Mounting Prints: John Starzewski and Jeff Fugler

This week we had demonstrations from our own John and Jeff on presenting prints for competitions.

John emphasised that in his opinion it is important to take great care to mount prints correctly as not only does it ensure your image does yourself justice when being displayed but it also ensures that when they are stored it reduces the risk of abrasion or other damage. Correct mounting, choosing the appropriate colour mount and size of mount board enhances the impact of the image.

John uses a Logan Model 302 Bevel Cutter system with a steel ruler and mount cutter that slides along the groove, but many other mount board cutters are available costing from £30 upwards. It’s also worth checking on eBay for 2nd hand options.

John’s equipment, neatly laid out on his work surface so that it is all to hand when mounting, includes:

Steel ruler

H/2H pencil

Double sided tape

Mounting tape (not masking or parcel tape)

Clear tape

Craft knife


Clean eraser

One tip John gave us is to leave the print and mount board together overnight so that they have have similar humidity when it comes to mounting them. This reduces the risk of the print wrinkling later. If there is a mark on the print, do not rub with a finger, or an eraser, but put a clean piece of paper over the top and then rub.

John measures the image, taking 5mm off each side and then marks up the back of the mount board and then double checks markings before cutting. He suggests that the bottom margin is greater than the top, as in most cases the print looks better displayed this way. The side margins would be the same.

Line up the cutting ruler and cut, his bevel cutter had a mark in the middle which ensures you don’t cut too far. Retain the cut out section to use as backing. Put 2-3 strips of double sided strips on the back of this piece and stick this to the back of the photo. Use a little bit of clear tape to make some fixing tabs and then place the print into the cut out hole. Tape all around with framing tape.

In terms of colour of mount board, there are many to choose from with different colour cords, but cream/ivory goes with most prints and any harsh contrast black and white images look better on black mounts.

After the break Jeff demonstrated his technique using his larger mount cutter, which enables him to cut as large as A2. This system has 2 cutters permanently attached. Again measure the print and then set the vertical and horizontal measurements on the cutters, changing as you rotate around for each side. Jeff uses acid free mounting tape, which is a bit more expensive but very good if you want to keep the prints and not reuse the frames. He only tapes the image on the top opening of the frame as this allows for any change in moisture and ensures the print doesn’t wrinkle. Jeff then puts a strip of double sided tape along each edge and then puts a full size piece of backing board on the back, hence holding everything in place.

Another, cheaper and reusable method is to have a backing board with a cut out mount hinge taped on, hence creating a flip top. The print can then be mounted on the backing board using photo corners. This is great if you always present the same size prints.

Jeff finished by stating that as far as he is concerned, mounting an image is part of the whole process of his photography and is just as important as taking the picture.

We will be looking into costing bulk purchasing of mount boards - if anyone as any suggestions please let us know!

Notices - Sue advised us of Carmarthen Camera’s event - Fine Art and Fashion Portrait Workshop by Richard Terborg, sponsored by Olympus and Elinchrom at the Halliwell Conference Centre at Trinity St David over 3 days, 5th, 6th and 7th October. There is an introductory seminar on the Friday evening costing £20, then the workshops are on the Saturday or Sunday from 9.30 - 4.00. For more information contact Carmarthen Cameras or look up on their website.

Next week there will be no meeting in Carmarthen, instead we will be attending the battle at Tenby Camera Club at St Florence.

Also we have prints entered in the Bridge 12 Way Battle which is on Monday 1 October at 7.30 at Gwynfa Camera Club, Bridgend.

Links: A useful site for buying mounting equipment is

Carmarthen Cameras

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