't see why this is a problem if you use high-quality, archival mount board. A lot of photographers seem to think it is very important that their photographs be able to last for centuries. I'm guessing that, for the most part, they are wrong.

-- Chris Patti (, October 17, 2000.

dry mounting would help to preserve the print, simply because the back of the print is sealed against the mount board and therefore there is one less surface area to become contaminated. screw the museums I say, I want the print to look good and be easily viewed without reflections, the last thing on my mind is what will affect the monitary worth of the print (in the eyes of the museum anyway).

-- mark lindsey (, October 22, 2000.

The secret to getting even prints without dry mounting is to press FB prints in a 220 F dry mount press for 1-1 1/2 minutes. I also print with a wide white border and overlap the borders a least 1/2 inch with a 4 ply mat. The heat flattened prints will stay flat for a long time. I've been doing this for about 2 years and have not discovered any FB prints flattened this way to have picked up any significant curl or wrinkling.

Now you can mount with linen or rice paper tape and get pretty much as flat a print as dry mounting. I've been doing dark room work for nearly 50 years and finally aquired a dry mount press two years ago. I should have gotten it 50 years ago!

-- Gene Crumpler (, October 25, 2000.

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