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Understanding why we frame

From: Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs

Video: Understanding why we frame

So you have taken the time and effort to create a good quality photographic print. The question then becomes, what do I want to do with it? We have a print here, it's very nicely done, it's a good black and white print. It's immediately in danger, though, because if picked up the wrong way, like this, with a one-handed grip, you can immediately put a small dent in the paper that lowers its intrinsic value. Particularly, if you're dealing with quality photographs that are being sold in galleries, a mark like that in the paper would reduce its value by at least half.

Understanding why we frame

So you have taken the time and effort to create a good quality photographic print. The question then becomes, what do I want to do with it? We have a print here, it's very nicely done, it's a good black and white print. It's immediately in danger, though, because if picked up the wrong way, like this, with a one-handed grip, you can immediately put a small dent in the paper that lowers its intrinsic value. Particularly, if you're dealing with quality photographs that are being sold in galleries, a mark like that in the paper would reduce its value by at least half.

So one thing it's important to remember is how to pick up photographs just to start with. Always look for the long dimension and lift from the sides and let the weight of the paper create a slight fold, and this protects it from this sort of ding. You should never reach for a work of art on paper with a single hand. So this brings to mind one of the concerns is denting. Another concern you have with an un-matted photograph is soil from people's hands, we all often times have dirty little hands, we have oils and acids in our sweat that can actually discolor the print as well.

So the first step you should probably make in preserving your photograph is to put it in a mat. This accomplishes two things, one a viewer can pick up the work and engage it visually without actually touching the work, they handle the mat rather that the photograph itself. So it's a good thing, it helps protect the photograph. The mat does not protect the photograph from things hitting the surface of it, somebody's looking at your work, and has a little bit of a cold, big sneeze, big problem. So the mat has a certain degree of protection, but not complete protection for your work.

The other thing about a mat though, if the mat becomes soiled as the edge of the print does, you can change out the mat and just put the print in a new mat thereby cleaning that up. But the next layer of protection for your work is combining matting with glazing and framing. Glazing adds a layer of either glass or acrylic to protect the front of the work, while the framing protects the mat edges and holds it all together. The other thing that framing does is it provides a display method, you can either get an easel back frame that will stand up on its own, or you can wire the back of it, so you can hang the work on the wall.

There are a dizzying array of choices between matting and framing that you can use for multiple purposes, you can tie together disparate works of art with creative framing choices to make them seem to belong together. You can use framing to make a work feel more comfortable in a specific environment, perhaps matching it to the decor of a certain room in your house. The thing to remember is each layer you add, from the mat to the glazing to the frame enhances the work in special ways. And if you work with all these choices that you have, you can make the work completely unique, and that's what we're going to explore in this course.

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This video is part of

Image for Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs
Matting, Framing, and Hanging Your Photographs

38 video lessons · 7567 viewers

Konrad Eek
Author

 
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 46s
    2. Using this course
      1m 19s
    3. Understanding why we frame
      2m 54s
  2. 25m 31s
    1. Visiting a professional framing studio
      6m 22s
    2. Working with a framer's vocabulary
      4m 16s
    3. Conversing with a framer
      14m 53s
  3. 50m 36s
    1. Selecting a mat
      5m 13s
    2. Deciding on the window size
      9m 27s
    3. Understanding standard vs. custom mats
      1m 46s
    4. Using a handheld mat cutter
      4m 11s
    5. Using a production mat cutter
      8m 37s
    6. Assembling the mat
      2m 5s
    7. Mounting art in a mat
      3m 25s
    8. Mounting the art with photo corners
      4m 51s
    9. Mounting the art with repositionable mounting adhesive (RPMA)
      6m 52s
    10. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      4m 9s
  4. 32m 11s
    1. Selecting a frame
      5m 15s
    2. Understanding the kinds of glazing
      4m 14s
    3. Cutting glass
      7m 15s
    4. Scoring acrylic
      3m 52s
    5. Sawing acrylic
      4m 42s
    6. Keeping the glass clean
      6m 53s
  5. 46m 10s
    1. Assembling an easel back frame
      6m 21s
    2. Assembling a metal frame
      8m 33s
    3. Using a V-nailer to assemble a chopped frame
      7m 49s
    4. Putting the frame, glazing, mat, and art together
      12m 4s
    5. Using a band clamp for assembly
      6m 10s
    6. Reviewing alternative hanging devices
      5m 13s
  6. 13m 21s
    1. Prepping the show
      2m 26s
    2. Using a wall as a canvas
      6m 46s
    3. Hanging the show
      4m 9s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Introduction to hanging tools
      8m 2s
    2. Using lasers for precision
      3m 18s
    3. Hanging on plaster and lath
      6m 42s
    4. Hanging on either drywall or panelling
      6m 56s
    5. Hanging on brick, stone, or steel
      7m 35s
    6. Lighting your work
      3m 29s
  8. 54s
    1. Goodbye
      54s

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