Adventures in Framing – Part One

It was a nice day so I decided to walk. I live exactly 12 minutes from downtown  ample time for four songs at a brisk walking pace. So since the nice days are few and far between in Guelph in April I set my iPod and packed my laptop up – like I do most days, ready to set up shop at a different coffee hub each day. Planet Bean, kinda industrial, good lighting – if you are not in the mood to talk to anyone this is the place of the day. Red Brick Cafe, where I normally meet couples and has good working chairs, or sometimes The Ox because it has a massive window for good working light, where the main table is long and always semi-full with a family dinner feel. The original idea was to not become a regular at any particular place, but in practice ended up making me a familiar face at five or so different places. When you hibernate for the winter this is what happens.


Anyways I can get almost all my errands done downtown so other than a constant flow of caffeine, the bank, post office, kwik copy and now my favourite framing people Pond’s Photo are all in the vicinity. This winter I’ve made my first real attempt at printing, framing and soon hanging my travel work – I have a few projects on the go here and I decided to start, like with everything else in my life, documenting it.


[24mm, Canon 5D – Picture Size 12’x18′]



Things I’ve Learned.

1. Aspect Ratios

I’ve always been aware that 8x10s were cropped and that 4×6 or 2×3 was the ratio crop the camera shot, but my final products are normally albums where I design from a blank slate and I’ve always cropped how the photo to look best in a spread. Printing was a different story, and the size options overwhelmed me. So of course, I made multiple trips downtown with sizes scribbled in my notebook, matte sizes, frame sizes trying to figure out what size I needed and then the crop of the individual photo.


To clear things up.


Camera Shoots:

a 2×3 ratio photograph.


Regular Print Sizes

  • 4×6 – 1.5
  • 5×7 – 1.4
  • 8×10 – 1.25
  • 10×13 – 1.3
  • 11×14 – 1.27
  • 10×20 – 2
  • 16×20 – 1.25
  • 20×24 – 1.2
  • 20×30 – 1.5

The numbers beside the rations are “length multiplication factor” what that means after my-learning-by-doing-crop-failure of the first round of printing is that 4×6 print includes the entire photograph a camera takes, or to think in another way the long side is 1.5 times longer than the shorter side.

Prints will be cropped if that ratio is different and in generally enlarged to fit that ratio. In my travel documentary work where I often shoot wider angle lenses, the last thing I wanted was to lose part of the frame to a crop so after some 5×7 test prints I now know I need only.






2. Clean hands, clean mattes.


3. Matte vs. Double Matte

I haven’t got into the custom colour mattes, but I have had been able to test out double vs single matte and black/white. To lift the glass further away from the photo I think reduces glare and adds a sense of depth, and just like this website I do like the clean white background.



4. Monitor Calibration – I read an in-depth article on why you shouldn’t worry too much and this may shock some but I did a little more research on monitor calibration, made sure my files were formatted properly and didn’t calibrate at all. On later comparison my prints at three different print shops all matched up pretty spot on. All the pro print labs I dealt with printed all the details in the blacks and darker areas of the photo which I was worried might be lost and the tones were right for the type of paper I was experimenting with.



5. Paper;

So many options. Weight; For all my framed prints I used 192gsm thick but not a board by any means.

With a white fine art matte paper. I saw and touched textured prints, but I like the simple smooth look. I found the textures distracting in the light framed but that is just my own opinion.



and for everyone that has asked: Framed Prints are for sale by custom order, please email me for details. 





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