Pictures of your framing/mounting/presentation here please

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by nick mulder, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Hello,

    I'm interested to see how people present their best photography physically, either at home or in exhibition (same thing for some I imagine) - particularly interested in framing at the moment as I've got some sporadic part time work in a framing workshop, but anything goes... (projection etc..)

    Please post images - upload or link to offsite material works fine - and if you will explain how and why the choices were made.

    Myself I have a few frames and many mattes cut which I can chop and change at will to see the picture in, um, I guess 'context' (its amazing what even just a matte will do for an image) - One day when I have enough material and settle on a scheme I'll order a bulk load of my chosen profile and frame it all similarly for exhibition...

    Own pics coming soon :wink:
     
  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Hi Nick,

    When the new home here was being built, we actually specified that a wall be explicitly reserved as a gallery wall with spot lights for 5 of my framed Ilfochromes, which alternate every 6 months with a new set.

    Over 16 years I have not varied my frame-up repertoire despite the extreme cost and precision labour involved.

    The full-frame chromes are printed to 360x405mm with no cropping and framed under Crescent Rag Mat 6/9 ply white matt, TruVu UV-retardant glass, Burke square ebony frame and vac. sealed. The mats have never been scrawled on with anything — I let the picture speak for me instead of any fancy pencil scrawls (each framed print does have its own title and other information on the rear). Chromes framed like this are thought to have life term of several hundred years. Well, I won't be around then of course, but hey, no harm in leaving a lasting image...:D

    The gallery wall is illuminated by a stock, adjustable 12v IKEA Magnesium rail, each globe being 20W with a reflector spread of either 26° or 30° (26° is becoming hard to find). Chromes can also be illuminated by 50W globes though the effect can be rather overpowering. A gallery rail was also specified for the opposite wall but the electrician finished my level when everybody was out, forgetting to wire in the IKEA rail! So that one was returned. I am now looking at having 2 individual spots for the opposite wall where I am also exhibiting the beautiful large format work of friends (my own prints are solely 35mm). For each display print, I also roll my own gatorboard titles in a mix of InDesign/Illustrator/Photoshop (my earliest qualification is as a Typesetter as a way of funding my Arts course), the art being sent over the web to the high-street kiosk to be printed on unremarkable Fuji Crystal Archive 6x4 matt paper, trimmed and mounted (all done with a snazzy scalpel!).

    The two right-most chromes on the wall might be familiar to you as a Kiwi: one is Matai Falls in the Catlins and the other is Southern Alps reflected in Lake Mathieson. :smile: Help a friend across The Ditch put next week's food on the table: each display print is $1,100, or matted only and wrapped, $875. And I'll sign my scrawl (on the back!) for you free. :tongue:

    Link: South wall view, Silent Street
     
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  3. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    Very interesting - exactly the stuff I'm interested in ...

    Vac. sealed ?? that's a new one to me - I have seen a vacuum heat press in action however, something used to heat activate and seal two glued surfaces - is that what you mean? Or the void between the ilfochrome and the glass is a vacuum ? I would have thought that it'd be impossible to seal (so I'm guessing I'm not right ?) - maybe pumping in some nitrogen (?) but again, how do you seal it over time...

    I too find it hard to sign my images - I once left a test/throw away image behind in the garage of a place my partner was housesitting (I had set up a temp Pt/Pd process chain in there) - she liked it so much she had it framed and wanted me to sign it, but as it was a bad print in my eyes I especially didn't feel compelled to sign it above my usual 'why should I have to sign it anyway?' bafflement - my handwriting varies so much on any given day I'm scared it'll go into jerky unbalanced generally unappealing mode.

    Anyways, short story even shorter - I got my friend to sign my name for me, his handwriting is consistently flamboyant and arty - HA HA

    I feel like if I were a famous photographer with people speculating on my prints in the tens or hundreds of thousands I'd then refuse to sign my photographs for another reason - I'd like to think the buyer were buying it for the sake of the photography itself, or maybe for the intrinsic object of the print itself but not simply with an eye for a return in the future (in which I get no share) ... A lack of signature might go someway to work in my favour here - a bit off topic however :rolleyes:
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    It's a common quandary Nick, this business of signing or not signing a print. Limited Edition prints may have some merit in direct-to-mat signings, but I'm not convinced enough to do it. I sign on the back or on the Certificate of Authenticity that accompanies each print, framed or just matted.

    I scanned one and only one signature about 14 years ago that still goes on all my titles. Ever the Artful Dodger, there are of course others: 6 other signatures, 3 different names (nom-de-plumes), heaps of forum names, 2 genders and several unusual qualifications additional to Photography. Your guess is as good as mine who you're dealing with tonight, honey, LOL!!! :D
     
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  5. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    It's a common quandary Nick, this business of signing or not signing a print. Limited Edition prints may have some merit in direct-to-mat signings, but I'm not convinced enough to do it. I sign on the back or on the Certificate of Authenticity that accompanies each print, framed or just matted.

