Portfolio for fibre prints
2012 was my first year printing in a darkroom and I'd like to put together a portfolio of prints. Something to show to friends, mostly, as I am not a commercial photographer. I was thinking of just putting some loose prints into a box but I print on fibre paper. Even with a print dryer the prints aren't totally flat.
Does anyone have suggestions? Mount or mat and then place in a box? Some kind of album? I realize there are all kinds of products out there but I'm looking for ideas or suggestions...
As you say there are many options. I wouldn't mount or mat since that would increase the size and thickness which could reduce the number of pictures in the portfolio. Another consideration is handling the prints especially if your friends were eating barbeque wings while looking at your prints. It might be most practical to use an album. Check the PrintFile website ( they are APUG advertisers ). You could also create a web album or scan them for digital viewing and portability.
For showing stuff to friends and (especially) for clients, an iPad is pretty cool.
But for prints, I'd find a way to get them in an album. People will assume everything's digital, retouched, etc. these days. Fiber prints have something special, and you can't get your iPhone shots run off at the drug store on fiber. The tactile feel of a fiber print is wonderful, but they'll get dirty and damaged over time.
Find a beautiful wooden box, and put your prints a pair of cotton gloves in it - your friends have to put on the gloves to flip through 'em. Now that will wow them, right?
Seriously, I once did a booklet of polaroid transfers on watercolor paper. I stacked the sheets and added a front cover of heavy hand-made paper and a back cover of matte board, and "bound" them with a row of pop rivets (I scored the sheets so the pages would turn). The edges got a little aged, but it kinda added to the "old book" feel - and it made the work into a cohesive "object" that seemed kind of rare and beautiful. Something like that would be nice, especially for images that fit into a theme. (I think I gave it to some babe i was trying to impress...)
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not too worried about handling issues as I can always re-print.
Nice idea about the rivets... I have a gun in the garage, maybe wrap some thin plywood covers around a stack of prints and rivet them. That might be something to check out.
One of the things I like to do is to make my own book with good paper, about 90lb, and to mount the images to the pages.
Total hand made feel. (because it is!)
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The notion of "not worried about handling.... I can always reprint" will change quickly once you start doing intricate manipulations. Each print can take so much effort and element of luck that you start treasuring your own work. One of my prints took 2 months - printing every weekend to perfect!
I have several methods.
For my own storage, I use Itoya portfolio.
To show someone a print or two, I typically put it in my temporary mat/backboard set. It's hinged and has photo corners that I can slide in the film.
When it has to absolutely look their best, I dry mount, and mat, then put it in clear sleeves. Take them out of the sleeve to show and put it back in once done.
I almost NEVER hand over a naked print unless it's a junk print. I spent so much time printing and processing, keeping in mind being archival and all that, I don't want people casually handling my prints.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I get ya regarding print time and keeping things pristine. On the other hand, I have to say that there's something appealing to me about a group of prints being presented as an "object", that over time will show signs that it's been handled and examined. Where time itself, and signs of the people who experienced the art, becomes part of the presentation.
That's all a little esoteric, and neither viewpoint is the "right" one certainly!
The OP mentioned he's not a commercial shooter, but that's unimportant - he's spending time doing something creative & beautiful when many are sprawled before the TV - glad to see so many ideas for him to share his work. Let us know what you come up with.
Originally Posted by Robert Hall
I love doing this too. For 16x20 prints I have this nice book that is meant for water color artists. I put photo corners on each page for a print, and insert one on each page. Works great, looks great, and the prints are perfectly protected.
Originally Posted by jnanian
"...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".
Thomas, could you link me to the source of your water color book?