Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Prints, Papers, Matting, and Framing

Over the last few weeks I've been working more on getting some images ready for sale. I took 4 of the collages and prints that I've done previously, and re processed them to make them look a bit better quality than the quick prints I made for myself. Making prints to sell is a bit more difficult. Whereas normally I look at my photos and decide I like it or don't like it, now I find myself critically evaluating every little detail...noticing everything I don't like. I eventually convince myself that the photo looks like crap, only to look at it again later and realize it actually looks nice, and I'm just nitpicking.

I've also been cutting up my matboard into sizable pieces. I now have a stack of 8x10 and 11x14 pieces in about a dozen different colors. I also took 2 pieces of each color and of each size and bevel cut out the center in 2 different width so that they can form a top layer and a bottom layer. Now as I work on new photos, I can start mixing and matching colors for mats to determine which color combinations work best for that photo.

Last night I took a swing by the art/crafts store and picked up a few more frames. I'm planning on selling mostly matted, unframed photos, but I do plan on having a few pieces onhand that are framed...both to show of my work and get peoples attention, as well as to provide for those people who don't want to frame it themself or can't quite imagine what the print will look like in a frame.

Finally, I started looking into different paper types. I've been using the Canon Photo Paper Pro for almost 2 years now and have been very happy with it. The color is great, and it seems very resistant to fading (no problems yet, except that the white yellows slighly in exposure to sunlight). However, I decided it would be interesting to at least begin exploring other paper types. I picked up a pack of Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl last week. I was at the store looking through samples and just loved the texture of that paper.

I did a few test prints and it seemed to work quite well. It looks very nice. The only downside so far is that it's not 100% water resistant. After letting it dry for several hours, I ran the corner under some tap water. I could instantly see a change in color, and even after letting it dry out I could still see the change. I let the print dry a few more days and tried again and it was much better this was barely noticable after the water dried off, but still a slight difference. Of course, this was in the sky, where it was easy to see the difference in a solid blue area. When I tried wetting down the trees, I couldn't really tell the difference after letting the print dry out again.

So I definitely think (based on a quick evaluation) that the Ilford Gallerie Smooth Pearl could be a wonderful addition to my printing repertoire. I'll have to do some more longer term tests to ensure I'm still satisfied with the paper before I consider selliing photos printed on it.

Anyway, as I said, I've got 4 more prints all ready to go. I post some matted mockups of those this week.

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