Maybe I should have waited until tomorrow and tried starting this thread after some "sober second thought"...naw...I have the day off work tomorrow and the holiday booze has to be finished sometime, right?
I'll try again. My prints (for me) don't really exist as objects of art unto themselves. Behind plexi-glass and over matted they seem not to exist, but become like windows. They are things whose surface represents scenes from nature as I felt them to be. They are B&W, clean, crisp, full depth of field, sometimes heavily dodged, burned or masked expressions of my way of seeing. I'm now making the best prints in my life, yet there's something not quite right...
Maybe having them behind plexi-glass and on a wall disconnects me from them. Maybe having them selenium toned on gelatin silver paper doesn't work for my images in the environment I photograph in...what worked for Ansel at over 10,000' in the dry Sierra's doesn't seem to apply to my images near sea level on BC's north coast, where it's so moist there are ferns growing in the moss on the branches of the trees.
I'm toying with the idea of lightly sepia and normally selenium toned images (5x7 images on 8x10 paper, 8x10 on 11x114, etc.) where the border of the paper is masked to remain white after sepia toning, and they get dry mounted (or starch pasted?) back to back with another sheet of the same paper the image is printed on. This would then be mounted by photo corners and overmatted as usual...or...it could be incorporated in some sort of book or portfolio presentation where they can be held in your hands.
What to do when the best you've ever done isn't what you feel?