Written by Beaux Reflets April 04, 2013, 04:49:00 PM1147 Views
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Have You Been Framed
Framing photographs is often a difficult task to get just right, and in many cases the images are simply planted within a thin dark traditional photo frame associated with the black and white portraiture of stars on the stage, that line the corridors of a theatre or hotel boasting its patronage.
The initial function of a frame is to protect the edges of an image and to isolate it from the surrounding external environment, while at the same time hopefully attracting some audience; perhaps drawing the viewer into or away from the scene as their mental response engages and interacts with the subject so framed.
Photography Exhibitions may plump for a similar thin black framing style, insisting upon a well-proportioned plain mount board to form an inner frame. Often unlined, neatly cut with an even bevel and a broader width at the bottom of the mount; sufficient to determine the base or proposed orientation of the shot, and perhaps providing room for the photographer's name to be lightly penned in with its title and date.
In exhibitions for Competition purpose, there will likely be a standard gallery format, to the colour style and overall outer framing. The Print size, and a single mount colour (sadly usually a white) may also remain constant; save the way the mounts have been cut regarding portrait or landscape orientation.
In these situations, where the photographer simply supplies the image file for others to print and mount, a cautionary point may be worth noting in regard to the editing of the image. Always try to obtain the relevant orientation cut-out size of the mount and edit the photograph accordingly. For while every effort may be made to make the most of your image by the gallery staff, there is nothing worse than a distracting element throwing the viewer's eyes towards the next image on display. Of course, it maybe all well and good that a broad framing mount acts as a safety net (just as a wide margin in a book helps to prevent the eyes dropping off the edge of the page) when the eyes meander to your next shot; but in a competition, 'See the frame and it's Game Over!'
It is always wise to consider 'frame or mount cover' when framing your shot, before pressing the shutter. Especially where there are items or details at the edges in the photograph that may jar on the eye, distract or grab unwanted attention when the image is finally framed. That said, the use of the Burn tool and other post processing techniques can often be used to re-balance the composition or tone down an offending area.
While the editing of a photographic composition plays an important part as to how it may look within a mount and frame, the choice of mount and frame may equally play an important role in enhancing or emphasising the photograph and imagery portrayed. Selecting an off white or a lightly coloured mount may assist to emphasise highlight areas in a photograph, while a brilliant white mount can help to bring out mid tones, and a black mount added depth in colour.
A correctly proportioned picture showing equal mount widths top and sides with a broader width at the base.
When it comes to deciding upon the mount and frame, the choices seem to be endless; Form Single, Double (providing two bevel edges separated in proportion to size and thickness), Triple, Shadow mounts (that require spacer boards separating each mount board surface to provide the added depth) to Framed Block mounts (that require a spacer to prevent the glazing from touching or getting attached to the print).
Selecting and mixing different coloured mount boards adds even more choice, as does the variety of Pressed Lined mounts, including those with Silver or Gold inlay, and if you are adventurous and of steady hand, DIY Pen Lining can add that special touch; especially where the chosen colours match an element in the photograph, so as to hold the viewer's eyes that little bit longer.
Choosing simple profiles for the outer frame may help to keep the focus on your Print, and again the colour and weight (width) of the frame may assist to complement the imagery, while complementing with a room's decor; where even ornate swept frames with a little gold leaf may not go amiss.
The choice of glazing often depends upon the overall size of the picture and one's purse. From single float glass, non-reflective glass to Acrylic stabilised plastic Styrene (that are not effected by Ultra Violet light). Quite often Photograph frames are hung so that they canter forward off the wall at the top (usually around 3 degrees) to minimise reflections of external surround and room lighting.
Finally, you can consider the big and the bold by going 'frame-less,' with a Block or Canvas Print. Where the photograph stands out off the wall, printed with very durable inks directly onto the substrate, often with a protective vinyl lamination, so that the final product may be kept free of dust, and the grease from an admirer's finger, simply wiped away with a damp cloth.