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Yellow Balsamroot on Dog Mountain
Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington
 

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Mount & Frame Your Photographs or Posters

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Foam Core & Mats

Photographs should always be mounted on an acid free archival foam core using archival techniques - any reputable custom frame shop will know how to do this. Chose one or more mats as desired to match the image and the room where it will be mounted. If you are using non-glare glass don't use more than one mat - the image will lose sharpness. You really do not want the image to touch the back side of the glass so a single mat or at least a thin spacer should always be used as a separator. Without it, over time, the image inks may adhere to the glass - producing visible contact marks.

Glass or Plexiglas

Many options are available from regular glass, to non-glare (NG) glass, antireflective (AR) coated glass, ultraviolet (UV) resistant glass, and Plexiglas.

Regular glass is the most common as it is clear, and allows a very sharp view of the image with good color transmission through the glass. Regular glass is also the cheapest option - another reason it is the most popular choice. Regular glass is a good cost-effective choice if the image will not be facing a window where it will pick up glare from the light.

NG glass is etched with acid on one or both sides. This provides a specular surface which diffuses reflected light and significantly reduces glare. It also reduces color transmissivity and image sharpness so glass etched on only one side is much better than if it is etched on both sides. Face the etched (rougher) side out toward the light. The further the image is from the back side of the glass, the less sharp the image will be. That's why you don't normally want to use more than a single mat if you are using NG glass.

AR coated glass is the highest quality and the most expensive choice. It has the best combination of image sharpness, color transmissivity, and antireflectivity. This is my first choice for the best images.

Plexiglas is an inexpensive and lightweight option. The clarity and color transmissivity is the worst of all options. I have only used this on one image and didn't like it very much. It is much lighter than an equivalent piece of glass so that may be a consideration in some situations.

A rough comparison of the relative costs of these options follows:

Regular glass = $X
Plexiglas = $X
NG glass = $2X
UV NG glass = $4X
AR glass = $4x
UV AR glass >> $4X

UV Resistant Glass or Plexiglas

Even regular glass or Plexiglas will provide some UV resistance. Mounting the image behind something will not only provide a UV filter of some effectiveness but also provides some protection from ozone, and other pollutants in the atmosphere. UV resistant glass or Plexiglas is much more effective at reducing the aging affects of UV light. You should not display an image in direct sunlight, even archival images will experience fading in direct sunlight. If you must display the image in direct sunlight you should use UV resistant glass, Plexiglas, or a UV resistant spray which you can spray on the image itself and accept the fact that you will eventually get some color fading. UV resistant surfaces are somewhat darker than non UV surfaces so the image will not be quite as bright and colors can be somewhat muted.

Frames

Frame choice is, of course, very subjective and you want to pick something that goes with the image and the room plus provides an aesthetic appearance that appeals to you. Metal frames look very good on many things but I think natural hardwood is the best for these wilderness images. Although metal might look good with the underwater images. Some artists subscribe to the minimalist theory that the frame should not take away from the image. I think that the image should be complemented by the frame. A very thin black metal frame or wider black wooden frame can be very nice with some images. For others I really prefer a wider and more substantial natural hardwood frame in cheery, maple, or oak.

What Do I Normally Use?

For most landscape images I prefer a wider natural hardwood cherry, maple, or oak frame with one mat and Water White Denglass glass. For smaller colorful underwater images a thin black metal or wider black wooden frame looks very nice. You are getting a very nice contrast between the bright colors of the image, the white mat, and the black frame. For large posters or topographic map based posters I usually use a wide natural hardwood frame or large black wooden frame, a spacer (no mat), and the Water White Denglass glass. This is very expensive but very beautiful glass with maximum sharpness and color transmissivity. After realizing that I was not happy with the frames offered at most of the local custom frame shops I started attending the Decor ArtExpo originally in New York City and recently in Baltimore where I found a wonderful array of very beautiful natural hardwood frames and related materials.

Custom Framing

We can provide custom framing for any of the images on this site.

 

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Photographs and Posters Copyright 1995 to 2014 by Ted Fryberger, All Rights Reserved
Website Copyright 2005 to 2014, by Ted Fryberger, All Rights Reserved