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Thread: Presentation of prints for competition

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    Member russell2pi's Avatar
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    Presentation of prints for competition

    I am thinking of putting in a couple of pics in an art expo. (Medium regional town - paintings and photos mostly so I should fit right in . PS location info on my profile is only approximate.)

    I am just hoping for some tips on bang-for-buck presentation options for these.

    I'm thinking of going with 20mm foamcore mounting. I feel matted prints are a) pretentious and b) distant (alienating), due to glass glare.

    Is that a reasonable option? I'm looking at DigitalWorks. There's the option of a couple of different print finishes and then a handful of different lamination / overlay options. I am a bit bewhildered.

    One pic is one where sharpness is important - background stars are a key element. The other is pure delicate softness. But in either case, when it comes to stippled / canvas-like finishes and coatings, I worry. Those finishes surely ruin both sharpness and smoothness. So do I just go with gloss print and UltraGloss coating? Does that have downsides? Glare?

    Any other, more general suggestions for presentation of prints for competition or exhibition would be very welcome. I couldn't find a hell of a lot on here on that topic.
    Last edited by russell2pi; 06-03-2013 at 8:48pm.

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    Hi Russell

    I use non reflective glass and no one ever notices it or comments on the glass being a distraction/reflection, most are quite surprised when they realise the glass is there. Gloss prints will be just as bad as normal glass. Viewed in a "gallery" at the correct viewing distance canvas prints should not really be too soft, but of course you will get a better idea if you print one to see. The gallery director should be able to give some idea of what is suitable too. Matting is a bit of an art in itself too, to get it right and enhance the print not distract from it takes a good eye, find a good framer and see what they suggest, it all costs $$$ of course.
    Dave

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    you dont need to use glass, you can Matt them and put them in a frame, without glass on the front.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    RICK
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    you dont need to use glass, you can Matt them and put them in a frame, without glass on the front.
    That is true especially for an exhibition, which is what the op asked about, however glass is a good protector from uv and pollutants if hung for a long time.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post
    That is true especially for an exhibition, which is what the op asked about, however glass is a good protector from uv and pollutants if hung for a long time.
    agree. All my prints at home etc are behind glass. I tend to just use Matt and backing foam for exhibitions, no frame at all.

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    Even the mat and the frame I find a little too... flourished. Then again, I've no idea what tone (or hue!) the hanging surface will be, so a mat may offer some control over this.

    I can certainly see why professional help with these matters would be invaluable. But I can't justify the expense on a lark - $200 max prize in the remote chance that I win the photo category. ($1200 for paintings, hmmm... !)

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    I guess what I'd really like to know is, do foamcore mounts look OK? Deliberately modern, even? Or do they just look cheap?

    It's hard to judge from a snap on an e-shop. I'd love to hear opinions from people who have seen them before in the flesh.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Seems to me you have strong views on matts and mounting ideas. Why? Why do you think they are too 'flourished'? I think you are letting a personal view take over from what might be a good choice. A foam backing and a matt isolate your photo from the background, they also can compliment the colours in your photo or make colours appear more vibrant.

    Why do you think a matt is a bad thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Seems to me you have strong views on matts and mounting ideas. Why?
    hehe - probably for the same reason I refuse to let my hair grow long enough to need styling. Some kind of vanity hangup I suppose. I'd enter this art show pseudonymously if I could, too.

    A mat doesn't bother me too much but a mat looks odd without a frame. And a mat and a frame together- I might as well lurk behind the display panel and sing out "ta-daaaaa!" every time someone looks at it . (Maybe pop some tinsel around the sides while I'm at it... perhaps some flashing lights)

    You're probably right... something I need to let go of.

    I'm hoping the 20mm stand-off and the edges of that 20mm foam will also help to isolate the image from the background but not having seen one of these things in the flesh, I'm not sure.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    what I use is a foam board, with a matt (black) that I hinge along one edge with double sided acid free tape. I then place the photo in and secure it with more tape, then stick down the other edge of the matt to the foam backing. Once an exhibition/show is over I un-hinge it and store the matt for use next time. I tend to use black matt cause it goes with fairly much any background that it gets put on.

    We cannot really tell you what to do, just tell you what we do, and let you work out for yourself what you want to do, having given you information.
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-03-2013 at 9:04pm.

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    So you have it displayed with just a mat and no frame? It doesn't look unfinished that way? Just 5mm foam so minimal standoff from the background? Can you see the white edges of the foamcore? I'll give it a go and see what I think -- thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by russell2pi View Post
    So you have it displayed with just a mat and no frame? It doesn't look unfinished that way? Just 5mm foam so minimal standoff from the background? Can you see the white edges of the foamcore? I'll give it a go and see what I think -- thanks.
    just matt

    My reasoning is that if people are going to buy a photo, they have ideas of the type of frame that they like, what suits their home. Some people like wood, others like ornate carved wood, others want metal, or even plastic. Often they will have several framed photos/paintings already and want a frame to match their existing ones, or a room etc. If I put a frame on a photo at exhibition, the frame alone could influence someone not to buy. Just a matt lets them consider how the photo would like in the frame of their choice, without being influenced by what i might choose in a frame.
    Last edited by ricktas; 07-03-2013 at 9:32pm.

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    In National and International comps such as those run by the Australian Photographic Society and similar bodies it used to be that mounted but not framed was the norm. It might be different now. I haven't entered a print comp in a long time. However prints are not usually for sale and often "do the rounds".

    http://kilmoreartexpo.com/
    If this is the expo you are talking about, properly presented and ready for hanging might be more appropriate.
    Last edited by geecee; 07-03-2013 at 9:43pm.
    Graham.

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