About Prints

As a landscape photographer I feel that the ultimate purpose of an art photograph is to exist in the form of a print. Art serves it’s purpose best when it can occupy our living and working spaces, so that we can experience it through the course of our daily lives. To me there’s no better way than art on a wall. In case you are one of those who feel as I do, and are curious about my prints, here’s what you can expect. Throughout the years I have always strived to produce the best quality prints possible with the tools afforded me. At one time that was gelatin silver prints in a darkroom, but today I find that a pigment print, made using a very high quality photographic inkjet printer, is the preferred method. There are numerous reasons, but some that stand out are: The precision with which you can control the process and manage the subtleties of the print. The image quality and archival stability of todays finest color pigment ink-sets. The ability, when desired, to print much larger sizes than was practical in most darkrooms. And one of my favorite reasons, the beautiful matte finish fine art papers one now has to choose from. The best of these are made in European paper mills established in some cases over 400 years ago. These papers have a heritage that has stood the test of time, and coupled with the best of modern inkjet paper coatings and inks, produce velvety prints with no surface glare. Their display life far exceeds that of light sensitive color print processes commonly used prior, and that are still in use today. All printing is done by me personally in my own studio. Each print has a border around the image ranging from at least 1.5 to 3 inches for a more finished presentation, and to assist practically when it comes to mounting and matting. It also provides protection to the image area in the event of a bent corner or ding to the paper edge. The print title is just below the image on the left side while the TrueLight Gallery name and logo is on the right. A small number of my photographs are limited editions. I explored the idea briefly for a time, and so images that began being acquired from me during that period are limited to no more than 21 editions and 3 artist proofs, after which no more will be made. For prints of all such photographs, the edition number is marked beneath the image as well. To know which photographs are effected this way, you will find them indicated as “limited edition” beneath the image title on it’s gallery page.

 


Considerations on framing and display

"A picture without a frame is like a soul without a body.”   Vincent van Gogh

The possible options for framing run the gamut today from minimalistic to elaborate, and everything in between. Some images may lend themselves naturally to a particular style while others may not care. Much comes down to personal preference as well as to the environment in which it will hang. Thus it’s not my intention to try and influence you so much on style as it is to encourage you to give it careful consideration, as this step really plays a significant role in the final presentation. Unfortunately framing today can be rather expensive, and so I understand the practical limits this may have on some. If you can do so, I would highly recommend seeking out a qualified framer who both understands and practices archival framing methods, and who can provide some counsel on options both technically and esthetically. Let me offer a few thoughts as it pertains to my prints specifically, which you may find helpful.

Mounting - The print will need to be attached to some form of mount in order to be framed. There are a number of options available but the traditional, and still good one for photographic prints, is archival mat board. Preferably cotton rag, but at the very least acid free. Because my prints are shipped flat and the paper is fairly heavy weight they are not really subject to waviness or curling. This together with the matte finish makes them well suited to a mounting method known as the T-hinge. This is my preferred choice, and has the advantage of being reversible, as the only point of attachment is to the top backside edge of the print border with special acid free linen tape. Either two or three locations are used depending on the size of the print. This is a widely used by conservators for securing paper artwork, and  although the print may not lay absolutely flat, it is rarely discernible with a matte surface.

Dry-mounting is another widely used method, and though not strictly archival or reversible, offers a perfectly flat surface. However it does come with it’s own inherent risks. There are both hot and cold methods of dry-mounting, but both involve a sheet of adhesive being applied under pressure to the back of the print, either by press or rollers. The degree of handling, cleaning and contact with the print if not done carefully, can lead to abrasion or scuffing to the somewhat delicate matte surface. Also one must be fastidious while mounting to keep the surfaces between mount, adhesive and print free of dust or particles as these can show as bumps or depressions on the face of the paper. I will say that my prints paper texture and matte finish would be better at disguising this. If using the heat activated adhesive I would want to know that it is the low temperature type, with a melting point between 150 and 170 degrees F.

