Frames for your prints
Although we can supply prints fully framed, we find most people prefer to choose their own frames to fit their decor and tastes. The sizes and prices page has information on obtaining your own prints, both matted and un-matted.
We have also collected below, some information and resources about the art of picture framing.
Some framing tips
Good framing enhances your pictures, while bad framing just well ... looks bad. The ideal framing enhances your picture and draws the eye to the image. Unless you are advertising picture frames, the framing should take second place.
Take care of your images. if you are using glass, then make sure that there is a slight air gap - this is where the mat comes in.
Choose your glass with care. Anti-reflection or non-glare glass and UV filtering glass may be appropriate for some locations.
In Keith's Landscape exhibition below, there were several places where anti-glare glass might have helped.
If you plan on moving your framed pictures to different locations, consider plastic (Perspex or Plexiglass) for the glazing. With the big frames (most @ 33"x26") in the RAC exhibition (below), two of the glass panes cracked, which is dangerous as well as annoying...
Don't be stingy with your mat border size - small borders rarely enhance the image.
Also, how are you going to hang the pictures? With larger frame sizes it is important to consider this - can the wall safely take the fittings you want to use? Always best to consider -before- you take the pictures for hanging ...
Note the black edged frames I've used above - this is a pretty safe option for most display locations, and preferred in many shows/competitions (do make sure you read all the mounting/framing rules when showing works at such events).
How do you measure frames?
Frames are always measured from the inside (rabbet) of the frame. That is the size of a piece of glass that will fit in the frame. The actual size of the frame is 1/8" larger than indicated to allow room around the glass, mats, image etc. The actual rabbet size of an 8" x 10 " frame is 8 1/8" x 10 1/8".
How do you measure mats?
Mats are measured at the outside. They are not measured by the size of the cutout (hole). When determining what size matt you need remember that the mat must cover the artwork or photograph. If your artwork is 8 x 10 you need a mat with an opening of at least 1/8" smaller.
Matting / framing your prints for exhibition and archival purposes
First of all, don't print right up to the edge of the paper. I like to leave at least an inch of paper round prints to give enough space for the print to be held in place, and a place to sign (and number if a limited edition)
Coloured matt board is a bit of a no-no at most exhibitions, but if you're selling a print that relies on a colour, then pick what works (just remember to get someone else, you trust, to look at it first - most photographers are better at taking the photos than deciding how best to show them).
If you're getting someone to make mats for you, consider thicker mats, which can set your prints off nicely. I use a Logan Mat cutter for smaller prints, but if you get the chance, buy a cutter bigger than you might first think of - it just makes things easier. Cutters appear on auction sites every so often, but do try and see one in use if you are spending much.
With many commercial prints, I'm happy losing a fraction of an inch around the edge of the printed area, i.e. the hole in the mat is slightly smaller than the print area. With larger prints for shows I prefer a 'reveal mat' that leaves half an inch or so of the plain paper visible - particularly where I have a paper like a lightly textured rag paper. If you are going to do this, make sure that the white of the matte doesn't clash with the white of your paper.
Prints like this are held in place by the pressure of the overlying mat. You can use mylar corner mounts, or even 'stepped' mylar mounts for larger prints.
Other areas of our site that may be of interest...
We've a whole section of the site devoted to Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all the specialist articles and reviews written by Keith. We've many other Photography Articles and Photographic equipment and software reviews on the site aimed at helping you get the best out of your own photography.
There is a gallery of landscape photography and fine art prints.
All new material appears on the Articles, news and reviews page.
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