Prints

If you are interested in a fine art print of any of the images on this web site, they are available directly from the Photographer. This web site does not have a store.  It will be necessary to contact the photographer directly via E-Mail to arrange the details. On this page I will discuss some things for you to think about prior to contact.

I produce fine art prints that are usually framed and have acid free matts for sale in local galleries. If you are in Western North Carolina, you may want to see some examples.  However, when shipping is requested, I've found that trying to ship framed pieces is impractical.  To have a reasonable expectation of no damage, the packaging and shipping cost can exceed the cost of the art work.  Therefore, I only ship bare prints, usually in a 3" mailing/shipping tube. Some photographers send their digital files to a print service to have prints made and fulfill orders. Some of these services can make terrific prints. However, for me, making the print is part of the artistic process that begins with capture of the images in the field. So, I am not ready to cede print making to a service bureau.  I feel that a service bureau does not know exactly how I want a print to look. Therefore, I make all of my own prints.

 There are advantages for you in purchasing a bare print. First, the cost of mailing and shipping becomes quite reasonable; and second, you will have many options for getting your art matted and framed locally.  In my opinion, the best option is to visit a custom frame shop and discuss your needs with them.  They can cut a matte and mount your work in many possible ways using the best materials available.  You will find that better mounting materials are more expensive, but will preserve the art work for a much longer period of time.  These coustom frame shops don't care what the dimensions are of your art work; they can deal with it.  Another option is to purchase pre-assembled mattes and frames from department stores or craft stores.  The mattes in these pre-assembled frames are always cut for an "industry standard" dimension photograph. These standard sizes are familiar, such as 8x10, 11x14, 16x20, etc.  You may have noticed in the Galleries on this site that my images are not usually in a length to width ratio that fits exactly into a standard size.  Because of this mis-match of standard matte cut-out size with image size, some adjustment would be needed.  This is part of what we will discuss in our E-Mail exchange.

The cropping or framing ratio that I select for each images is one that visually "feels right" to me for that particular image.  Admittedly, this is in the eye of the beholder. If you want to put an 8x10 or 16x20 matt on one of the images in this site, I can give you an indication of how well it would work.  I can print the image large enough so that it will fill your desired matte size, but some of the image may be covered under the matte.  How well this works visually depends on the image height to width ratio (as you see it in the Gallery) and the content of the image itself.  Clearly, there are some parts of some images that you would not want to be hidden under the matte.  This is why a custom frame shop is the best solution. They can make any size matte becaue it is custom cut.

  • Prints on Canvas (Note: I am not currently making new prints on Canvas — Old stock available)

A recent trend in fine art prints is the use of canvas as the base material.  This is real canvas, very similar to that used for centuries in some oil paintings.  The canvas that I use is surface coated by the manufacturer to receive and hold ink for the image. Fine Art photography prints on canvas are sometimes called Giclee prints.  Canvas prints can be mounted for display in the same way that artist oil prints are mounted.  A fairly common, and possibly the least expensive mounting technique, is to stretch the finished canvas over a wooden frame. This type of Canvas print display is known as a Gallery Wrap. The wooden frame is referred to as "stretcher bars". Using this technique, the canvas is pulled tight around the stretcher bars and stapled to the back side of the frame to hold the canvas in place.  I have been printing on canvas and mounting on stretcher bars for a few years with good success. The process of stretching the canvass and stapling it to a frame is not particularly difficult, but does use some specialize hand tools.  A little experience with the process certainly helps. It is also possible to put canvas into a frame just like oil paintings are framed.  Usually this type framing does not use a matte. The canvas spans the inside dimensions of the frame completely.

Just like with fine art prints on paper, I can supply prints on canvas.  But, the shipping issue still persist, so I supply the bare printed canvas rolled-up into a shipping tube. A custom framer can mount this for you.  It's a good idea to find a custom framer that can mount canvas before ordering. If you want to try to stretch mount the canvas yourself, without experience and proper tools, I would not recommend it. I've seen some U-Tube videos that make it look easy.  You will have to judge for yourself.

The edge treatment for canvas prints on stretcher bars is also a consideration. The edge of the print, that is, the part that can be seen on the sides of the stretcher bars can be handled in a couple of ways.  One way is to simply wrap part of the image around the sides of the bars. The disadvantage of this method is that some important parts of the image may lose their visual appeal being on the side (but still visible) part of the frame. I find a better method is to mirror the edge of the print and extend this mirrored image section around the wrapped sides of the frame. This works well for some images, and not so well for others, depending on image content around the edges. As an example, if the frame is one inch thick (deep), then the original image, when printed, has an extension (about 1 1/2 inch extension) printed around it's edge that mirrors exactly the content of the image at the edge.  This is created in software and is easy to do when the print is made. Another simple method is to print a band of solid color (usually black) around the original image.  The band of solid color then is visible at the sides of the frame where the canvas is wrapped around.  Care is needed to be sure of the exact dimensions of the stretcher frame (length, width, and depth) prior to the print being made.

