Adhering Photos to Backdrop

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by grlakeslogger, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. grlakeslogger

    grlakeslogger Member

    Hello. One of my winter projects is some work on my backdrop. I shot some great slides of woods scenes in the fall. I had them printed full frame (8"x12"). I have an around-the-walls layout with 1/8" hardboard backdrops. The sky and clouds are painted. I used latex paint for the sky. I plan to trim the sky from the photos using a stencil knife and then to use the trees portion of the photo print for a backdrop.

    I have seen good and bad (fading or photos working loose after a year) examples of this sort of backdrop.

    1. What DOES work for adhering the photo paper to the painted hardboard?

    2. What does NOT work?
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Spray glue works :) Matting spray for photos, you can get it at any craft store. Tell them you're "dry mounting" pictures.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Prrobably the best spray glue I have ever used is Scotch 77. It is by far the most expensive, but we used it in our manufacturing business and I will gurantee you that the photo will tear if you try to pull it off once the glue has set. Another thing I like about it, is that the spray nozzle never seems to clog, even if you forget to "clear" it by spraying with the can up side down. You can find it in most home centers or craft stores.
  4. 77railer

    77railer Member

    Can you give us an example of what your trying to do..I never thought about using pictures as a backdrop?

  5. grlakeslogger

    grlakeslogger Member

    Thank you for your input on this thread. I used 3M Super 77 when I transferred full sized printouts of my CADRAIL plan to my plywood subroadbed. The results were pretty good, but I did have a couple of spots lift. I hope this was due to the fact that the raw plywood was unsealed. My 1/8" Hardboard backdrops are all painted--blue latex and various enamels and acrylics for clouds.

    For 77railer: A few articles about this were written over the years. You can run a keyword search (use keywords photo Backdrop) at . The technique is really pretty simple. Just photograph some nice background scenes. You might have to shoot a couple of rolls to get the distance right. You want the scenery to fill at least 60% of the viewfinder. Get your photos developed and printed (I had mine professionally printed "Full Frame" or 8"x12"). Select a nice panorama of photos. Trim away the sky with a very sharp knife. Spray adhesive on the backs of the photos and stick them to your sky-painted backdrop. The backdrop should already be mounted on the layout.

    As to scene selection, I looked for fall woods scenes on a hillside. I shot from a shorter hill about 80-200 yards away from my subject hillside. I never had good luck trying this on flat ground at all! I used a 35mm SLR with a 70-210 Zoom Telephoto and "slow" slide film. Use a tripod and cable release, shooting several F-stops for each chunk of the panoramic scene.

    Sorry for taking so long to reply to your responses--it has been one of those winters here! Thanks again.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Stu -

    Your "nonsticky" spots might in fact be due to the unsealed wood as you speculated. I used the "77" spraymount when gluing air photos to foamcore - worked great. But if you left it too long, sometimes the spray would soak into the paper layer of the foamcore and dry, resulting in no stick... The upside of this is that once it is soaked in and dry, it effectively seals the material, so the same problem won't happen again (in that one spot... ;)).

  7. grlakeslogger

    grlakeslogger Member

    That makes excellent sense. I printed the CADRAIL plan out on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of printer paper, taped them together, applied the glue, and then stuck them to the plywood. If I had to adjust anything, I gently lifted up and repositioned the paper. Next, I cut along the ballast shoulder lines with a saber saw. That is when the paper lifted in spots. No problem though, because the bad spots were short enough to tear up the loose paper and freehand a center line with a pencil.

    The photo backdrop project should work better because I will be working with smaller pieces. That should make positioning easier and coverage more even.

    Oh well, live and learn!

    Many thanks.

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