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Thread: Choosing the colour of a Mat when displaying photos

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    Choosing the colour of a Mat when displaying photos

    I have now started my long task of going through all my images, printing all the ones that I would dread loosing and archiving. I have done only a handful at the moment (working out the process flow, how much to sharpen, etc), but now I have the taste for the printed image.

    Obviously the next step is to get some enlarged and framed. This now includes choosing mats.

    Now B&W should be easy (White or black or any combination in between.

    But Colour is not so straight forward. For those who print and display, do you have any sure fire method of choosing the mat for the photos you want to display? Or do people go the safe option of white or off white?

    Any general help will be appreciated!

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    Get the print done first then play with colour boards also dont be afraid to try 2 colours.
    You will find it will either be the main dominant colour (eg if a red car) or a colour thats not over powering in the image. (eg say certain shade of blue on sign etc) You wont know till you have the print in front you.

    Go into a framing store that specialise in frames etc pick their brains, they will suggest or guide you in right direction, or a gallery have a look around get some idea.

    Oh yeah go non reflect glass. Costs a little more but worth it.
    Simone

    "If you're good at something, never do it for free." -- The Joker.

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    White will generally always work, but it depends on your wall colour etc, and also the photo.
    Like Simone says - perhaps take them into your framing place and ask them - they should be able to give you an idea.

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    Another thing you frame will also play a part in what colour you choose

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    OK, what about for Camera Club Comps? The frame and the wall don't really come into play....

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    ive just printed my image of the SHB ( entered into this weeks POTW ) in A1 ..

    after playing with a few different combos i settled on a black frame with white mat board .. the plain B&W looks great bordering the colours of the image

    trial and error i rekcon , each image is bound to require its own combination ..
    Hi Im Darren

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    You could always play with mat colour in PP, to get an idea of what you like, neutral always seems to work best, so it doesn't detract from the image. Another consideration is the place you are going to hang it, it needs to coordinate with wall colour furnishings etc, another reason why neutral is good. You can always add a dash of colour with an inner mount.... does add to the cost though.
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Ash, you can even upload your own photo to see how it will look with different mats and frames at http://www.frameshop.com.au/

    It is quite a handy guide to what might or might not go with a particular print.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
    OK, what about for Camera Club Comps? The frame and the wall don't really come into play....
    O.k. this is just my opinion - but my personal prefernce is just a plain black mat - it helps to bring out the colours and contrast of the photo, although when I cornered some judges a while ago and asked this same question they all assured me it plays no part in their judging.
    I tend to dissagree with this a bit - just look at tv's - most of them have a black surround - that is to fool the eye into thinking that what is on the screen has more contrast compared to whats in the periphial vision - try it with your computor monitor - cut out a white and black piece of paper, and place around frame the screen - see which makes the image 'look' better.
    The other thing, if you wanted to stay clear of black (and not all images work with a black mat) is that if you are going to use a coloured mat, and not just plain white, then look at the dominant colour, and use either a lighter or darker variant of that colour. ie if photo is mainly green, use either a dark green or light green matt - that way you are not going to have any colour clash, and distract the eye away from the photo.
    As far as sourcing mats, ask your local framing shop if they have any offcuts - usually they are more than willing to sell you plenty for a couple of dollars - they are just offcuts that have already been paid for!
    There may be others here that probably have had more experience, but like I said - just my personal thoughts and observations on the (mat)ter

    Cheers

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    Member davesmith's Avatar
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    Online, I realise it's not a mat but i like my images with black around them since a monitor is bright and lit up and it's a nice contrast around the image. All my framed prints though I have with a white mat. You can't go wrong with a white mat, black frame combo. For me, the white or off-white mat definately brings out the colour in a printed image
    Cheers,
    Dave



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    My wife, bless her cotton socks, has been managing a project to print and display some of my photos in our home. Just today we bought five matt black borders and a sheet of white foam board to use as backing. The black borders look great on our white walls.

    We also got five of my best photos printed in 8x12 inch format.

    The next step is to put it all together and hang them in the hall.

    I didn't even think of using coloured borders. Since we're hanging several of them in the one hallway, we thought it best to have them all mounted in the same colour (well, shade in this case).

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