Competition Photo Mounts
Presentation of images is a skill which presents your images in a good light and protects your prints / enlargements from damage.
Example 1 - A 'double mount'
Any prints entered in a club competition must be mounted (but not framed!) using card of some kind. Mount board is a good choice and can be purchased from art shops. Ivory (off white) or black are good choices as most prints will not compete with either of these colours. The simplest mount is simply a piece of card slightly larger than your print that the print can be mounted on. Make it at least 1 inch larger on all sides and attach the print using spray mount or a little contact adhesive. To cut the card use a mount cutter or a steel ruler and a sharp Stanley knife. For example, a 7x5 inch print (the smallest allowed in a WDCC competition) could be mounted on a 10x8 inch piece of mount card.
A window mount is a piece of card with a rectangular window cut out for placing the print behind. Where two window mounts are combined this is termed a 'double mount'. Example 1 (above right) shows a corner from a double mount of Ivory and Ivory card.
Example 2 - A double mount using contrasting colours
In Example 2 (left), a blue toned print has been paired up with a double mount with an inner colour of electric blue. This brings out the colour in the image.
Mounts for WDCC competitions can be of any size and prints trimmed if necessary before mounting. This means that an image with a dull or white sky for example could have and inch or so trimmed prior to mounting. If this will be the case, enlarge / print at a size larger so that once trimmed, the print will still be of reasonable size.
Larger prints generally do better in competitions.
For the L&CPU (Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union) competitions, card mounts must be a minimum of 14 inches on the smallest side and be the same thickness (4mm maximum) across the whole print. Maximum size is 20x16 inches. This suggests that a window mount needs a card sheet of the same dimensions to be bonded on the reverse with contact adhesive or similar.
Example 3 (below right) has a card mount way beyond the L&CPU sizes of 20x16 inches, so would be too large for these competitions. Limits are imposed for these competitions as all prints need to be transported around member clubs in a box of a set size.
Example 3 - Multiple images on one mount
However, for WDCC club competitions, this collection of 6 prints would be admissable and if sufficiently unique and interesting to a judge, could do well. Example 3 is a collection of still-life images from a bathroom. Be aware that collections of prints on a theme like this may well be judged on the 'weakest image' in the set, it just depends on the judge.
WDCC allows home printed and digital images to be entered into club competitions. These can be commercially printed (if a digital lab is used, prints and enlargements will be on normal photographic paper, giving a life of 15+ years) or printed on photo quality paper at home (generally with a more limited life).
It should not be forgotten that prints for which you no longer can find the negatives can also be scanned and printed, providing you are the author of the original image.
The use of a card mount when using frames can also improve presentation of images. For example a 7x5 inch print could be dropped straight into a 7"x5" frame. However a ready made card mount (available from photo processing outlets like Max Spielman and others fairly cheaply) can enable a 10" x 8" inch frame to hold a 7x5 print with a little more style. Ready made mounts can be purchased in a variety of colours.