Getting ready – Cumbria Photography Show

I’ll be at the Cumbria Photography Show this weekend, with a specially selected set of pictures focussing on mountains but especially Cumbrian mountains.

I’ve done some printing and mounting of shots I haven’t shown before. Getting stock ready for exhibition is, without doubt, the hardest and most tedious part of the job. I’ve spent about six hours in preparation today and what I’ve done is:

  • Added hanging wire to four frames
  • Mounted and wrapped four medium-size prints
  • Printed three small prints

…and that’s it. In six hours. I’m sure some people must be more productive than that. There is better mounting equipment I could buy that would make things faster but I have to sell a lot more before I can invest any more. Here are some pictures of the process.

I start with full size sheets of mount or backing board. These are too big for my small mounting machine so at this size I have to do the first cuts by hand with a ruler that isn’t big enough for the job. Note the piece of gear every printmaker needs – a very large sheet of cardboard as a sacrificial piece underneath. Also note the table isn’t big enough for the full cut either. See why I’d like to invest in more equipment?

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Cutting a full size sheet of backing board

With the backing board and the window mount cut (using the mounting machine) you place the print and attach to the back with T hinges.

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Attach print with T-hinges

Then add double sided tape which will hold the window mount to the backing board. Some (most) people use a single piece of tape to hinge these two together, making it easier to access the print. I like my method as it makes for a much sturdier product that will stand a lot of handling.

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Add double sided tape to three sides

Here are some special custom-made mounting tools. A nice heavy paperweight and a Tokina 70-200mm lens, in Pentax A-mount, wrapped in a sock as a second paperweight.

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Special tools

I sign the print in the margin and add the title, using a pencil (an “H” pencil) for this kind of matte paper. I also put a white label on the back with extra information. People looking through prints in the print browsers usually turn them over to see what’s on the back, so this label gives them something to read.

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Prints are signed and titled

Finally, the prints mounted and wrapped in cellophane ready to sell.

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Wrapped and ready to sell

I’m really looking forward to the show. I don’t think I’ll sell much. The audience will be mostly photographers and photographers aren’t likely to buy other people’s photographs, but I think there’ll be some really interesting people to talk to.

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