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Thread: Glazing

  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Glazing

    I keep going to Michaels for one thing or other and walking by the "museum quality anti-reflecting glass" display. The difference is dramatic. It's enough to make me want to use nothing else on all my photographs, but it's expensive. Mats and frames are expensive enough. Can someone please re-explain why we use glazing on photographs? It's like if I get expensive anti-glare glass I'm spending extra money on something that is closer to nothing. When I could just use nothing. My sister is a painter and uses no glazing on her paintings, even when she frames them. I asked here why paintings don't get glazing but photographs do, and she said she had never thought about it but it must be "to show off the texture".
    f/22 and be there.

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    DWThomas's Avatar
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    Oil and acrylic paintings typically are unglazed, as they are relatively robust coatings on sturdy substrates -- linen or cotton cloth or wood or Masonite panels. Artwork on paper -- watercolors or pencil -- are typically glazed as the mediums could easily be damaged by water or abrasion. (So I assume your sister is an oil painter.)

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    Uh oh, watch out, this one is likely to reignite that decades old debate of RC versus fiber

    I too do not see much point in adding glass, but some people prefer it and expect it. At least when exhibiting prints, I'd much rather not see glass over them. Glass subtracts so much of the experience of paper texture... the feeling that the print is in the paper rather than on it. That effect perhaps isn't quite as important as it is with oil paintings, I suppose; I've always thought that oil paintings weren't glazed so that we could appreciate the brushstrokes, which can be very 3D.

    (Especially now that analogue prints are in direct competition with inkjets, I think it might well be a good idea to showcase the texture and the durability of analogue and leave the glass off. The difference between the two is nowhere more clear than with matte fiber...)

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    fdi
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    Glass protects the print from peoples fingers, UV radiation, and atmospheric contaminates and pollutants. You can coat your image a protective spray coating, but keep in mind that in 20 years you will have to look through that coating to see the image. One of the jobs of a conservator is to remove such coatings because they have failed over time and gone yellow, but the print was still ok.

    My favorite way to display prints is proper gallery lighting with standard acrylic glazing. Regular acrylic is more optically pure than museum glass because the museum glass has UV filter coating which causing a slight warming effect. Proper lighting gets rid of most of the reflections. It may not be considered as good as museum glass, but gets me 90% of the benefit for 1/10 the cost.

    If you are not concerned about your print lasting for generations, especially if you can just print it again, then you don’t need to worry about glass. If it is a one of kind print, you cant reproduce and you want to pass it on to your grandchildren then the best thing is to not display it all. You keep the print in the dark in a room that is carefully temperature and humidity controlled.

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    We have track lighting in our home where art work including photographs are displayed. The fixtures have halogen bulbs but come with UV shields. This could be another consideration.

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    David Brown's Avatar
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    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum46/3697-glass.html

    Yet another subject covered extensively over the years (check the dates in that thread ...)

  7. #7
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fdi View Post
    If it is a one of kind print, you cant reproduce and you want to pass it on to your grandchildren then the best thing is to not display it all.
    Or you can make a copy for display. Most of the knowledge of copying photographs by analog methods has faded (groan) from the collective memory. Best to scan the print and print with an inkjet or have a digital negative made from which you can make silver prints.
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