    Individuals will develop their own style and preferences relating to framing over time. Generally experimentation will take place (often in consultation with a dedicated framer), errors will be made and days will come and go when you seriously wonder if you're doing the right thing. By you, yes you are, but don't be afraid to change your spots. Years ago I made some spectacular errors in framing, choosing gaudy double-mats for the (then) RA4 prints under dull glass. All that work was so utterly bad, so utterly disappointing for all the cost and effort, so utterly unfulfilling that it went into the incinerator on a Total Fire Ban day. My mood didn't get any better.

    Signatures are very often terrible on any art medium and many photographers do reflect and rue the "defacement"; signing direct to the surface of an Ilfochrome is sacrilege — it's on a par with shooting Bambi. I scanned one and only one signature about 14-15 years ago (of my full name) that still goes on all my prints as rear titles. Ever the Artful Dodger, there are of course others: 6 other signatures, 3 different names (nom-de-plums), heaps of forum names, 2 genders and several unusual qualifications additional to Photography. Your guess is as good as mine who you're dealing with tonight, honey, LOL!!! :D
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Nick, I used to use black wooden frames much the same as Gary's, I'd guess i have about 60 maybe 00 of those frames, they were used for numerous exhibitions so every so often I would refurbish them.

    In more recent years I switched to a more natural wood finish and a framers cut the profile specially for me. I guess I have 70+ 20"x16" and half a dozen 24"x30". These are shown below, part of an exhibition at Photofusion, London (so their lighting).

    It's an expensive business, luckily Galleries often pay to show your work, and I had Arts Council funding for production costs, while that isn't for framing any money helps.

    Ian
     

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  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    The prints look terrific, Ian, very appealing. I particularly like the wood finish contrast against the white mat with the prints themselves well set off.
    One of my B&W triptych, "The Moorings" was in 2001 toned dusky blue (!) and framed in distressed blue-tinted wood (prepared with steel wool, a fine steel bristle brush and ball-peen hammer blows). Why? The buyers were from Greece and the scene I had pictured reminded them of home. I didn't particularly like the effect but of course, "the customer is always right".

    Damned lucky you've got galleries that pay you to exhibit! Down here, they commonly lop off 45% commission from any sale and that's after the usual costs of set up etc. (which are often paid up-front). Arts Council grants cover special projects and have mandatory acquittal processes (with some special exemptions) but do not cover framing, presentation and on-costs.

    This should be a very interesting thread. A last, we are going to see the best work of the many APUGgers here, including the innumerable masters of B&W and alternative processes. Let's put 'em up under the bright lights for all to see.
     
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  8. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    When those of us in the Texas Church Project began exhibiting, we went with the standard "basic black" metal frames and white mats. Hard to go wrong. At home, I do have some wooden black frames, but I also have a small collection of Les McLean prints that are in the metal frames.

    Framing is not cheap! It helps if you can do it yourself, but then you have to be adept at mat cutting. A good (not necessarily cheap) tool will help in that regard.

    All: please forgive the evil digisnaps.
     

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  9. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    David, the thin frames from the exhibition are interesting - for whatever reason I have tended to go for larger examples, either wider or deeper...

    How thick are everyones mats ? (I referred to 'mattes' earlier, too involved in film/vfx to notice the distinction) - I use the standard depth, bevel cut at 45deg as the cutter is a CNC machine that only does that angle but I have seen examples at a deeper pitch. I remember seeing photographic dealers with kind of flip books of very thick mats in which photographs can be placed for viewing. My partner whose parents have worked in framing for decades says 'thick mats are very 80's/90's'.

    I see some people have opted to reveal the mask of their own prints and others have left the mat to do the crop - big decision there (?).

    Also lighting, a lot of halogens going on - at my work (theatre and venues in general) we have these very small profile lamps that can be shaped into trapezoidal shapes and then focused to a have a softer falloff (the Brit trapezoid mind, which is the US Trapezium :tongue: :rolleyes:smile:. If you use two or three per image then shadows aren't too much of an issue - with the localised contrast they really make an presentation pop (we usually always light the complete frame). A bit of moderate diffusion in front is nice and can provide are more general wash still with the relevant hot spots, the amount of diff dials it in...
     
  10. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    In my case, the Crescent 6-ply rat mat is 4.2mm deep and bevelled at 45° (pretty much standard everywhere now). The aperture is right to the very edge of the Ilfochrome image (no cropping). Thick mats in any of the white tones are considered avant garde (meeting the museum-grade conservation standard) and certainly are not cheap.

    My framer uses a sort of CNC cutting set up which is set up on a PC from input measurements (everything is variable, including the bevel) then the mat material is laid down and the program does the rest with just a few mouse clicks. It is very fast and swift as opposed to doing it all skillfully by hand, which was the way my first framer in the country did it (he had 50 years' experience).