Glazing - The general practice for art on paper is that it be protected with glass. Although regular glass will work, you might want to consider some of the options available. There are glass formulations that provide varying degrees of UV protection, especially useful when you’re hanging the artwork in rooms with high levels of natural light, or in rooms with fluorescent lighting, both of which have a high UV count. UV light accelerates the fading or color shifting of artwork noticeably. In addition to the UV protection there are types of glass with a special multi-coating, which reduces distracting light reflections. Viewed straight on or nearly so in more controlled lighting, the glass can virtually disappear. I find it less successful when next to large window sources. Please note this is not the same as the old style “non-glare” glass you used to see, which reduces clarity. A well known brand name is Tru Vue. They make quite a variety of versions so I’ll mention a few worth considering.“Museum Glass” offers the highest UV protection of 99% along with reflection control. One of the best all round performers for the money is called “Ultra Vue UV70”. It has 70% UV protection plus  reflection control, and the glass is water white, which is free of the green tint most glass has. All for about half the cost of Museum Glass. You can also buy glass with just the reflection control or UV protection.

No Glass -  A number of years ago I started experimenting with using no glass on my work. The tactile beauty of the surface along with the complete lack of surface reflections makes for a compelling presentation, and allows the print to be enjoyed from any viewing angle.There are risks of course. The paper surface is somewhat delicate and could be scuffed if not exercising some care when cleaning or by accidental rubbing. Likewise you’ll want to avoid liquids coming in contact with the surface.  The image will also fade faster without glass. But if hung in an environment that avoids overly bright light like southern exposures with large windows, the print life should still be quite good. One of the foremost experts in the field of testing for lightfastness, has run tests with the inks I’m using. Based on his research it should be possible to go 50 and possibly even more years before noticeable fading will occur. This is without glass. Using regular glass, the estimate climbs to 100 plus years, and with the best UV glass, 200 plus years. This all assumes moderate light levels with no direct sunlight falling on the print surface. Other factors effecting the life of a print are humidity and airborne contaminants. So depending on the environment it may or may not be wise to go without glass, however it is something to consider. If the idea intrigues you I will offer a couple more practical tips. First I would suggest something like an ostrich feather duster or similar synthetic alternative, to be used lightly and sparingly for cleaning. And secondly, when framing you would not want to use a conventional window mat without glass, as it may bow outward and leave unsightly gaps between it and the print. Other options such as wood liners could be used, as they often are with paintings. A qualified framer can help with this.

 

I’m sure most of you have heard the expression, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Well at the beginning of my photographic journey...

About Prints

About Prints

As a landscape photographer I feel that the ultimate purpose of an art photograph is to exist in the form of a print. Art serves it’s purpose best when it can occupy our living and working spaces, so that we can experience it through the course of our daily lives. To me there’s no better way than art on a wall. In case you are one of those who feel as I do, and are curious about my prints, here’s what you can expect. Throughout the years I have always strived to produce the best quality prints possible with the tools afforded me. At one time that was gelatin silver prints in a darkroom, but today I find that a pigment print, made using a very high quality photographic inkjet printer, is the preferred method. There are numerous reasons, but some that stand out are: The precision with which you can control the process and manage the subtleties of the print. The image quality and archival stability of todays finest color pigment ink-sets. The ability, when desired, to print much larger sizes than was practical in most darkrooms. And one of my favorite reasons, the beautiful matte finish fine art papers one now has to choose from. The best of these are made in European paper mills established in some cases over 400 years ago. These papers have a heritage that has stood the test of time, and coupled with the best of modern inkjet paper coatings and inks, produce velvety prints with no surface glare. Their display life far exceeds that of light sensitive color print processes commonly used prior, and that are still in use today. All printing is done by me personally in my own studio. Each print has a border around the image ranging from at least 1.5 to 3 inches for a more finished presentation, and to assist practically when it comes to mounting and matting. It also provides protection to the image area in the event of a bent corner or ding to the paper edge. The print title is just below the image on the left side while the TrueLight Gallery name and logo is on the right. A small number of my photographs are limited editions. I explored the idea briefly for a time, and so images that began being acquired from me during that period are limited to no more than 21 editions and 3 artist proofs, after which no more will be made. For prints of all such photographs, the edition number is marked beneath the image as well. To know which photographs are effected this way, you will find them indicated as “limited edition” beneath the image title on it’s gallery page.

