Learning how to mount photographs

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 08:57pm

At the WCC workshop night earlier in the week there was a demonstration on how to cut the mount for a printed photo from mat board. Although I had read about how to do it – including a detailed guide from Hugh Sykes (PDF, 195KB) from a club in Sydney – an actual demonstration shows more of the detail.

The main demonstration was done by Roger:

  • Use two L shaped pieces of mat to determine what size the cutout should be for the particular print, eg 160x240mm
  • Double the chosen border size (eg 60mm) and add to the cutout dimensions to get the overall size of the mount, eg 280x360mm
  • Cut the mat board with a straight edge to size
  • On the back of the board mark the sides of the cutout
  • Mark the top and bottom of the cutout so that it is slightly above centre, eg 58mm for the top, 62mm for the bottom
  • Align the straight edge with the marked line
  • Using a pull style 45° cutter, cut along the line with multiple passes
  • Repeat for each side of the cutout
  • If the cutout doesn’t release cleanly, use a craft knife
  • Run an emory board along the newly cut edges
  • Place a strip of tape along the top edge of the print and set it face up
  • Put the mount down on the print in the correct location and press to make the tape stick
  • Attach a backing board to the mount

Fred then showed us another way to attach the print without using tape, instead he attaches the print to the backing board using sticky photo corners. This means that there isn’t any tape on the print and makes it easier to reuse the mount.

Now I know in a fair amount of detail two ways to cut the mount and three ways to attach the print to the mount. Which way will I use?

Last week I ordered two push style cutters from the US. I ordered two to save on international postage as I will easily sell the second one. Now, although this is the same cutter that Fred showed, Roger used a pull style cutter that includes a marker bar that would make it easier to mark the cut lines.

Today I bought a sheet of black mat board from a local framing shop. While I wait for the cutters to arrive I will cut it down to size, I’m thinking a size suitable for 6:4 printed on an A4 sheet which would give me six mounts from the raw mat sheet.

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