</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Apr 30 2003, 06:54 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I am told that metal is the only way to go. Wood is not archival and will ruin your prints. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
this is not generally true. It depends on how the wood was treated and whether it is real wood or just pressed from wood shavings. The glue of the latter contains formaldehyd, which ist not only harmful to your prints.
Wooden frames are usually thicker than metal frames. it depends once more on your taste and the style of your pictures. Regard the frame as part of your artwork.
Many years ago I purchased a number of metal frames, having been influenced by the fashion or trend of the day. I quickly got tired of them at least for my exhibition prints and just used them to frame photographs to hang at home. Although I have been careful with them when moving them they do not stand up well and are now being confined to the dump for they are really badly marked. On the other hand I have about 100 wooden frames, light ash and American oak which is light brown, and despite having hung several exhibtions and sent them to a number of galleries they are still in very good condition. If there is a small mark it can be rubbed out on wood but not on metal. For that reason alone I would now always go for wood.
Choosing frames is very personal and aesthetics have to be considered so I hesitate to insist that one is better than the other for your work. I relate my experience mainly to point out one of the likely long term problems with metal frames. I have had both colour and black and white photographs on my wall in wood frames for many years and have noticed no deterioration at all.
"Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006
I see those Nielsen metal frame kits around, but I haven't really seen wood frames for sale. Where is a good place to get them? And for those who get many, like Les, do you buy them as kits or whole?
David, APUG member mvjim apparently runs an archival supplies business. He has wooden frames at competitive prices. At least compared to light impressions. I think his frames are $5 less than LI prices. Check him out.
Technicaly wooden frames are not "archival", but then again many excepted forms of presentation are not exactly archival either. For example - putting your prints in metal frames and keeping then on display 24/7, 365 days a year is also considered to be an "archival" no-no. It is generally advised that you rotate prints in and out of display to extend their life, as enviromental polutation is now considered to be the greatest enemy to preservation. There are some standards (that for the average person/photographer) are almost impossiable to meet when it comes to exacting preservation standards of your photographic prints. But if you do suffer from "archival paranoia" then your photographs should be stored away in a light tight vault at proper temp and humidity. If you are a photographer (not a collector) your first archival concern should be the proper storage of your negatives. We are always surprised to see how many experienced photographers store and handle their negatives completely improperly. At our gallery all work is displayed in wooden frames (primarly for the reasons stated by Les McLean) and under UV plexi, but the work is only kept in these frames for the length of the exhibit and then removed and put in proper storage. It should be remembered that the archival standards that most of us know or have read of are based on the idea of long term inactive preservation storage (as opposed to an active archive in which the negatives and prints are in continuous use)