    LED lamps are making an appearance in hardware and lighting stores; quite interesting, but the illumination has been observed as either very blue or intensely white.
     
  11. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    It's likely to be a work in process forever, but I've tried an assortment of things and am currently moving toward standardizing on 16 x 20 inch metal frames of very modest cross-section (in matte black). I use two 4-ply mats, with the opening in the outer mat about an 1/8 inch larger at the bottom to allow a signature (modest and in pencil) on the reveal of the inner mat. (I also sign the back of the print with the date in case anyone cares years hence.) Again, lately, I hinge mount the print behind the window, and hinge the mat to another piece of mat board and or heavier backing board to make a sandwich to slide into the frame. My "plan" is to reuse the metal frames and store the matted prints in clear bags. At my current low level of productivity, that should suffice for a while.

    At home, many of my prints are hanging in a hallway that provides a textbook example of what not to do for exhibition, so we'll ignore that! :D
     
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  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    A self-portrait with one of my 4x10 platinum prints -- Just a touch of the rebate/coating showing around the edge. The size of the frame is 12x16 inches. The mat looks to be 4-ply. I have always liked the silver frames for silver gelatin prints (on bright white rag board). My 16x20 silver gelatin prints seem to look best of 24x28 board.

    An early print, matting and framing job for my platinum prints. I eventually found that my presentation of platinum prints and carbon prints to be 180 degrees different than my sliver gelatin. I now use primarily 8-ply, natural white, and a black wood frame.

    The image was taken in the Trinity Alps (CA).
     

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  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I'd forgotten I have a small set of frames similar to David Brown's. I take it that top left image isn't one of yours David :D

    [​IMG]

    These thinner edged frames are great for smaller prints and sets of images.

    In talking about framing something we are overlooking is consistency in the matting, and getting the balance right if showing images from a mixture of film formats.

    I'd had a standard that I maintained for nearly 20 years, but then had a re-think and change about 5 or 6 years ago. This meant reprinting many images for a large exhibition rather than using existing prints from 2 other exhibition sets alongside fresh prints. Part of the decision was the demise of Agfa papers and switching to Polywarmtone and a desire for continuity & tonal coherence.

    Now I've settled on standard print sizes from each of the formats I use (6x6, 6x9, 6x17, 5x4/10x8) that work together when in 20x16 frames, and corresponding sizes for my larger frames.

    Frames are too expensive to chop & change so decisions have an effect on how you show work for some time.

    Ian
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Personally, I prefer square frames, so that when a number of different images are on the same wall, horizontal, square and vertically orientated images don't result in a variety of "footprints" on that wall.

    These frames are store-bought - frame, glass, mat and backing all together for $40.00 each (the prints are 11x14).

    Apologies for the blurry digipic with reflection. If it was better, you would be able to tell that the frames are black, and the mats are a slightly warm white.
     

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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Not sure about the square frames with a rectangular print Matt, it wouldn't work for me, I find the balance strange.

    Luckily we all have our own tastes/opinions etc when it comes to matting & framing or it would get quite boring :D

    Ian
     
  16. fdi

    fdi Advertiser

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    When I frame my own work I use Lineco self adhesive linen hinging tape L533-1015 to form a v-hinge. It is pretty archival, just a notch below museum quality, but more importantly it is cheap quick and easy.

    For the frame, I generally use black metal Nielsen Profile 117. It is a simple frame just under 1/2 inch wide and some people will mistake it for wood so it generally doesn’t offend wood or metal lovers. For the mat I love the depth of the http://www.framedestination.com/mat_board/bainbridge_8ply_alpharag/item/mt8arg0000/ and I will usually got with either a white or an off white mat board.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  17. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    All four of that group are from Mr McLean. :smile:
     
  18. fdi

    fdi Advertiser

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    Here are a couple pics of what I was talking about...

    Cheers,
    mark


     

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  19. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    after a lot of experimenting with different materials and looks, I have finally found a combination of presentation elements that work well for me, which I like to think of as "sympathetic" to the photograph. I mount my photographs on 2 ply mat board, and mat using 4 ply board of the same color as the mount board. I let 1/4" of the mount show at the top and sides, and 1/2" at the bottom where I title and sign the photograph. This float mounting provides a slight bit of reveal without the need for double matting. I give 3" borders for smaller prints, and 4" borders for larger ones. Square prints are matted and framed square; rectangular ones done rectangularly. I use a fairly bright white mat and mount board for neutral and cool toned pictures, and a slightly warmer color for sepia toned and lith prints. I construct my own frames from wood frame rails that are about 1 1/4" wide. Frames used on neutral/cool toned prints and white mats have a black stain, and those used with sepia toned or lith prints have a very dark brown finish. The frame colors are hard to tell apart unless held side by side, but I think they complement the picture and mat well.