1. Pick your Size.
Many factors go in to deciding on what size you need to print to, including display space and budget. Photographs are still measured in inches as an industry standard, the most common being 4x6”. These are great for coffee tables and scrapbooking, but not for detail. Landscape shots generally do very well when enlarged and make for fantastic accent pieces. Macro photos can also look amazing when enlarged, as the detail you captured with the macro lens becomes even more pronounced on a grand scale. If you have a low resolution file it’s a good idea to keep the print size smallish; too large and the picture will appear fuzzy. Most modern cameras are capable of making very large prints, but if you should have a chat to your photo lab operator if you are not sure of the file size.
2. Canvas or Photo Paper?
This tends to be more of an aesthetic choice. Paper tends to be better for displaying the images texture and detail, while canvas is a more forgiving if the shot is a little soft. Look carefully at your shot; if you are particularly proud of the sharpness of some aspects (such as sharp eyes and eyelashes, clarity, tight depth of field) then paper may be the better way to go so that you don’t lose any detail. Canvas also has a nice texture to it which can make some images (particularly landscapes) look more like a painting. Canvases are printed and then stretched over a frame, wrapping the print edges around the wood so you don’t see the frame itself. This can be done in a variety of sizes; contact your local Ted’s Photo Lab for sizing options.
Select the frame to fit the print, not the print to fit the frame. Yes, there are times when someone will give you a frame that you want to use, but if it is not right for your masterpiece of a shot then it’s just not right. Don’t try and force it, don’t crop the photo down to fit it if the crop just doesn’t work as well, just save the frame for another time. Why? Because the most important thing is your shot, so don’t put the cart before the horse. Choosing a frame can be tricky, so it is always best to have your print with you so you can compare the colours, size and shape to make sure that you are making the best choice. Most frames will come with a mounting board (a frame within the frame) which can also vary in colour and size. They can also be replaced or just removed if they don’t work for your shot. If you want all of the frames on your wall to match go with black or white as they tend to suit almost anything (particularly black and white photos). If you really want to make sure you get it right, you might want to consider taking your shot to a professional framer. Proper framing is an art form in itself, for example a professional framer may be able to match colours in your shot with a mounting board to suit. They can also build frames to any measurement you need, so you can crop your print to suit the picture, not a standard frame size.
4. Block Mounting.
Some prints are too perfect or too big to frame, which is why we block mount. Block mounting is when we affix a print to a piece of wood the same size so it can be displayed. Unlike a frame there is no glass in front so it is more easily damaged, however the lack of glass also means we can still appreciate the texture and lustre of the paper and print. You also don’t have to worry about the colours matching. Prints can also be mounted onto Foam Core Board which is a much lighter and easier to transport. Both wood and Foam Core block mounting options are available via our Photolounge Lab services.