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Thread: Protecting Prints

  1. #1

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    Steve

    Protecting Prints

    What do you use to protect prints that are displayed without a frame? For example laminated to foam core.

  2. #2
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    Rob Douglas
    Not sure I understand your question? Where are they being displayed that you feel they need any special form of protection? I would assume that a gentile wipe with a soft cloth to remove dust would be all that is needed in most cases. That's all I do with my foam core mounts.

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Allen or "Lurchy" is fine

    Re: Protecting Prints

    well, it depends what ur going to do with them. photo album, lamanating, so forth

  4. #4

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    Re: Protecting Prints

    The surface of a photo, will scratch very easy. Just curious what others used to protect them. After doing some more reading, what i need is a laminating film.

  5. #5
    John C's Avatar
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    Re: Protecting Prints

    I guess the worst choice would be to keep prints in an unmounted stack and hand the stack to people for viewing - this would maximize scratches and fingerprints. The best methods for viewing would be ways that do not involve direct handling of the prints and do not cover the prints.

    One choice is to frame them and mount them on the wall. Of course, that method can accommodate only a limited number of prints but may be ideal for showing off the best of them. The traditional method is to use an album. That way the viewer handles the pages rather than the prints themselves. One of the best album choices is to use an archival grade black (or white) paper album where the prints are mounted using adhesive corners. This method has the best longevity since the prints are out of the light except when viewing and if archival materials are used, the prints are protected and safe from chemicals. Albums also have the advantage of allowing you to fix the sequence of photos and captions can be added. Another choice would be to get some plastic sleeves (again archival grade) that you slide the prints into. These protect the prints but have the disadvantage of obscuring the prints somewhat. The sheets are usually 8.5"x11" or other standard sizes and come in standard pocket sizes such as 3"x5", 4"X6", 8"X10", etc. They can be obtained at photo stores and hobby and craft stores. This is my favorite 'lazy' method since I keep a supply of empty sheets on hand and fill them as I make prints.

    Laminating is destructive to the prints. So are the albums that have adhesive pages with clear overlay adhesive sheets. These sheets and pages will turn yellow and become brittle. Chemicals in the adhesive will gradually attack your prints. I have a number of these albums with prints from the 1980s and 1990s and they are looking pretty bad. In the short term, they work okay (the prints are covered by the plastic sheets) but if for long-term storage of prints I would rule them out. Another problem for laminating and adhesive pages is that the method tends to irreversible. My father had taken some photos in the 1930s and the prints were laying happily in a box until my sister decided to have them laminated into an album. Now after being in the album for about 20 years, they are turning yellow and the pages look terrible.
    Last edited by John C; 13th January 2012 at 10:06 PM.

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