mounting photos : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

i am now searching for info of mounting pics myself. previously i let others mounting the photos for me, but it's very very expensive. questions:1/does foamboard suitable ?being acidfree? durable? 2/ i tried once with the UHU Stic Glue Sticks , it claimed it's acid free , is it a good choice?actually i found it' s easy to mount a 16x20 inches photos by glue stick.:) 3/ any archival grade glue stick? 4/how can i mount up the photos on a frame,so that i can hang it up? thanks

-- benz (, March 12, 2002


Hi Benz, I have been mounting photos for years, I have used dry mounting ,but never really liked it. Then i discovered an acid free glue that it was sold with an applicator, it is called Rollataq. I have used it for years. But now i have discovered The " Columbus egg" All i do is to tape my prints to an acid free board, you can use mattboard, with acid free tape,( artist tape). and this way you don't damage the print and protect it by any chemical either glue or drymount.. After that i just cover it with the mattboard. It works great for me

-- domenico (, March 12, 2002.

benz, i wood lik 2 help u. but are u ser-ee us? glu-stics?

But seriously, you should consider searching the archives here under printing ang exhibiting, and also purchasing a book on the subject of mounting, matting, and framing because there are permanence and technique issues that go beyond the replies you'll get here.

-- Andre Noble (, March 12, 2002.


Don't know in which part of the world you are living, but here in the Netherlands you can buy a product called 'Scanstick'. It is acid free cardboard, coated with an acid free glue. Dimension are 1mtrx0.7mtr and costs about 6 to 8 Euro. Use is simple: cut roughly the size you need, peel away the protective sheet and with the help of a cotton cloth mount the picture by carefully pressing it from one side to the other side on the mountingboard. Then trim it to the final dimension.

If you print on fiber, you need then to make them as flat as possible. I air dry my fiber prints on a waterproof board (or glass) by taping the print to the board with aquarell tape and let it dry overnight. Fiber prints dryed this way are flat enough to be mounted the next day. If I need to spot the print I leave them taped to the board, spot them, and then hold the print above a watercooker so the steam moistens the print and the spotting is no more so obvious when you look at a sharp angle over the surface of the print. After this let I dry again before you mount the picture.


-- Huib Smeets (, March 12, 2002.

2 ways:

1. Dry mount your images. After drying your prints on window screens (DONT USE A FERRO TYPE dryer = contamination), flatten your prints (and drive out moisture) by placing the print between over sized museum mount board in a dry mount press. After that cool down the prints under weights (books or enameled steel sheets made for this purpose).

Dry mount the prints unto double weight archival museum board (try Light Impressions in Rochester, NY for archival supplies). When you dry mount always place a sheet of silicone "release paper" between the print and the over sized board (not the board you are mounting your print on).

2. Use archival tape w. rice starch. A fair number of archival experts do not like photos to be dry mounted. Their reason being that if something goes wrong with the print at a later time it is difficult to correct if the print is permanently mounted. Their recommendation is to mount the prints on the archival backing using archival tape (made from rice starch) - you do not trim your print. Instead you attach a piece of archival tape to each corner of the print (+ in the middle / height / length if large print) This way the print can easily be removed...

-- Per Volquartz (, March 12, 2002.

I quite agree this is not a subject that can be adequately covered here, but particularly want to echo the point that, according to today's conservation standards (which are changing all the time) no mounting technique that permanently alters the photograph is recommended--though I realize many photographers still dry-mount, and excellent materials exist for this. (Michael Smith's site even argues that properly dry-mounted photographs may last longer. Regardless, he's found a new type of board worth investigating--see Unless you're using top quality board and storing it carefully, though, you're likely to face the spectacle I just did when curating a show of beautiful bromoil prints from the 'teens through 'forties: the prints in this quite permanent process (in which silver is replaced with ink) are outlasting their mats, sometimes even their paper subsrates. The crummy posterboard to which many were pasted down (with no help from the likes of Light Impressions, believe me) were crumbling in more than a few cases, and taking the prints with them. Imagine what your print will look like when that acid-free foam core is battered and bruised, then look into the many cheap and easy techniques of hinging onto acid-free boards.

-- Stephen Longmire (, March 12, 2002.

Corner mount the print! Then tape the 4 corner mounts with acid free tape, not touching the print. The print is both firmly mounted, protected, and can easily be removed if desired.

-- John Elder (, March 12, 2002.

I prefer to drymount my prints as do many photographers. You need look no farther than a good photography gallery or shows such as Sothebys or Cristys. Most of the photographs are dry mounted. It makes a better presentation too. I hate looking at print that is wavey. If you are serious about your prints then protect them by dry mounting them. Yes Michael Smith has found a mattboard which is supposed to be more archival than many other materioals. But I look at prints by Adams and others which are getting to be pretty old and they look good to me. The chances of your mat or mount board getting damaged without damaging your print, given proper care and handling, are remote. I have used 3M's repositional paper adhesive on many of my prints when a dry mount press has been unavailable and for 10 years there is no problem with it. And my display environment isn't the best. Lots of direct sunlight an hour or two a day with no problems. If you don't care about wavey prints then go for the binders tape and a hinged overmatt.

-- bigmac (, March 12, 2002.

Using hinged matts works well. Just tape print to matt with acid free tape and hang or frame. The matt keeps glass from contacting the print. Check this site for some of the matt and mount materials available. I am not affilliated with them, it is simply the only web source I am familiar with.

Good luck, Ben

-- Ben Hopson (, March 12, 2002.

One technique that I haven't heard discussed recently is dry-mounting the print back-to-back with another processed sheet. This seals the back and will help resist bending by balancing the effects of moisture absorption. Then the print is hung with tape. Anyone have experience with this?

-- Wayne DeWitt (, March 13, 2002.

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