Optical centering of a mounted print

David M

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Robert, you are right, of course, but there are other things to consider. When hanging several framed prints together, some kind of decision has to be made about the framing. If all the prints are the same size and proportion, there's no problem, but if they differ then decisions have to be made. Uniform frames give a certain unity to the show which might be desirable, but some might call this dull. Using uniform frames might impose non-ideal decisions on the matting of differently proportioned prints. It's a sort of well-tempered clavier problem.
Different sizes can look untidy but interesting, particularly if the venue is irregularly shaped. If the show is in sections, than a change of either size or material can signal the different groups. Mixed shows need careful curating if they are not to look careless. This can take some time before anything goes onto the wall.

I know of a camera club where all images in their annual exhibition are displayed on naked 40x50cm black mounting board, whatever their individual proportions and the mounting is undertaken by two volunteers. I'm told that the members consider frames to be an extravagance. The overall effect is rather gloomy to my eyes. Black mounts can make individual colour prints look brighter and they are mostly colour prints, of course.
 

Alan Clark

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The dreaded black mounts!!! They suck the life out of black and white prints. And the black, annoyingly, is never the same black as the black in the print. Uggh.

Alan
 

Alan9940

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The framing Ken, I agree! Also however, I wonder why we don't meet the challenge of adjusting the frame size to suit the image? We'll dance on the head of a pin to cut matte board to fit into a fixed size frame, talk about aspect ratios of 6x7, 6x9, 35 mm. But not get a different frame, hell no!
Robert, not that anybody cares what I do, but... I have never printed any image to some fixed and/or predetermined paper size and/or sized the image to fit into some standard size frame. IMO, the image needs to be whatever aspect ratio it needs to be! ;) And, this is why I've also purchased Nielsen aluminum frames or wood frames by the foot, inches, centimeter, meter...whatever.
 

Alan Clark

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If a person can't make their own frames, for whatever reason, and can't afford custom made frames, then I can see why they would be tempted to use stock sized ready-made frames. If you want to show your work, then better to exhibit it in ill-matched mounts than leave your prints in boxes.
But I have always made my own frames for my paintings and photographs. Much cheaper! So I've never had to compromise. I first work out what size and proportioned mount will best show off the image, then make a frame to suit. Perhaps this is why I find mounts that don't match the proportions of the image so distracting.
I believe there is a simple principle at work here. When you are looking at pictures on a wall, you shouldn't notice the framing. If you find yourself being distracted by the frame or the mount, then someone hasn't done their job properly.

Alan
 

YorkshireBloke

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I have always made my own frames for my paintings and photographs. Much cheaper! So I've never had to compromise. I first work out what size and proportioned mount will best show off the image, then make a frame to suit.

Alan
Yep, I am still looking at framing equipment myself! ;) Maybe if one of us contributors is into this could the facility be shared / done at cost / materials shared (the materials can be in large quantities preventing an individual buying what they need).

Robert
 

Alan9940

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Alan, I don't make my own frames nor do I buy custom frames; rather I'm somewhere in between. I'll print an image and, if I decide it's going to be framed (somewhat rare, really!) I decide on mat, custom cut and assemble the mat myself, then purchase the frame stock custom cut to the lengths needed.
 

KenS

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I did not realize that when I posted the "optical centering' of a print within a frame could (as per Fibonacci's 'Ratio' would cause as much discussion.
During one of my classes (painting) I had prepared a canvas for my 'must do' "Minimalist" for final 'grading' by the prof.
It is of a strand of rusted barbed wire against a 'slightly/thin and high clouded blue sky. The wire is 'exactly' on the Lower 1.618:1 (as per Fibonnaci's ratio of the 'whole') which caused a bit of a ruckus during my fellow students' "input" after the Prof declared indicated that I 'should' have had a bird standing on the wire.... rather than the cow-tail hair I had hung on one of the barbs....and indicated that if I had done so I might have received a higher grade... but she did (eventually) seem to 'like' the proportions after some SERIOUS intra-student discussion about the placing of the barbed wire within the 'frame' of the whole.
Later in the week.. a prof from one of the other departments (in which my wife was employed) was having a 'look around' at the senior students work, indicated that she would love to have my painting for her wall, and offered to purchase the painting for 'around' 1200 dollars..... as much as I was somewhat "interested"... I felt I just HAD to decline, since I was feeling more than just a little 'proud' of the positive 'input' and 'support' from my fellow class-mates.

Ken
 

Ian Grant

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https://www.lionpic.co.uk/
No vested interest, just thought it might be useful. Former work colleagues used it, they told me.
I've used Lion for framing/mounting supplies for over 30 years, initially at their corner shop on Gt Hampton Street in Birmingham before they greatly expanded.

These days I get a lot of my frames from "The Range", it's not possible to make frames up as cheaply.

Ian
 

David M

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It's good to see photographers getting away from "Thirds". If you take care to put something exactly on the thirds, you'll see that it makes for a very uneasy composition. It amounts to no more than the "...a bit off-centre" rule
 

David M

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It seems to me an astonishingly prescriptive comment in an institution that employed professors.
 
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