The digital world is now ubiquitous; Music, Movies, TV, and the most impactful, Images. I grew up shooting film - roll after roll of Tri-X and sometimes Plus. Individually boxed and wrapped in cellophane, stored in the light safe closet in the room of the HS Yearbook adviser. I shot an FM-2 with an off brand flash - you estimated distance between the flash and subject and hoped for the best.
But this is about the print - and the frame.
The firm put out a call for an employee art show, and I decided to prepare two prints. The prints I had control of; one black and white and one color with both being on 13" x 19" Epson Hot Press Bright. This paper has become my favorite of late - where the color of the paper is perfect with just the right amount of surface texture.
Framing was going to be the real challenge. So I enlisted the help of my uncle, Edward Sturr, PhD., a large format B/W photographer known for his street work of the 1960's, http://www.prairielight.com/
We emailed back and forth - I knew what paper size I wanted to use, 13x19 but I had no idea of the proportions of the mount, border, offset from the print to the mat, etc.. etc. Keeping the aspect ratio of the print was important - I knew that would not change with the mount and frame - so I had that figured out.
Here is what I came up with - after much discussion with my uncle. All of this can be attributed to his experiences.
Frame is Metal - color is black and 16" x 20" - I ordered from Frames by Mail - N94-21 MATTE BLACK. I went online with the thought I would save some money with this whole process - but - I don't know if that ended up being the case.
Mat was ordered as uncut - I realized that I didn't want to anticipate sizing and order something pre-cut. I would either cut it - or have it cut. I decided to have it cut as I didn't have the experience to figure all of this out. As I gain more muscle memory I will start cutting my own mats.
Mat opening is 1/4" from the edge of the print on Left, Top, and Right sides.
Mat opening is 1/2" from the edge of the print on the Bottom. (deeper for penciled signature and title)
Mat border is 2" on Left, Top, and Right sides
Mat border on bottom falls where it falls.
Image on long side is 15.5" - Short side is proportionate and falls depending upon the adjustment of 15.5"
Frame with Mat, Plexi Glass, and Backing was $70 +
Assembly and Mat cut from Reuels Frame shop here in SLC was $50 + The caveat was that the frame shop wanted to use their own mat - I had to play by their rules or walk, so I bought an extra mat with their framing services. Like I mentioned before - If I knew what I was doing i would have cut the mat myself.
Glass was PlexiGlas because when ordering online that is the only option - and plexiglas doesn't impart any tint. But - it holds static and is more difficult to keep clean during the frame assembly. I still prefer glass - I guess I'm a traditionalist.
Attached is the drawn layout - the red border is the edge of the print.
After all is said and done the take away is two fold. It's expensive to frame, and seeing your own work hanging on a wall, not locked up in a monitor or photo hosting site is damn cool. I'll be framing many more even if it is just for my own enjoyment.
The only change I would make, moving forward; increase the mat border to at least 4" to add more whitespace.
The frames and mats add a polish and professionalism to a dying art in this digital age.