People often think that to show off a photograph, the bigger, the better. But that’s not always true. Sometimes, small is good. Sometimes it’s even better than big.
Do you have a wallet-size print you carry around in your wallet? It’s probably a portrait, right? So, you already know that scaling down a print is great for space and portability—easy to carry anywhere, easy to show off when the spirit moves you. A wallet photo is also like little talisman, a miniature something that gives you warm fuzzies whenever you open your billfold. Continue reading
A photograph never printed is a photograph never born.
Technology that allows us to take tons of photographs (without concern for film or processing costs) is a wonderful thing. But it’s a pity that the same technology has led to mass warehousing of images that never see the light of day. Continue reading
Why would anyone have a photograph printed on metal? Is it just the novelty? Maybe a passing fad? Actually, metal is an excellent medium for photographic prints because it greatly enhances image vibrancy, sharpness, and depth. Plus, it’s durability can’t be beat. Neither novelty nor fad, metal prints are here to stay—and you really ought to try one on for size.
I have a friend who pens personalized gratitude messages every year to put on her Thanksgiving table. The messages are displayed on little table-tent cards perched atop her guest’s plates—short and sweet and specific. She’s actually good about gratitude year-round. (You know the type, people who have a thank you card in your mailbox before you’re done letting out their cat, picking up their kiddo, or visiting them in the hospital.) It’s a marvel she has even more thanks to share come turkey time: Continue reading
I’ve said it many times here that I strongly encourage people to periodically look through their digital albums and bring their favorite images out into the real world. It’s just good to get your best camera work out where you can see, share, and enjoy it. If you’re going with a print—and I want to remind you we can print images up to 40×60 in size—remember that a frame significantly affects the beauty and power of an image.
Some folks believe you should pick a frame specifically to match the room where you’ll display the photograph. I disagree to some extent. Though you don’t want the frame to clash with the room, I think it’s most important, certainly from an artistic viewpoint, to pick a frame that complements the photograph. For example, an art-deco frame might not be the best choice for an image of a rickety rural farmhouse. And not many photos can play well inside ornate, Baroque-style gold frames. In the end, it really is best to get into the store and try out different frames with the actual image. Sometimes unexpected combinations of frames and photographs can produce visually interesting results.
Stores offer no shortage of embellished frames, things with curlicues or flowers or a pattern of plaid. I’m not the biggest fan of these frames. I think they tend to fight with the photographs they contain, almost begging for attention. Remember it’s the photograph you’re trying to show off, not the frame, and a too-busy frame will lead a viewer’s eye right away from your subject. This is not to say you should avoid texture or color. On the contrary, some subtle texture (think reclaimed barn wood around a wedding photo) or a complementing color (think copper metal around a pastoral scene with oranges and purples) can be wonderful. Again, try it before you buy it.
Some interior decorators advise against using frames and mats that are oversized compared with the photographs they contain. I disagree. Part of the fun of matting and framing a photograph can be in playing with proportions. A large frame coupled with a custom-cut mat that leaves but a small opening for a small photograph can actually look pretty amazing. And in some cases, playing with the proportions can even draw the viewer in for a closer look at the image. Take a look at this book cover:
See how the large white mats and contrasting frames around those itty bitty images really do make you want to get closer to see what all the fuss is about?
Remember that a frame isn’t the only way to skin this horse. We can print your exceptional photograph on metal – and we have a special on that service right now! Have you tried a gallery wrap? Gallery wrap is a method of stretching canvas so that it wraps around the sides of (and is secured to) the back of the wooden frame. We offer this service in the store, and though it’s not right for every photograph, we can certainly help you decide whether it’s right for yours!
When we look at a scene or person, we often first see the whole before letting our eyes wander to the parts. But sometimes a slight anomaly or a little detail is what captures our attention from the get-go: A ring on a bus driver’s finger, paint peeling on a park bench, one dead leaf amid a sea of green ones. The rest of the scene fills in around that detail as we continue to look. Triptychs are good photography tools for showing more of what we see when we’re seeing, all in one work.
Photographs by Roddy McInnis
Some triptychs are equally (if not solely) about the aesthetic—interesting repetitions of patterns, colors, and details from different subjects, or perhaps a single shot through different filters, exposures, or tints:
Photographs by Matt Weber
And then there is the triptych that’s made from a single shot, and the appeal of it is more about where you “cut” it and why:
Photograph by Kim Lewandowski
Clearly, there are a lot of ways to create a triptych. Photographs can be taken over multiple sessions and from places far-flung from each other. They can include polar opposites to make the viewer think, to show a contrast of ideas, aesthetic, or emotion. They can capture related elements from totally different subjects. They can have themes of color or patterns. Talk about versatile! They are a great way of showing how you as the photographer saw something in the world.
If you’ve never tried to create a triptych, you should give it a shot. Then let us help you come up with the just-right way to show it off. One very cool way we’ve helped photographers show off their triptych photography is by printing on stretched canvas. Come in and see us to talk about ways we can help you piece together those images in a way you’ll be proud to display.
A lot can change in 40 years. It boggles my mind to think of all we have now that we didn’t have 40 years ago: the personal computer, cell phones, air bags, microwaves, and, one of our personal favorites, digital cameras. Since Lawrence Photo opened in 1973, the Berlin wall fell, apartheid ended, our ozone layer sprouted a leak, and reality TV was introduced. Let’s not forget Harry Potter and the Simpsons. We’ve seen a lot.
After 40 years in the camera and photo processing business, let’s just say our little shop is pretty comfortable with change. In fact, we’re so comfortable that right now we’re the ones creating it. (Thank you to everyone for excusing our dust while we remodel!) I hope you’ll like the new look and feel of our space once the dust is cleared, but I also want to point out that the real change has been taking place under the surface of all that hammering, sawing, and painting. That is, with the purchase of new technology and equipment, we’ve been quietly preparing to give you a whole lot more options for what to do with those beautiful pictures sitting on your SD cards.
You’ll still be able to upload files to our website for photo processing, but I’d like to invite you to come in with your SD card when our remodel is complete later this month. Get a firsthand look at the amazing things you’re going to be able to do locally with your photographs. Let’s talk about your ideas. How big do you want to go? Where do you want to display the finished product? What kind of gifts would you like to create? Let’s open up photo files together and get a look at what’s possible. Because while we’ve always been happy to change with the changing times, there’s one distinct exception: Our 1973 corner-store mentality is here for the long haul. We still like to get to know customers, like to see what you create, like to hear your stories, and like being able to personally help you take your craft to the next level.