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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Comments

Just to add a bit: When I worked at that Framer's shop--it was on Tenley Hill in Washington, D.C.--there was one year when Fred Maroon put out a poster of Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown after a snowstorm. (The street had no traffic and there were people playing in the snow.) Literally hundreds of people brought that poster in to have it framed. I was struck by two things: first, how many people thought that their "find" of the poster was somehow rare and original to them; and secondly, how many people complained about the cost of the poster--I think it was $50--even as they were spending $75, or $100, or even $150 to have it framed.

Regarding the "rare find" aspect, I remember one woman who looked especially crestfallen when we informed her that the poster was the most popular artwork we were seeing customers bring in. She thought for a minute, then said, "Well, if everybody has one, then I'm going to put it in the bathroom."

Mike

This is why I decided to mat and frame my own photos. With two 4ply 14x18 archival mats (I stock one warm white, one brighter white), with bevel window cut to size (on my Logan mat cutter), Nielsen German Silver #93 frame (works well with warm and cold tone B&W, plus color work), and neatly crimped wire (using wire kit), I can do the whole job for less than $25.

The satisfaction of bringing the photo from moment of capture to placing on the wall (primarily as a gift) exceeds the cost many times over.

...forgot to add...cost also includes 14x18 Conservation Clear glass.

...understand your pain. My wife recently had a diploma of mine matted and framed..sweet gesture...$258!

Question: Why should we have to fix things in post?

Light impressions has some unbuffered mat. They are frequently out of stuff (and are not the most responsive people but ...)on line but had the mat.
When I ordered they had no cream.
http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/item.action?itemGroupId=60

Nature Lover

For those looking at framers, check out americanframe.com.

Their best mats (Bainbridge and Crescent Select) are conservation quality, and their prices are very, very good. I recently framed 51 20" prints for an exhibition, ordering everything online through their step-by-step site. Each frame setup (Nielson #11, 4-ply conservation mat with 3" border, archival plexiglass and archival backing board) was about $73. Compare than with a local quote exceeding $250 per photo. Granted, you have to mount the photo and put the frame together, but at a savings of almost $200, that's no big deal. For that one show, I saved close to $8000.

Lightimpressionsdirect.com is another choice. They have the same plexiglass and frames, but a slightly better mat quality. Prices are a bit higher all the way around, but they still charge much less than local frame shops.

I'm all for supporting local businesses, but there comes a time when the financial realities necessitate this route.

"Question: Why should we have to fix things in post?"

We need not, but now we may, whereas before it was not possible.

It would be nice to have a set-up where camera could be brought into prefect alignment orthogonal to the center of the picture and have at hand a nice, distortion free copy lens, but that's not always the case.

A serious darkroom, with full shift and tilt perspective correction capability could correct that distortion. Not that I ever had access to one.

I'm not aware of a darkroom technique to correct barrel distortion, although there probably was one available to .0001% of photographers.

So how nice it is to be able to correct all those failings when subject is at hand, but perfect situation and/or equipment is not.

One needn't, but why not?

http://www.moosemystic.net/Gallery/tech/TOP/Precipitationa.jpg>

Moose

I got the 11x14. As soon as it came out of the box I was glad I did. I have a frame for it, just haven't got around to putting the photograph inside. That's an important step, I hear.

I've been matting and framing my prints myself for years. I used to sell a fair amount of them also. I have a Logan Model #750 mat cutter that has served me very well. I can't imagine paying full price for something I can easily do myself.

A HTML geekiness nitpick, Mike. It should be

<img src="http://image.jpg">

Note the quotation marks around the url. Yes, your blog engine will apparently force the correction as can be seen in the source code of this page, but good habits are good habits. :)

BTW, you're having problems with dimensions in the middle column. Moose's pic is cut off. Funny thing, it's smaller than your photo at the top and it's still cut off from the right.

Barrel distortion on a 50? I had no idea. Then I pulled out my Canon f/1.4 and sure enough there it was. Guess I won't be copying any artwork with that lens.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2562/4109095392_96e953a700.jpg>

Local guy, for less than half the cost of the print.
(Shot in a very dingy room.)

Thanks Erlik, I made the change you suggested.

As far as the middle column goes, I don't think TypePad's comment section is really set up for images. There is no auto resizing and larger images don't open with a click. You just have to size the image to fit the column, which is 470 pixels wide.

