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Thread: Displaying prints: glazing, laminating, or nothing at all

  1. #1

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    Displaying prints: glazing, laminating, or nothing at all

    I recently visited two photography galleries and in the process have begun to question how best to display one's prints. In John Fielder's beautiful gallery in Denver, most framed prints were laminated. A few were also under acrylic, and the differences when viewing them side by side were striking. The laminated prints looked much better, by a wide margin. The laminate was invisible and the annoying glare from the acrylic was absent. In the second gallery I visited, owned by Brad Nordlof in Rockford, IL, every framed print was uncovered. No glass, acrylic, or laminate. His rationale was that the Epson inks on luster paper were durable and scratch-resistant, though I suspect that the cost savings is the biggest factor. Like John Fielder's prints, these looked excellent owing to the absence of glare and other ways in which glazing can detract from the look of a print. However, from my own experiences with luster paper I suspect these unprotected prints are extremely vunerable to scratching.

    I'd be interested in hearing from others about preferences for displaying your prints. Until now everything I've done has been matted under acrylic, but I'm strongly leaning toward laminating my prints (at least the big ones) and framing them with a simple linen liner. Are there any considerations that make this route unadvisable? And what about the practice of leaving framed prints unprotected?

    Thanks,

    Brett Deacon

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Displaying prints: glazing, laminating, or nothing at all

    In general, I think that prints should be treated like any other work on paper - pastels, watercolors, photographs, whatever. That is, matted and framed under glazing. I like the LOC method. This method is aimed at protecting the art, and inkjet prints are in general as fragile as watercolors and pastels. I for one favor acrylic glazing - you only need to destory a print by dropping a frame with glass once to know why.

    An alternative for inkjet, which is especially effective with large prints, is to print on canvas, coat it, and stretch it like an oil painting. It looks good, and it protects the print. I find that I like this more and more, and am therefore taking this technique to smaller sizes.

    Clearly though, this is a aesthetic choice. So clearly, YMMV.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3

    Re: Displaying prints: glazing, laminating, or nothing at all

    Quote Originally Posted by bdeacon View Post
    I recently visited two photography galleries and in the process have begun to question how best to display one's prints. In John Fielder's beautiful gallery in Denver, most framed prints were laminated. A few were also under acrylic, and the differences when viewing them side by side were striking. The laminated prints looked much better, by a wide margin. The laminate was invisible and the annoying glare from the acrylic was absent. In the second gallery I visited, owned by Brad Nordlof in Rockford, IL, every framed print was uncovered. No glass, acrylic, or laminate. His rationale was that the Epson inks on luster paper were durable and scratch-resistant, though I suspect that the cost savings is the biggest factor. Like John Fielder's prints, these looked excellent owing to the absence of glare and other ways in which glazing can detract from the look of a print. However, from my own experiences with luster paper I suspect these unprotected prints are extremely vunerable to scratching.

    I'd be interested in hearing from others about preferences for displaying your prints. Until now everything I've done has been matted under acrylic, but I'm strongly leaning toward laminating my prints (at least the big ones) and framing them with a simple linen liner. Are there any considerations that make this route unadvisable? And what about the practice of leaving framed prints unprotected?

    Thanks,

    Brett Deacon
    Hi Brett: I found your message on laminating photography for exhibits and display. We are developing a laminate for fine art photography and I would like to recruit a few photographers to test the laminate when ready. It will be in 4-6 weeks. Please let me know if you would be interested.

  4. #4

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    Re: Displaying prints: glazing, laminating, or nothing at all

    Does digital printing change the cost benefit ratio here? I can rerun a print for a few dollars, rather than all the time and effort to redo a darkroom print. I would not spend much to protect a digital print for a show when I can easily replace it.

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