Print Presentation - framing mounting etc.
This is a topic that obsesses me a bit. There are several pet peeves that I have regarding the way photography is often presented in galleries and museums. One of the biggies for me is the cover glass (or plastic) that is commonly put over a photo when it is framed. This is rarely done with paintings and I often wondered why it is done with photography. Any way there are many ways to display photographs without resorting to the frame, mat and cover glass. Here are some of the techniques that I have used with pros and cons. Of course I am happy to deliver un-mounted prints to collectors and leave it up to them and their advisors as to how to present them.
As many customers ask how I think a print should be presented, I am writing a short summary of my thoughts and experiences regarding presentation.
- Aluminum back mount with plexiglas face mount. This used to be my fave because the image pops so well. The thing that I don’t like about it are the reflections off of the glossy plexiglas. In my opinion when one views a photograph one shouldn’t see the reflections of the window behind them or anything else that the photographer didn’t include in the image.
- Traditional, two inch matte all around the photograph, framed with a black photo frame and covered with glass or plastic. By far the most commonly used presentation method used in galleries today. It’s nice but has the same issues as mentioned before, reflections and something between the viewer and the print.
- Canvas gallery wrap. This accomplishes getting rid of the cover glass or plastic so the viewer is looking directly at the image. That part I like but I personally don’t like the texture of the canvas.
- DiBond with Laminate. This is still one of my favorites. The print is mounted (glued) to an aluminum composite material that is very stiff and flat. It’s also light weight as compared to an aluminum sheet. A laminate is then applied to the face of the print to protect it from UV light and the elements in general. The print can be presented as is with a french cleat on the back or it can be put in a floater frame or any other type of frame but no cover glass is required.
- A new process that I am currently experimenting with. Printing is done on a fine semi transparent Japanese paper and that is adhered to a substrate such as canvas or board. That is then varnished as a painting would be. The result is an image that pops, doesn’t have a canvas texture and doesn’t have a cover glass. It can be framed or hung without framing. Generally the canvas has a depth of 1-2 inches and the edges are black or white though other colors can be used.