Mike

I started doing my own mats/framing as a student because I couldn't afford to pay anyone. For the most part I never stopped because like you, it ticks me off to pay $100-200 to frame a $40-50 print.

RE: Reflections on the glass. At the risk of stating the obvious, a polarizing filter helps with that.

Gloups.
It does have quite some barrel distortions.
Actually, as far as numbers go, according to dpreview, the best lens for that is on Pentax territory, the old FA 50.

That not withstanding, I have to say that the very best frame I´ve come across with is sold at...
Habitat.
It does only cost 15-25 euro. The aluminum frame.

Although, the dark birchwood frame is quite allright, for that matter.

Those images above are effectively matted by the width of Mike's comments column. To look at them full width just right click - view image. Then use the back button to come back here.

BTW.
I loooooooooove the black glossy matting [mainly film and laminated glossy poliester sheets],for framing photos.

Or is that something I should not say on here?

One can't ignore the cost of framing (especially when giving unframed prints as gifts!). On the other hand, using the art price as a maximum on the frame price seems daft. Does it make sense to punish the print because you got a particularly good deal on it? Or because you made it yourself? Or because you were given it?

Seems like the quality of the framing should be set by how much you want to protect the print, and how much you need framing to enhance the print, quite independent of how much you, or some arbitrary customer in the open market, would pay for the print.

Which is not to say that I don't find the cost of professional framing rather annoying. I've also been known to do my own, including cutting mats. Luckily I mostly want just simple metal-section frames, so the mat is the only even slightly tricky part.

Question: Why should we have to fix things in post?

Because photography is still photography. It's never before in the history of the medium been expected that one get a finished image directly out of the camera; why should you suddenly start demanding that now?

"On the other hand, using the art price as a maximum on the frame price seems daft."

Sure. It is. And actually, I once framed a postcard. On three occasions, I've bought a junk copy of a book, cut a page out of it, and had it framed. (Twice as gifts, once for myself.)

I guess my feeling is just that to be lavish with framing and stingy with the artist is to have one's priorities the wrong way around. That's all.

Mike

"Light impressions has some unbuffered mat. They are frequently out of stuff "

Good luck with that, I've got an order with them backordered on unbuffered mat for over a month. Other recommendations would be greatly welcomed, there are many fine things about LI, but I just can't work with their delivery schedules.

Nielsen frames, yes, I have many of those in my home.
In my secret identity as mild-mannered web publisher, my last name is Nielsen, so I can inform you that it's I before E.

(Isn't it a bit embarrassing for Sony to have distortion in a 50mm lens?)

"I can inform you that it's I before E"

Whoops. Apologies to Nielsens everywhere....

Mike

"It's never before in the history of the medium been expected that one get a finished image directly out of the camera; why should you suddenly start demanding that now?"

Perhaps for fine art photographers... but its standard practice for journalists/event photographers. I worked for a few magazines and a few newspapers... event coverage, which is predicated on speed to press, is hardly ever retouched. All the shots I published for the NYPost, People magazine, and boutique lifestyle publications were never "post processed". Straight out of the camera.

Most newspapers and magazines are printed on toilet paper, the last thing any photographer wants after shooting penelope cruz in the rain for a red carpet is to optimize for a garbage medium. Any improvement you make to a photo just won't resonate on recycled cardboard. Regretfully, said garbage photos have earned me way more $$$ than any photo I made where I care about the photo/print/media.

"Seems like the quality of the framing should be set by how much you want to protect the print, and how much you need framing to enhance the print, quite independent of how much you, or some arbitrary customer in the open market, would pay for the print."

Amen, David. We all own things to which we attach a high value, regardless to how much we paid for them or how much someone else would pay. The quality of the framing should therefore depend on how much one values the print. In fact, the quality and care shown in framing (and the fact that you're framing something to begin with) is a clear sign of how much you value what's in the frame.

To Joe Decker...try this company in lieu of LightImpressions for archival mats...http://www.archivalmethods.com/
Mats are made at the same mill and are virtually identical.

I wouldn't be surprised if LightImpressions is in financial difficulty...backordered on everything...my local dealer reluctantly had to stop using them. They haven't been the same since changing ownership and moving West.

I've now found substitutes for all my framing needs and, as a side benefit, all materials are less expensive. As I posted earlier, I can fully frame and mat a 14x18 photo for just under $25...using top grade materials.

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