U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: Masking contact prints

RE: Masking contact prints

Hi Liam, this is the "practical" way I prefer too, exclusively. But if I
wasn't too lazy I would definitely use a negative mask, because coated but
unexposed paper is a very good indicator (actually the only one!) of
complete clearing. When you mask while coating, you don't have a safety edge
to observe complete clearing... And, even the lowest low-tack masking tape
(that really works for the purpose!) will somewhat abrade delicate/thin



From: Liam Lawless [mailto:lawless@bulldoghome.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 5:34 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: RE: Masking contact prints

Try masking the paper before coating.  Use low-tack masking tape, as used by
painters & decorators.  Usually removes cleanly (before exposing), but if
necessary soften the glue with a warm hair dryer.  Take care that your
sensitiser doesn't puddle in the corners, otherwise it may seep under the


From: sharperstill@gmail.com [mailto:sharperstill@gmail.com] On Behalf Of
Jon Reid
Sent: 01 July 2009 11:07
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: Masking contact prints

Hi all,

I last contacted the list with some sharpness problems when contact printing
(Pt/Pd). My father has since modified my contact printing frame and produced
more pressure. I noticed the other night that when printing 5x7 negs for
around 5-7 minutes there were no soft patches at all, but by the time I'd
gotten to the desired exposure I was at 9m45sec and was getting soft
stripes. I figure it was to do with the heat build up and i'll try building
up the exposure incrementally with breaks to let the heat dissipate.

Anyway, my question to the group is as follows. I'd like to know peoples
ideas for best way to mask the neg during exposure to prevent black borders.
My  method which is failing was to cut a 5x7 rectangle in a piece of black
card and to stick the negative into this card using ruby-lith to not only
hold it in place but to mask the shoulder/film edge etc and create a clean
rectangle. The thickness of the card is about equal to the film and thr
uby-lith was on the glass-side.

I intend to exhibit these images and wish to present them un-matted, on
11x14 paper. What's happening is that next to the print edges, about 1mm
away, I am getting sporadic short lines of exposure that looks like it's
refracting through the film-edge or something.

As stated I want to exhibit these unmatted and would like to know if anyone
has a better way of masking these negs accurately?

Cheers all,