A guide for Mounting, Displaying and Storing B&W prints on ILFORD GALERIE RC DIGITAL SILVER paper.
For True Black & White Silver Gelatin prints, The Darkroom prints on Ilford’s Galerie RD Digital Silver paper and is available in Glossy or Pearl (Matte) surfaces.
Glossy – a smooth surface that can boost contrast and make blacks pop and whites shine bright.
Pearl – a subtle pearlescent finish that helps images look sharp and clear with added depth.
The Galerie RC Digital Silver paper delivers excellent contrast and sharpness on a super-even surface. The resultant imagery is intricate, delicate, and precise – just as the images use the conventional printing material and exposing equipment. The paper has exceptional spectral sensitivity and exposure characteristics.
Preparing digital files
The Darkroom’s black & white prints are printed on Ilford Galerie RC Digital Silver Paper. Our preferred format for this product is 8-bit Grayscale JPEG format images. Make sure your monitor isn’t too bright as most monitors are too bright at their default settings.
File size should be 200-300 dpi at the output size for optimum quality.
Galerie RC Digital Silver prints can be mounted in one of the following ways. Where prints are to be mounted for long periods (in excess of 12 years), the dry mounting method is recommended.
Galerie RC Digital Silver prints can be dry mounted in the usual way. The use of a silicone release paper is recommended for the .44M pearl surface whereas a foil overlay is recommended for glossy surfaces. Although the manufacturers’ recommendations should be followed, most tissues will give good results in a dry mounting press at a temperature of 80-90°C (144-165ºF) with prints under pressure for about 30-40 seconds.
Double-sided adhesive sheets/cold mounting films
These provide a very effective and convenient means of mounting Galerie RC Digital Silver paper onto porous or non-porous surfaces, without the need for special machinery. Some adhesive sheets allow the print to be repositioned after fixing. Several makes are available in sheet or roll form.
Spray adhesives are suitable for mounting Galerie RC Digital Silver.
Note: Always read the safety advice given by the manufacturers before using spray adhesives.
These adhesives are available in liquid form for brushing or spraying and are suitable for mounting Galerie RC Digital Silver prints onto porous or non-porous mounts. Solvents must be allowed to evaporate completely from both print and mount before the two are brought into contact.
Galerie RC Digital Silver paper can be mounted onto porous surfaces (e.g. hardboard) using wet adhesives such as those designed for wall coverings. When mounting large prints, this method is an advantage, as there is time to position the print correctly and remove any air bubbles that might have become trapped between the print and the mount, without damaging the print. Wet mounting resin-coated prints on non-porous materials (e.g. metal) is not recommended.
It is recommended that prints made for display are toned to protect them from the oxidizing gases that are found in many environments. Oxidizing gases come from everyday items such as newly laid carpet, wet gloss paint, newly applied adhesives, and traffic fumes. Selenium toner is recommended as it has little effect on the image color. Sulfide (sepia) toning also gives an image of increased stability as do polysulphide toners (e.g. Kodak Brown Toner) but these will also give a significant warm, brown shift in image tone.
Some metal replacement toners can also protect the image, e.g. gold and platinum toners, but also with a shift in image tone. Other metal replacement toners such as blue (iron) and red (copper) give no extra protection and the image might fade. Dye toners give no protection to the image.
Also recommended for image protection with a minimal effect on image tone are image stabilizing solutions such as Agfa Sistan, Tetenal Stabinal, and Fuji AgGuard.
Laminating and encapsulation may also help to protect the image but ideally, prints should be toned before laminating and encapsulation.
Galerie RC Digital Silver prints processed by The Darkroom will have a more than adequate storage life for most purposes. However print life will be shortened in adverse storage conditions, or if the print is exposed to oxidizing gases.
Long term print storage
When exceptionally long-term print life is needed, prints must be processed as described in this technical guide and then stored under special storage conditions. The ISO standard on print storage (ISO IT9.20 – 1994) has two levels of storage conditions: medium-term and extended-term. Medium-term is for prints with a life expectancy of at least ten years. Extended-term is for prints with a longer life expectancy and to prolong the life of all prints. Briefly, the main conditions are; freedom from chemical contamination, either airborne or from storage containers, also protection from high levels of ultra-violet radiation, particularly sunlight but also fluorescent lighting.
For medium-term storage: a stable temperature up to 25°C/77°F (but preferably below 20°C/68°F) with a maximum daily cycle of +/- 2°C/4°F; and a stable humidity between approximately 20%RH and 50%RH with a maximum daily cycle of +/- 10%.
For extended-term storage: a stable temperature up to 18°C/65°F (but preferably lower) with a maximum daily cycle of +/- 1°C/2°F; and a stable humidity between approximately 30%RH and 50%RH with a maximum daily cycle of +/- 5%.