Photography

Framing 55

My friend Dan was the first person to buy one of my prints, around two years ago, and he helped me select the pieces for my recent show, Imago.  Along with a few other friends, he also helped me frame the pieces at a great DIY workshop in Brookline–it took weeks to do all forty-five.   Dan’s print waited patiently in my portfolio book all that time, while other prints left to be framed and new ones came in to give it company.   Today we finally took Dan’s print to the workshop.

One of the things that made Imago possible for me to put together is that I decided on a standard format for all the pieces: 8×8 squares in identical 12×12 frames, and since then I’ve been doing all my work in that square format. Constraints like that make so many things simpler.

Dan’s print is a rectangular piece that I shot sometime after my iPhone phase (more to say about that) but before I adopted the square format and the equipment that I currently use.  There was a little stress this morning in having to decide on a frame style, mat size and color, etc. for dimensions that I’m not used to framing.  In the end I think we came up with something that really works.  Here’s what the materials looked like when we got to the framing table:

55Materials

And here’s a snapshot of the finished piece:

55Complete1In the image above, you’ll see an extra black mat at the back of the table–that’s the first mat that was cut, and we didn’t use it, because the opening was a few millimeters too narrow.  One of the most “traumatizing” things for me as a photographer is to see the details at the edges of the photo get cropped by a mat that’s too narrow.  That’s because, in my style of photography, it’s often what happens at the edges that makes the photo “work.”  Dan is one person who totally gets this and so when he saw the details that were being lost he shared in my feelings: “Oh no!!!”  We tried to make the narrow mat work, shifting it around a millimeter this way and that (if you show this staple, then the other one goes out of view, etc.) and finally convinced the folks at the workshop to cut us a new mat.  When the second mat arrived it was just wide enough.  Phew!  The snapshot below shows the “proper” orientation of the photo, as it will hang on the wall:

55Complete2It’s a photo of a subject that fascinates me: staples on an old bulletin board.  This piece is #55 in my catalog.  I usually give a piece a number when I frame the first print of it–that’s why the number for this one is higher than some of my more recent stuff.

I often recommend placing my pieces at eye level in a place where you’ll see them close up–the close-up perspective matches the vantage point that I’m usually in when I work.  Finding a spot for this piece in Dan’s place was interesting because we discovered it actually looked good in a high-up position on the wall, close to the ceiling, where it could be seen anywhere in the room and where it reflects in a mirror on the opposing wall.

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