If you're only intent is to show images to friends, then the iPad is pretty nifty (even the Photos app has a good slideshow function), or any number of digital options up to using on line facilities like Flickr on your television. Regrettably (perhaps), this is how most people show and exhibit their work these days. It is expected to be at least a part of your repertoire, no matter the audience.
Showing actual prints unpresented, is a sure sign of your amateurism, in its most vulgar sense. Nothing looks worse than bare, warped prints, a problem magnified by appparent contradictory "professional" use of fiber based papers. Your commitment to your art and its medium is evidenced by your desire and proficiency at setting the stage properly for your work. I strongly suggest you mount them (or have them mounted) for presentation (windows not being necessary for portfolio use), where they may be handled safely by others through proper support, and given the respect they deserve by any viewer – friend, gallery owner, or even better, both.
Last edited by ROL; 01-24-2013 at 01:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Your first issue of print flatness can be easily overcome by cranking the heat on your print dryer (I am assuming you have a drum/canvas type), placing the prints face up in a stack and tightening it down. Turn off the heat and let them cool in the dryer. I have been doing this for many years, and it works. To keep them flat over the long term, I overstuff paper boxes so when I stack them the prints carry the weight and not the box. This method keeps them flat as a pancake.
If you want to keep it simple, I would suggest getting a box that is nice and putting the flattened loose prints in it with some gloves. Black portfolio boxes are nice and not expensive. An aluminum box would be a little nicer. You can find them both at the usual sources for archival supplies, or your local art store.
Personally, I only mount prints when I have to. Showing prints to friends does not qualify. Even when showing prints to serious people, I will still show loose prints. I print pretty small though. If your prints are large you need to mount them to protect them, or at least handle them yourself. Everyone has their own thing though. For some people the presentation is part of the work.
One problem with a traditional medium like darkroom prints is people tend to think there is only one way to make and present them since mounting and matting has been done forever. ROLs methods may work for him but aren't necessarily a universal truth. I don't think calling someone's efforts or choices vulgar does anyone any favors. One example that contradicts his approach is Masao Yamamoto, one of the most successful artists today. Take a look at how he does it. Hardly vulgar/hardly amateurish. As the French say, chacun a ses goüts.
Maybe a set of pictures will help. This is my method.
I have a bunch of these for various sizes. I had Frame Destinations cut these for me pretty inexpensively. These are made out of buffered paper, so they are pretty inexpensive. As you can see in one of the photographs, there are "photo corners" at 4 corners, so these are re-usable. Prints stay flat, protected from handling, and looks decent. I use these for casual presentations.
I take my prints out of my folders, put them in these temporary mats, and hand them over to whomever wants to see them.
I would imagine this is matter of personal choice but to me, photographs look so much better with mats around them. As I said earlier, I really don't like bare hands touching my prints, so this is my default method. There are all kinds of boxes available at art stores, you could buy them if you want. I made one myself out of available materials. I usually take them out before handing them over, so what it is made out of doesn't matter to me.
Last edited by tkamiya; 01-24-2013 at 03:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Thank you to everyone for all the excellent suggestions and comments.
Digital presentation is out as I like working in the darkroom and am looking to share some of my work with friends and guests. They see my stuff on Flickr and whatnot.
I make no claims to being anything other than an amateur and enthusiast. I do hate the feel of dried fibre paper, to me it doesn't even feel like paper at all, it feels like wood. RC paper feels and handles much more like a photograph to me but I don't like the look of it which is rather more important.
ROL that link has some good information on mounting and presentation thanks for sharing.
Portfolio for fibre prints
I will take a picture of it tonight when I get home, about 10.30PM central time (if I remember to).
Originally Posted by horacekenneth
"Make good art!"
- Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
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You've misrepresented what I said, and you need to look up the term "vulgar" for proper definition. I said, "Showing actual prints unpresented, is a sure sign of your amateurism, in its most vulgar sense." No one is calling anyone else vulgar. Bare prints (for presentation) = unsophisticated, unrefined amateurism. Simple. Take an English course. I remind folks of one classically accepted option, but many others exist, some more or less successful. Some prints on some supports require other kinds of presentation other then dry mounting – but then, that wasn't the OP's concern. Presenting fiber based prints is.
Originally Posted by Patrick Robert James
And I'm not looking for favors from anyone, only to help in as experienced a way as I am able. You, Patrick Robert James, have provided no evidence that you have anything to offer other than opinion, unsophisticated (vulgar) at that. You would also do well to moderate your opinions with less personal confrontation.
Last edited by ROL; 01-24-2013 at 07:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Sorry ROL, I don't take troll bait.
I am tired of the internet being full of egotistical people who think their way is the only way; opinion disguised as fact. It is the same people over and over again. You are one of them. Here and elsewhere. It should be evident to anyone reading this thread (and who have sent me pm's surprisingly) what actually has been written and I feel no need to defend myself.
I hope the OP finds a way to share his images with others that pleases him. It is a commendable act for him to invite others into his world of expression.
I like THAT idea! Thank you for showing it.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
pick a wall or two in your house and call it your gallery!