Darn photographs


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Apr 24, 2002
Pittsfield, MA - The Berkshires
I have an artist who is having trouble with his photographs warping and basically not staying flat under the mat. When I first began working on them they were hinged on all four corners. I redid them hinging them only on the top but they are still warping. I'm wondering if it is the type of paper and am considering dry mounting them. Is there any other alternative?

You did not state the type of photo paper used or how they were processed and dried.

I have had photographers bring in hand processed fiber based prints, line dried. They are a mess to handle in the state that they are (curley "q's").

I chastized the "artist" that they should have been properly dried in a print dryer. His response was that he did not have one. Daaaaaaa!
We've had good luck flattening air dried fiber prints using the dry mount press and cooling weights. Sandwich the prints between 2 layers of 4-ply rag and dwell in heat press for about 5 min at 180F. Remove and place under 1/4" plate glass weight until fully cooled.
There has been some problems if the prints were not processed well (any chemistry left in paper can discolor) or there had been retouch done prior to flattening (this had been a problem only once and it may have been due to the print not being washed properly before drying).
Be very careful with very warped fiber-based prints. When you try to flatten them out the emusion can actually crack. You may have to give them back to the artist and recommend soaking the photo in a 75/25 mix of water to glycerin. Dry it again and you're good to go.