  • Materials and Equipment

I use professional printers and media.  I currently use an Epson 3880 for printing in my studio. This printer uses long life pigment inks that can reproduce a wide gamut of colors.  This printer is capable of producing outstanding black and white images.

There are many very good media types available for printing.  I try to stick to a few types of papers and canvas that have proven to work well for me. Each paper variety has unique characteristics.  I find that understanding a few papers well works best for me. We can talk about the particular paper that I will use for your image if that is of interest to you. The media surface finish may be important to you. These are a flat (or matte) finish, a satin or luster finish, and a gloss finish.  I personally prefer matte or luster for most of my work, but this is just my taste and you may disagree. I find a gloss finish tends to show room reflections too easily.  If you are uncertain, I can use what looks best to me. Once under glass, it is sometimes difficult to see much difference in the paper surface finish.

I have used Epson’s Exhibition Canvas for my canvas work. It produces outstanding detail and color. The surface finish sheen for canvas is primarily determined by the final top coating.  All inkjet prints on Canvas that are not covered by glass can be top coated for durability and protection. I use a professional coating material made for this purpose.  I spray this final top coating using professional HVLP equipment.  The number of coats and mix of this coating when applied determines the final luster of the canvas print. I can produce fairly flat, matte like finishes and luster finishes. When used, a top coating gives some protection against moisture and dust so that the print can be carefully cleaned when needed. The spaying of a top coat on printed canvas is a little problematic for me.  Humidity and temperature have to be within an acceptable range for good results. I don't have a dedicated spray booth, but I can spray in my garage or outdoors on some days. However, somethimes I must wait a month or more for the right conditions. Keeping this in mind, delivery can be slow for canvas prints.

When framing, I have only a few stocked frame profiles. This makes it easy for me to keep a quantity of stock on hand. For most frames, I cut stock to length from long (10 - 12 ft) pieces.  I use acid free alpha or rag matte material. I find that a shade of white works best for most mattes, but on occasion I’ll use a highlight color in a matte.

  • Sizes

Prints should be viewed. The smallest size print that I make is about 8x10 inches.  The largest print I can make is about 16" in the narrow dimension and almost any reasonable length in the long dimension. How large a print can be made depends on the resolution of the original digital file.  Many of my files will support a print (look good) up to 24 inches wide.  Some files will work well only with somewhat smaller prints.  This is something to discuss via E-Mail when you know which images and the size prints you want.  Keep in mind that a matte and frame, when added to the print, increases final dimensions.  Initial Canvas width is also limited (by my former roll  printer) to a maximum of 24 inches.  But, if the canvas is to be wrapped around a stretcher frame, the frame depth and the need for a canvas flap to staple on the back of the frame limits the print dimensions to something less than 24 inches. For a one inch thick stretcher frame, you should subtract about 6 inches from the 24 inch initial width to find a maximum Canvas "front" dimension.  This is about 18 inches then for the largest narrow dimension that I can print on Canvas. Some of my Panoramas have been printed on Canvas at a "front" dimension of 18"x60" and look terrific this size.  The actual total canvas dimension for this is 24x68 inches to allow extra canvas to wrap around a stretcher frame.

I hope all this information does not intimidate you. But as you can see, there can be several factors to consider. I have not listed a price schedule because of all the variables. Use the contact form on this site and give me as much information as possible about your needs and any questions you have, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I can say that prices are reasonable and about what you would expect for bare prints at an Art Gallery.

  • Posters (Note: only old stock of 24” posters, Current size limited to 16” on narrow dimension)

I have made one foray into poster making.  I print one poster 24"x36" of a Western North Carolina Water Falls.  The water falls is depicted in glorious color with the word "Carolina", without the quotes, in large print beneath the falls image. To make the poster at a reasonable cost, I print it on a fairly inexpensive paper.  The paper is certainly of a quality equal or greater that other posters in the market.  Unlike most posters that come off large off-set presses in quantity, this one is hand made, one at a time, and inkjet printed. The poster will fit into a standard 24x36 poster frame (not included) that you can find at a craft or department store, or you can just tape it to the wall.  The poster is shipped in a 3" mailing tube. I'm not sure if I will continue to produce poster(s) because it takes about as much of my time as any other art print that I make and sells for a lot less.  Note:  I thought this image (without text) was in the "Fall Colors" gallery. But it is not. Ill try to get it up for viewing someplace on the site soon.

  • Artist Signature

I usually sign my work.  However, that is your choice. My signature can be located on the printed area or on a surrounding white border. When placed on the border area, the signature can always be covered by a matte board if you desire.

© Ronald Brunsvold 2014, All rights reserved