MY WAY - by Carole Honigsfeld

I purchase large matte boards at a local art supply shop and bring them home for cutting into 3 1/2 by 7 "Holmes Size" pieces. I keep a variety of colors on hand as I like to match one color in the prints. (For b&w images I use black or off-white.) I am able to cut at home because fortunately I have a large cutter, otherwise most stores may charge extra for this service.

My prints are made either by a local One Hour Lab (the 35mm sequential exposures,) or were made by Grand Photo (Stereo cameras.) The lab prints, (3 1/2x5), will require cropping and trimming to around 3 x 3 1/4. I found one lab that will make this size, but most others seem to think they are doing you a favor by making only 4x6 -- requiring, of course, a lot of cropping, trimming and pre-planning your composition to fit. The Grand Photo prints were 3x3 but had wide white borders which required trimming, plus any further cropping to improve upon the composition or chop off the "dead space" on either side. (FYI - As of late 1999, Grand Photo no longer provides this type of processing.)

I pre-cut the regular "sequential image" prints, after making certain the bottoms are lined up exactly the same, but the Grand prints were left until the final step since you won't have "skewed" prints to straighten out. I cut Seal color-mount tissue into small pieces of about 4x4, and with a tacking iron attach the pieces to the backs of the prints in the mid center of all four edges. I crop and cut off the extra tissue where necessary on the regular prints, and crop off the white borders, along with the mount tissue, on the Grand prints. The tops of each print are rounded with a small corner rounder.

The matte boards are lightly pencil-marked to indicate the centers, and the print pairs are positioned on either side, adjusting the space between for that all-important "infinity separation" of about 3 1/8 inches between similar points in the images. I tack the prints on the boards by holding each one very carefully and lining them up, then tacking right side top and bottom corners onto the cards by lifting the edges off the tissue. (I use a Seal tacking iron.) Before placing the prints I have ascertained they are properly set for stereo viewing. I can usually eyeball the correct placement without any further marking on the cards.

When all the cards have tacked prints, I heat up my old (and I do mean "old") Seal Drymount press to about 225, giving it plenty of pre-heating time to get to that point. I use several sheets of Kraft paper to protect the print surfaces between the press and the emulsion sides of the prints. After mounting (about 15-20 seconds) I place the prints under a weight while they are cooling. Later I double-check to make certain they are securely attached and will not pop off the cards with a very slight bending.

My back labels are typed out, then the text cut and placed by double stick scotch tape within a border design, and copied onto sheets of full-size 8 1/2 x 11 Avery labels. These will be cut to fit and attached to the backs of the cards. I give a brief description of the print subject, along with data such as camera, film and any special techniques such as using a Jasper slide bar, sequential exposures, etc., unless the prints were taken with a Realist or Kodak Stereo.

My various border designs are "lifted" from ones found in old clip-art catalogs, magazines or newspapers, using my copy machine to enlarge or reduce if necessary. (Some day I guess I'll learn how to use the computer clip-art borders!)