Care of Deluxe Color Prints

Each deluxe astronomical print is produced from a 4-by-5 internegative created from the original digital image. The negative is printed using a Super Chromega Dichroic 4-by-5 enlarger and developed in a Krenoite automatic processor with Kodak RA-4 chemistry. Numerous test prints were made to obtain the final color balance and density. Depending on the subject, printing controls such as dodging or burning in may have been employed. The prints are made on Kodak Ultra III paper which is resin-coated and has a glossy surface. Its high contrast makes it an excellent choice for many astronomical subjects.

Although each these color print has been carefully processed to ensure long life, there are steps you can take to preserve it for many years. Kodak recommends that prints should not be displayed in direct sunlight, for ultraviolet rays (UV) can hasten color changes and fading, often causing deterioration in months that would ordinarily take years. Nevertheless, UV fading on Kodak Ultra III paper takes many years to occur. Under normal viewing conditions, the paper is rated for several decades before perceptual fading is visible. Extreme heat and humidity should also be avoided to prevent color changes, fading, or mold and mildew damage.

It is difficult to handle a large print without bending it, which may result in small crinkles that mar the plastic surface and cannot be removed. Print mounting is a learned skill and art, and it is not for the beginner. One mistake could ruin your print. We recommend that you have your print mounted by a frame shop or custom photo lab.

If you are experienced and are determined to mount the print yourself, here are a few tips. The print should be mounted on some type of firm support, such as illustration board that can be obtained at art-supply or photography stores. With great care, the print can be mounted with aerosol adhesives such as Premier Dry Mount Spray, Scotch Photo Mount Spray, and McDonald Lamin-All. Another alternative is Scotch mounting Adhesive Sheets, which lay down an even layer of synthetic adhesive. Don't use rubber cement or pastes that contain water or penetrating solvents, since these can cause stains. Another possibility is Falcon Permamount, a thin card having self-sticking adhesive on both sides. Savage two-piece mount board with a ready-cut opening for an 11-by-14 (or 16-by-20) offers a quick and easy alternative.

When mounting your print, please consider mats in colors other than white. Most color prints show up best with a black or dark gray mat, but a narrow white border should be left to separate the scene from the mat. You might also consider wall brackets to hang a print without a frame. Print mounting and framing techniques are so numerous that we have only touched on a few. You should consult photography and framing books or stores for ideas and details.

Blue Bar

1998 Eclipse Composite - Deluxe Print

1999 Eclipse Composite - Deluxe Print

All photographs are copyright by Fred Espenak.
Please contact him (at MrEclipse for all uses of these images
in print, web, video, CD and all other media.

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Last revised: 2003 Dec 27