Northern Virginia Photographic Society
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Matting and Mounting Photos for Competition by John Naman & Bill Prosser

Bill Prosser's Matting Strategy  For 8.5 x 11 photo paper:
I make all my images, both portrait and landscape, longest dimension 10 inches. I then decide what standard sizes I tend to print and order at least two mattes of each size, one for portrait/vertical and one for landscape / horizontal orientations. For me, I order for inner openings of 10 x 5, 6, 7, 7.5, and 8; plus 8 x 8; except I usually order 1/8 inch smaller openings--e.g., 9 7/8 x 7 7/8--to make it easier to mat. I usually choose outer dimensions of plus 5 inches (2.5 inches per side) or 6 inches (3 inches per side)--e.g., 7 7/8 x 9 7/8 inner and 13 x 15 outer. I order white mattes with backings from: http://www.mattesandmore.com/.  They are very inexpensive and have done a good job for me. For competition prints that I do not intend to sell, I order non-archival white. For images that I might want to sell I usually purchase archival, rag mattes. When I mat the print I use an archival "plastic-type" tape for both joining the backing to the over-mat and hanging the picture on the backing mat. I follow standard matting technique
For larger prints to meet the 20 inch maximum for NVPS Competition:
I calculate print size by starting with 20 inches as maximum outer mat size. I subtract the total of the matte border (e.g. 5 or 6 inches) and then do just as above but work with, in my case, a maximum of 15 inches longest dimension for portrait and landscape. I then order two or more 15 x 7, 8, 9,  10, 11, and 12--minus the 1/8 each dimension for the inner opening. (You may find that you don't need all these sizes.) I work with an Epson R1800 printer, which has a 13 inch carriage, and seldom print wider than 12 inch prints.
I recycle/reuse my mattes for competition until they get dirty or banged up enough to not satisfy competition standards.
Bill Prosser prosserwm "at" aol.com

Notes on standard matting technique: Back= 3/16" foam board or 4-ply mounting-mat board; Top = window mat, 4 ply, white or near white (pre-cut or custom cut). Hinge (using acid-free tape) Top to Back along one side on the inside with the mat & back open in a butterfly position, like an open book. Put the photo on top of the back, close the top so the photo is inside the window. Gently move the photo around until it is perfectly centered. Place a 1 pound weight inside a soft cloth on the photo and carefully open the top. Place 4 corner mounts -or- two T-hinges to float the photo and hold it in place. Remove weight. Make 6 or so loops of tape (maybe 1" for each loop) and place near sides and corners of the back. Reclose the top so the photo is inside the window. Press where you put the tape loops to ensure everything holds together. Put in a clear bag and bring to the competition. If you are framing it, the loops are not necessary, because the frame holds it together. Questions? Email "Help "at" jnaman.com" or see John, the NVPS equipment guy, before or after Tuesday meetings.
HOW-TO: http://www.framedestination.com/picture_frame_mounting.html <= has pictures and more info about what is described above!
Matboard, frames, glass/acrylic, etc. FrameMasters 8305-B Merrifield Ave Fairfax, Virginia 22031-4412 (703) 573-5734 (1 block past Home Depot, near Rt 29 and Gallows Rd) This is a top notch wholesale framing supply distributor and retailer  www.framemasters1.com
Precut window mats, tape, corners: Local camera stores (Penn). plus online camera stores such as: www.bhphotovideo.com ("Pre-Cut Mat"),
Matboard www.mattesandmore.com
Matboard, frames www.americanframe.com
Framer's Tape II archival-grade (acid-free) clear self-adhesive tape, stronger and thinner than linen or paper tapes: Filmoplast P-90 is a white archival paper tape many use. Available at some local stores (above) plus www.dickblick.com  or  www.lightimpressionsdirect.com

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