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Photo printing and framing with mat recommendations?
Old 09-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #1
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Photo printing and framing with mat recommendations?

I'm trying to get some digital photos printed and mounted in frames with mats. I used art.com several years ago to do this, and they turned out well. However, now art.com tells me the file sizes are too small. They are the same files I used earlier. Not sure why they changed. Shutterfly is OK with the file sizes, but will only print the photos (they apparently don't do mounting and framing). I found mpix.com, and they don't seem to be bothered by the file sizes. I cannot find the original larger image files (my photo organization is not up to snuff). Anyone have any recommendations?
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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Is there a local shop that can do that for you if you have it printed elsewhere? They may be competitive and almost every town big enough to support it has a frame shop.

Otherwise, Google, Bing or whoever is your friend. Search on "print mount frame photos" and you'll get lots of hits.

Lastly, if you do this often and have the interest, it may be worthwhile to buy a mat cutter and DIY. Start-up cost is ~$400-$500 for few books on framing, a decent mat cutter, some accessory tools, and enough mats to have some choice. You will ruin a few in the learning process. If you're sure of the colors you want it may be cost-effective to buy them individually locally. Online, matboard is ~$7-$8 a sheet but you may have to buy in lots of 25 or more. Shipping is NOT free since it is a large and heavy package. Locally they are $15/sheet around here.

Below is one of mine. I did the photography, printing, and framing.
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File Type: jpg framed_photo.jpg (83.3 KB, 11 views)
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:19 PM   #3
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I've been thinking aong the DIY lines. Walt - what brand/model of cutter do you use? Would you recommend it? Any shortcomings or features you miss? Thank you.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:43 PM   #4
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Costco does a great job, particularly on canvas stretched on frames. Very reasonable as well.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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I bought the Logan Simplex 40 inch mat cutter and I'm very happy with it. They do make more expensive ones but until you get into the high end I don't see that it would make much difference to me. The "40-inches" is important. Don't get a smaller one because then you're limited to how efficiently you can use all of the mat board.

The squaring arm that sticks out of the side at 90 is important too as it helps keep the mat square as you're cutting.

Unless you already know about framing I strongly recommend buying a few books on it. There are things to know about the acidity of paper and the items you use to mount the photo to not damage it over time, and not to "cram" the mats and photos in the frame - they expand/contract with heat/humidly changes and need to be free to move a little or they will buckle.

I framed a couple of photos of DW grandnieces that are "kinda neat" now but in 30 years will be priceless so I wanted to do it right. They're hanging on DW's nephew's living room wall. That's kind of neat.

The mat cutter does come with a basic instructional book of course but it doesn't get into detail about conservation framing for things that you want to last a long time.

I bought these and think they're worthwhile. There is some overlap of course but each does cover topics not addressed in the other:

Home Book of Picture Framing: 2nd Edition: Kenn Oberrecht: 9780811727938: Amazon.com: Books

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1589234227/...332200_TE_item

Amazon.com : Logan Basic Mat Cutting Book : Home And Garden Products : Electronics
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:47 PM   #6
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I get my photos printed by prolabexpress. They have online tools that you can use to order the prints in almost any size. Very nice prints and quick turnaround. So far I've only had prints mounted on foam board for photo contests. But I'm thinking of getting some framed and matted. I also have a nautical chart to get matted and framed. I'll make my own frames, and bring to hobby lobby. They'll take my photos/maps, my frames, and supply matting, glass and labor to finish it off. At least that's what hobby lobby told me.


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Old 09-12-2014, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45th Birthday View Post
I'm trying to get some digital photos printed and mounted in frames with mats. I used art.com several years ago to do this, and they turned out well. However, now art.com tells me the file sizes are too small. They are the same files I used earlier. Not sure why they changed. Shutterfly is OK with the file sizes, but will only print the photos (they apparently don't do mounting and framing). I found mpix.com, and they don't seem to be bothered by the file sizes. I cannot find the original larger image files (my photo organization is not up to snuff). Anyone have any recommendations?
The companies are making generic judgments about whether resolution will provide a satisfactory result because they don't want complaints from customers. With new cameras with multi-megapixel images they may have upped their limits. If you only have the smaller file but have been happy with the results in the past it may be worth resampling the image to a large size. Then the company will accept it. I did that with an old photo that had been optimized for the web with satisfactory results.

You can resize a photo in lots of applications from free editors up to Photoshop. If you don't know how to do it, just google some terms like "how to increase the size of an image."
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Thanks, I will try re-sizing. Prolabexpress does not do framing. Costco does not frame prints (only canvas). My least favorite option would be to print them online and take the prints to a local shop for framing. Seems like more time and expense.

Does anyone else know of an online place that prints smaller-sized files (but still adequate for reasonable prints) with mounting?
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