 


Considerations on framing and display

"A picture without a frame is like a soul without a body.”   Vincent van Gogh

The possible options for framing run the gamut today from minimalistic to elaborate, and everything in between. Some images may lend themselves naturally to a particular style while others may not care. Much comes down to personal preference as well as to the environment in which it will hang. Thus it’s not my intention to try and influence you so much on style as it is to encourage you to give it careful consideration, as this step really plays a significant role in the final presentation. Unfortunately framing today can be rather expensive, and so I understand the practical limits this may have on some. If you can do so, I would highly recommend seeking out a qualified framer who both understands and practices archival framing methods, and who can provide some counsel on options both technically and esthetically. Let me offer a few thoughts as it pertains to my prints specifically, which you may find helpful.

Mounting - The print will need to be attached to some form of mount in order to be framed. There are a number of options available but the traditional, and still good one for photographic prints, is archival mat board. Preferably cotton rag, but at the very least acid free. Because my prints are shipped flat and the paper is fairly heavy weight they are not really subject to waviness or curling. This together with the matte finish makes them well suited to a mounting method known as the T-hinge. This is my preferred choice, and has the advantage of being reversible, as the only point of attachment is to the top backside edge of the print border with special acid free linen tape. Either two or three locations are used depending on the size of the print. This is a widely used by conservators for securing paper artwork, and  although the print may not lay absolutely flat, it is rarely discernible with a matte surface.

Dry-mounting is another widely used method, and though not strictly archival or reversible, offers a perfectly flat surface. However it does come with it’s own inherent risks. There are both hot and cold methods of dry-mounting, but both involve a sheet of adhesive being applied under pressure to the back of the print, either by press or rollers. The degree of handling, cleaning and contact with the print if not done carefully, can lead to abrasion or scuffing to the somewhat delicate matte surface. Also one must be fastidious while mounting to keep the surfaces between mount, adhesive and print free of dust or particles as these can show as bumps or depressions on the face of the paper. I will say that my prints paper texture and matte finish would be better at disguising this. If using the heat activated adhesive I would want to know that it is the low temperature type, with a melting point between 150 and 170 degrees F.

Glazing - The general practice for art on paper is that it be protected with glass. Although regular glass will work, you might want to consider some of the options available. There are glass formulations that provide varying degrees of UV protection, especially useful when you’re hanging the artwork in rooms with high levels of natural light, or in rooms with fluorescent lighting, both of which have a high UV count. UV light accelerates the fading or color shifting of artwork noticeably. In addition to the UV protection there are types of glass with a special multi-coating, which reduces distracting light reflections. Viewed straight on or nearly so in more controlled lighting, the glass can virtually disappear. I find it less successful when next to large window sources. Please note this is not the same as the old style “non-glare” glass you used to see, which reduces clarity. A well known brand name is Tru Vue. They make quite a variety of versions so I’ll mention a few worth considering.“Museum Glass” offers the highest UV protection of 99% along with reflection control. One of the best all round performers for the money is called “Ultra Vue UV70”. It has 70% UV protection plus  reflection control, and the glass is water white, which is free of the green tint most glass has. All for about half the cost of Museum Glass. You can also buy glass with just the reflection control or UV protection.

No Glass -  A number of years ago I started experimenting with using no glass on my work. The tactile beauty of the surface along with the complete lack of surface reflections makes for a compelling presentation, and allows the print to be enjoyed from any viewing angle.There are risks of course. The paper surface is somewhat delicate and could be scuffed if not exercising some care when cleaning or by accidental rubbing. Likewise you’ll want to avoid liquids coming in contact with the surface.  The image will also fade faster without glass. But if hung in an environment that avoids overly bright light like southern exposures with large windows, the print life should still be quite good. One of the foremost experts in the field of testing for lightfastness, has run tests with the inks I’m using. Based on his research it should be possible to go 50 and possibly even more years before noticeable fading will occur. This is without glass. Using regular glass, the estimate climbs to 100 plus years, and with the best UV glass, 200 plus years. This all assumes moderate light levels with no direct sunlight falling on the print surface. Other factors effecting the life of a print are humidity and airborne contaminants. So depending on the environment it may or may not be wise to go without glass, however it is something to consider. If the idea intrigues you I will offer a couple more practical tips. First I would suggest something like an ostrich feather duster or similar synthetic alternative, to be used lightly and sparingly for cleaning. And secondly, when framing you would not want to use a conventional window mat without glass, as it may bow outward and leave unsightly gaps between it and the print. Other options such as wood liners could be used, as they often are with paintings. A qualified framer can help with this.