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  1. #1

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    "Fine Art" Print Presentation

    I have read that "fine art" prints should have white space on the paper around the photograph and the mat should leave a small amount of that space visible so the photograph is not cropped. Other framed prints I have seen have the overmat cropping the photograph slightly. Is there one matting method that is more often used or widely considered more professional/aesthetically pleasing? Is it just individual preference?

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    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Very much individual preference. There are as many ways to mat as there are photographers.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

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    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Davis View Post
    Very much individual preference. There are as many ways to mat as there are photographers.
    Exactly... I dry mount my prints, cutting off everything except the image and leave a bit of the mat around the picture visible (along with the date and signature at the bottom) through the over-mat. This is also a common method.

    Find something you like, is archival and... that you like doing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    Exactly... I dry mount my prints, cutting off everything except the image and leave a bit of the mat around the picture visible (along with the date and signature at the bottom) through the over-mat. This is also a common method.

    Find something you like, is archival and... that you like doing!
    That's right;It's art if you say so;It's fine art if others say so with their wallets
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    That's right;It's art if you say so;It's fine art if others say so with their wallets
    Very true Ralph, the World is full of self professed photographic artist who are legends in their own lunchtimes, when the photographers who were truly great artists I.M.O. never ever referred to themselves as such, the idea that photography was "Art" was promulgated mainly by photographers agents and galleries about thirty years ago who were trying to sell their work .
    Last edited by benjiboy; 04-28-2014 at 09:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  6. #6
    fdi
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    The image itself is by far the most important consideration. Next is proper printing so the details of the image and tones are properly conveyed. After that is display of the image in a way that does not detract from it. Other considerations such as showing the edge of the paper, type of mounting, signature, limited editions are all about the marketing channel and your market. Those are questions for your market.

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    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan King View Post
    I have read that "fine art" prints should have white space on the paper around the photograph and the mat should leave a small amount of that space visible so the photograph is not cropped. Other framed prints I have seen have the overmat cropping the photograph slightly. Is there one matting method that is more often used or widely considered more professional/aesthetically pleasing? Is it just individual preference?
    it's entirely up to the artist,but ,over the years, customers have developed certain expectations,based on what successful artists have generated.I prefer to use Aansel Adams' method, illustrated in his book 'The Print'I'ts the classic lookin my view
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Assembly.jpg  
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  8. #8
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan King View Post
    I have read that "fine art" prints should have white space on the paper around the photograph and the mat should leave a small amount of that space visible so the photograph is not cropped. Other framed prints I have seen have the overmat cropping the photograph slightly. Is there one matting method that is more often used or widely considered more professional/aesthetically pleasing? Is it just individual preference?
    What you are referring to is overmatting, generally used in hinge or corner mounts wherein the print is not "permanently" attached to the presentation mat. Many print with enough white (e.g., non image) border space to allow the window mat to be cut larger than the image and still hold the print securely on all sides against the mount. When, say, a ½" or so border is included in this manner, the presentation result is such that it exhibits the entire image without abridgment and mimics the 'well' of classically presented dry mounts. Such mounts make for fine photographic presentations. Many museums (i.e., The Getty) are now presenting vintage prints by masters in this way, but without existing printed white borders, with window mats intruding into the image area (including prints by AA, who would be insulted). As the presentation window mat is allowed to crop the photograph, this does not honor the original artist's original intent or vision. Practically, that means that one should probably either print with enough border (~ 1½" or greater) to employ useful overmatting either by oneself or others, or dry mount prints trimmed to your own inviolate dimensions.
    Last edited by ROL; 05-22-2014 at 08:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    Exactly... I dry mount my prints, cutting off everything except the image and leave a bit of the mat around the picture visible (along with the date and signature at the bottom) through the over-mat. This is also a common method...
    This is how I prefer to finish my silver gelatin prints. A very clean presentation. A bit time consuming...not something one wants to mess up. A 15x19 image on 24x28 board might take me 30 minutes (not including cutting the window). The window is slightly larger than 16x20 -- so that I can use the hole for 8x10 prints!

    With platinum prints I leave a little black showing around the image area, perhaps 1/4 inch (I paid for the platinum, so why not show it! LOL!) Carbon prints I usually have the window covering the edge of the image area (as little as possible) -- I do not dry mount alt processes.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #10

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    ROL just pointed out the aesthetic felony of recropping someone else's work by redefining it with a window mat that covers some of the image area itself. There's another very important reason not to do this photographic prints. The mat expands and contracts with humidity. Therefore the sharp bevel edge of the mat will gradually start sawing into the print emulsion itself, or at least leave a long-term burnishing scuff. A good framer will always use a burnishing bone to slightly relieve this sharp angle, but even so, a valuable fiber-based print should not have the mat edge ever over the actual image area. Every legit conservator should know this by now. I got pissed as heck once when someone dropped on of my framed prints, damaged the frame and overmat itself (but not the image), then took it, along with a bunch of others prints I sold them to a local commercial framer, who then smaller-resized all the mounts mats with equal borders, just cause he was too lazy to use different setting on separate sides of the mats, which totally screwed up the visual balance of how I intended those things to
    be viewed.

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