Dry mounting

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For dry mounting of colour and B&W photographs using a Seal press, what brands/types mounting tissues, mounting boards and procedures such as time and temperature do you recommend? what are the no,no's? Do colour photographs lose any of their image quality even when using the optimum procedures? Are there any procedures, particularly with colour that would be preferable to dry mounting? Any books you recommend that deal at some length with these issues?

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@ora.auracom.com), December 21, 2000



The most complete source of dry mounting supplies, presses, tools, technical books, and instructional information can be found at Light Impressions. See their on-line catalogue/website at: www.lightimpressionsdirect.com.

Have them send you a real life catalogue through the mail (how quaint?). It's very informative and a pleasure to read. They also have a toll free info number and can answer any specific question you might have about dry mounting procedures/matrials/etc.

Time and temp depends on the mounting materials you're using. Everyone seems to have a different recommendation, so it's usually best to try a few different settings and see what works best for you. It's like asking the best time and temp for B&W film development.

There are many no-no's, but in my opinion the most important thing in dry-mounting is cleanliness. You can easily ruin the perfect print if you're not careful. Apart from incomplete adhesion of the print to substrate, I think the most common error is embossing the print surface with some piece of dirt you forgot to clean off the print, the mounting substrate, or the platten surface. After all your careful work, you pull out the finished product only to discover one, or a series, of unsightly pock marks on the print surface! At least with non-adhesion you can usually correct the problem; with embossing you simply throw the thing away, cursing your lack of cleanliness.

Color prints are very susceptible to surface damage when dry mounting. Cibachromes are a real nightmare. The first one I drymounted came out with a disgusting haze all over the previously glossy and pristine surface. I never could get the dry mount procedure consistently down with color materials. I now mount color prints with linen tape and overmat them with a window mat of the same archival quality as the substrate.

Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (s.ortega@worldnet.att.net), December 22, 2000.

Another great reference is Ansul Adams book "The Print". It outlines the information you are seeking. These techniques have worked well for me for many years.

Happy Holidays Bill

-- Bill Smithe (bs2@aol.com), December 22, 2000.

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