Matting

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ormia, May 27, 2004.

  1. ormia

    ormia TPF Noob!

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    I'm trying to mat some photos for a local contest, and I'm having a bit of a problem. Is there any special etiquette I should be following? Should I just attach the photo to the mat with scotch tape, or should I cover the back with plain cardboard. I know this probably seems like a really stupid question, but I've never done this before.
     
  2. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think your suppose to use a special matting material, and you cut the center out to show the print. and you use special adhesives that are acid free, im sure scotch tape woudlnt be good for long term due to degrading and damaging the print.

    ive never done this myself, but I hope to take a college class on matting and framing. :0).
     
  3. bism

    bism TPF Noob!

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    Matting a photo is theoretically very simple. Simple sounding anyway. There are many people who can matte, few who do it well. It just takes time, don’t rush it, its not that hard.

    They make a board called matte board. Its like a dense cardboard. You cut out the middle to a dimension slightly smaller than that of the matted image. (your cutting a window to view the image through) You can either cut the hole at a 90 degree angle (with like a razor blade held vertical) or they make special matte cutting tools that can bevel the cut to various degree.(this is for the fancy types). You them affix the photo to the back with acid free tape (I prefer dry mounts, but that is another subject) and then affix a “sacrificial” backing behind that so “seal the deal”. I try to make my mattes reversible (meaning I can undo the entire process if I wanted)

    Some tips:
    -Layout your cut lines on the back of the board.
    -make many passes with the razor rather than one deep cut
    -put the ruler you are cutting against over the “keep” part of the matte so if you slip you cut into the center discarded region.
    -Don’t worry if you fudge a few, I started doing my own mattes after a few “professionals” professionally screwed up my framing jobs.

    Its worth the time to do right.
     
  4. bism

    bism TPF Noob!

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    One more thing.

    Many people make the bottom “slat” in the frame thicker than the surrounding three. In other words it is common to have a 2” border on the top and sides and a 3” border on the bottom.
     
  5. MyOwnPath

    MyOwnPath TPF Noob!

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    Matting does take practice. I use linen tape to attatch my print to the viewing window. I also use a simple matte cutter that bevels the edge for me (i.e. the line it cuts is at an angle, rather than a 90 degree cut).

    If you are short on time or don't have patience, you can go to a craft store (I know Michael's has them) and get pre-cut mattes that fit various frame sizes. Remember though, if you print is, say, 8x10, you need a matte window that is smaller, about 7 3/4x9 3/4 . Make sense?

    Also, if you want it to last for display, you can get good anti-glare glass that diffuses light. This not only prevents reflections, but slows deterioration of your photo due to light.
    Good luck!

    --Trav--
     
  6. ormia

    ormia TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys! I ended up using the premade mats due ot time constraints. In other words, I waited till the last minute, shame on me. My photo's are secure and on their way to the contest. Now here's hoping the actual photos are good enough! ;)
     

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