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Thread: margins for alt process prints?

  1. #1

    margins for alt process prints?

    I'm (slowly!) accumulating supplies to try some kallitypes this summer and wanted to know y'all's approach to matching paper size to the negatives you'll be using. Or to put it another way, is it feasible to print an 8x10 negative on 8x10 paper, or would I be better served moving up to 11x14 in order to have a more manageable "work space" for getting the sensitized area down/manipulating masks, etc.?

    A second question is more about aesthetics/presentation: in combing through all the threads about alt processes here, I see that many of you do leave ample margins when you print, e.g. printing WP negatives on 11x14. The question I have is once you have the print in-hand, what's the next step? I could see dry mounting the print and not really worrying about matting/framing for informal display "'round the house," but am curious if there's another option I'm missing.
    Last edited by CreationBear; 27-Jun-2021 at 11:23.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    I always leave an ample margin around the image to negate the possibility of fingerprints in the image.
    I NEVER dry mount an alternative print. I hold it on the backing board with corner mounts which I make from lightweight rag paper, and hold down with Magic Tape. No tape or other glues touch the print.

  3. #3

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    Excellent, that's very helpful--I was thinking that 8x10 might represent a false economy. The corner mounts sound like a neat idea as well.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2021

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    I prefer to print an 8x10 on 11x14, 5x7 on 8x10, etc... I agree that it makes it much easier to handle and work with, and also less chance of uneven coating in the image area. My experience (always brush coating) is that often the coating will be most uneven toward the edges, so the more margin you have away from that uneven area, the better.

  5. #5

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    I prefer to print an 8x10 on 11x14, 5x7 on 8x10, etc....
    Thanks for the tips--my contact frame should handle 11x14 with no issues, though I believe I did run across a gentleman who said he gets sharper results if he trims his paper 10x12...perhaps that would be a happy medium.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    Like Jim, I, too, always leave ample margin around the actual image for the reasons he states. Since I print pt/pd, I, also, like having the extra room for brush marks.

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    I also make my own corners, using acid-free paper, and linen tape to hold them down...not too tight against paper to give the paper a little room to shrink/swell with changes in humidity. Most watercolor papers and heavier papers like COT320 and HPR stay flat if given the chance.

    I bought a large roll of HPR (50" x 10 meters)...I can cut it to any size I want. I print camera negatives from 2 cm square to 11"x14" in size -- including 4x10 and 5.5x14. Once you find a paper the both works well and looks good, buy a bunch of it in a size that will be the most economical...which might be rolls or larger sheets to cut down.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I bought a large roll of HPR (50" x 10 meters)
    Alan, Vaughn: thanks gents, I was actually laughing at myself for sweating things that no doubt come naturally to y'all visual artists, especially when it comes to fabricating customized solutions.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Los Angeles, CA

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    Iíve done it both ways and most often print on paper the same size as the negative. The challenge printing on oversized paper is making sure that the image is centered and square. It must be possible because o the RTS do it, but Iíve had enough failures in that aspect that I avoid the challenge. Apparently I need more practice and experience!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2021

    Re: margins for alt process prints?

    Now that I think about it, I think 11x14 is a good size to go for if you want to stock up and not have to get several sizes. 1/2 of an 11x14 works really well for 5x7 and 1/4 is good for 4x5; so, from this one sheet you can easily cover a variety of sizes and it ends up being very economical with the smaller prints.
    When buying the fancy art papers, like Fabriano and Arches, I get the 22x30 size - this seems to be the typical size they run - and you can easily cut this down into the smaller sizes. 1/4 of it is approximately 11x15, so one sheet is like getting 4 11x14s, and you can keep cutting down from there.
    Overall favorite paper for a crisp "clean" look is COT 320, and my favorite for an "artsy" textured look is Arches Aquarelle cold press.

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