BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Craigly 
 

Mounting Metallic Prints


I'm printing 10 x 15 and 20 x 30 images on metallic paper, framing them (without a mat), and selling them as fine art for $250 - $500 (retail). I want to do the best job of mounting possible, considering the price I'll charge for the print.
I'm wondering what's the best way to have these photos mounted. From what I've read online it sounds like a dry mount would be the best method, but do commercial printers use that method? I've had prints made from mpix and whcc, but I'd go with anybody who did a good job.


To love this question, log in above
11/28/2008 9:39:12 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Craig,
Dry-mount presses use heat to make a tissue bond the image and the support. Many digital prints will be seriously degraded by the heat of the press. Some manufacturers use a plastic substrate in their papers, and for others the inks are the issue. I would suggest that you avoid a dry mount press. Since I own a press I speak with some experience.
The best alternative from a point of archival quality is to use photo corners to hold down the print and then cover it with a mat. Alternatively there is an adhesive tissue, available in large sheets, called Gudy #831. In my experience, this is a good product and it meets the standards for PAT, photographic activity test.
You can see an article about mounting photographs through this link: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine/zpdf/framing.pdf
Thanks, John Siskin


To love this comment, log in above
11/28/2008 5:38:14 PM

 
Darleen A. Stry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/13/2006
 
 
 
I've heat mounted photos printed at a lab on metallic paper and have never experienced any loss of quality. I use a lower temperature of about 250 and leave in for about 1 1/2 minutes. Attached is one of my metallic prints. It looks a little light due to ceiling light reflection.

However, if you are still concerned they also make self adhesive foam core boards you can use. Just be careful to peel off one edge attach and gradually attach the remaining image. Otherwise you could end up with air bubbles. In otherwords, put them on the board likeyou would a decal to a window.


To love this comment, log in above
12/9/2008 6:05:09 AM

 
Darleen A. Stry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/13/2006
 
 
 
I've heat mounted photos printed at a lab on metallic paper and have never experienced any loss of quality. I use a lower temperature of about 250 and leave in for about 1 1/2 minutes.
However, if you are still concerned they also make self adhesive foam core boards you can use. Just be careful to peel off one edge attach and gradually attach the remaining image. Otherwise you could end up with air bubbles. In otherwords, put them on the board likeyou would a decal to a window.


To love this comment, log in above
12/9/2008 6:06:15 AM

 
Bruce A. Dart   Craig and all,
The difference many times is the question of doing it yourself or having a professional lab do the work. I order metallic prints often for competition and have the lab mount them. It's not a question of "digital" per se, but one of ink jet vs. photo paper. Spraying a print with lacquer when ink jet prints first came out tended to make the ink dissolve and run in streaks. Folks in the industry are still arguing (after the 30 years I have been doing this) about the "best" way to mount, mat, and/or frame a photo. Professional labs make a living printing and mounting these images. Don't be afraid to use them. There are also many products out there with adhesive already on it that will bond to prints. One has to be careful to keep air bubbles out, different ones can wrinkle the print if one is not careful, and as pointed out, some heat presses can damage the print. Rubbing the print to bond it to the adhesive can also rub the ink off prints unless you use the protective sheet that comes with it. Most of us have figured out ways to ruin a print over the years (LOL) and had rto make new ones. The advantage to having a professional lab mount it, especially if they are printing it, is that if they mess it up THEY have to remake it on their nickel not yours. If YOU mess it up, you bought another one. Just another note, mats for the most part, protect the prints or art by keeping it out of contact with the glass. (I know you are not using glass here.) Mats, frames and glass are also "add ons" to the sale of a print and generate more sales. Framed prints on metallic paper look great for a while -- until someone gets dust on them and wipes them with a cloth and scratches the print. Putting it under glass runs the risk of moisture and having the glass stick to the print -- thus the reasons folks in the industry are still arguing about the "best" way. Mounting your own can save you some money if you are careful -- until you ruin a print and have to have it remade. At the price you suggest for your prints, it really won't matter much (in regard to your profit) if the lab does it for you.As with most things like this, after all the good advice it is till YOU who has to decide which way to go. Good luck
Bruce


To love this comment, log in above
12/9/2008 6:31:45 AM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.