Wednesday, August 10, 2011

East coast, west coast, south coast, inland coast.

The Great Salt Lake: Providing America with yet another coastline!
It kind of works when I need a day at the beach.
(Lack of surf is a hard pill to swallow but oh well.)

My six year old Dell laptop obviously obviously overheard our whispered concerns about its lifespan and decided it was time to quit. A new Dell desktop will be delivered here in a few days...until then I'll be dealing with my electronic dependent activities via my Android phone.

The Salt Lake photos are being posted via email.
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Monday, August 08, 2011

Suffering for the sake of art

We've been thinking about blowing up some of my photos and putting them up in our house. 

A cool water scene, slightly abstract, taken while we were in Colorado fishing...yeah, that one struck us as a good fit for the living room.

Once we made that decision, I trudged off to the photography shop and using a flash drive, had a 24x36 inch enlargement made.
Secure that such as size was considered "standard", I then began looking about for nice clear birch simple pictures frames at local thrift shops and standard picture frame shops.

Seems the world is still in black, silver, and brass land, at least in terms of picture frames.  Nary a single birch frame was to be found, at the thrift shops no frames close to the size that I need were found.

Worse, at the picture frame shops, the frames were all exactly 24x36 inches, which left no room for any kind of matting.

Next stop: IKEA.

I knew they had knew they had birch colored frames.  It only took a few minutes to discover that their "standard" sizes were not 24x36  inches; their Ribba frame was 28 3/4 inches by 40 1/2 inches.

Hmmmm....that left room for matting, and the ph neutral matting was included in the price.
The mat opening however was 19 1/4 inches by 27 1/4 inches. 
I would have to lose from the picture about five inches on one side of the picture and nine inches on the other side...something I was not willing to see happen.

Wish I had known that I would be using those dimensions when I originally had the print printed just a tad over $40 after tax.

The IKEA frame price was pretty sweet though: $24.99. It was light and easy to handle because of the use of acrylic "glass" instead of real glass.

I figured I would just go for it and make it work.
By attaching the photo to the surface of the mat, I got the piece to look like it did in the photo above.

We looked at it, and immediately wanted a MUCH BIGGER mat and frame.
And after noting that the acrylic sheeting reflected more than it revealed the photo, we also decided we wanted museum quality non- reflective glass.

I began visiting custom frame shops, trying to find someone who carried a simple birch frame.  Not such an easy thing to find I soon discovered.
Each shop assured me that the cost of non-reflective museum glass would be about $300 in a size that worked for my picture plus mat border. 
My second non-reflective option: Non glare.

I didn't want the fuzzy looking traditional non-glare glass I defaulted to a standard kind of glass which for some reason actually reflects and glares less than acrylic.

I also decided that while I would have liked a slightly heavier looking frame, in the end I decided that the one that was basically the same size as the IKEA frame would be fine.

Another bit of bad news: I could have two inches of matting around the picture at one price,  but once I went up to three inches the price skyrocketed into a different price category. Two inches would do, but the picture would get double matting. 

In the end, we paid 10 times more for a custom frame/glass/mat than we paid for the IKEA original set up (the picture at the top of this post) in order to get this look:

Instead of this look:
I am not sure that most folks would or could see much difference.
For some reason, neither Bernie or I could stand the original matting being narrower on the sides than on the top and bottom as it was originally. 
The whole "make it work" for us just didn't actually.

Here's the saving grace:

The picture is attached to a backing with photograph corners. 
The back can be pulled out, and the picture can be switched out seasonally with other photographs as desired.
I've already got my eye on a great photo for autumn, and another one for winter.
Bernie now wants to see more of my pictures up on the walls.
I've got the IKEA frame, now empty, and can have glass cut to replace the acrylic if I want.
A slightly different crop size will be used on the next picture I have printed for that frame.
Hoo boy.
What seemed like such an easy project sure turned out to be an experience with a steep learning curve.
Just sharing in case anyone else out there has a hankering for blowing up and framing their own big-bigger-biggest photos.