Are You Well Presented? - part 13 of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

by Tom Lee Published 01/11/2006

One of the dodges we dreamt up in conjunction with Paul McGrail of DPM Wallbank at the recent GF Smith trade day was securing your proofs against fraudulent copying. Paul was demonstrating the HotPress laminator and showing off their Glitter finish. This sets off female and bridal portraiture rather nicely, putting a glittery sheen over the print. However a by-product is that it does not scan at all well as the interference pattern disrupts the image detail when you try to scan or copy it. As such it is a good way to protect yourproofs against fraudulent copying.

It overcomes the rather bad impression you can leave when placing copyright notices as watermarks on a print, which can suggest that you do not trust your client - just tell them that the laminate is to protect the contact sheets/proofs so they can write on them!

You've been Framed
There are a number of products in the marketplace for creating frames and borders to your pictures. We showed how to create simple effects earlier in this series but if you want to buy 'ready-made' then we feature two here - PhotoFrame and, later on, the Bellwood template system. A number of the album manufacturers (such as Spicer Hallfield) and laboratories (such as Loxley Colour and MultiPrint Imaging) provide the utilities free, as part of their services.

OnOne PhotoFrame Pro 3
A number of applications originating from Extensis have been sold to OnOne and the list now includes Genuine Fractals, Mask Pro, Smart Scale, Intellihance Pro, etc. The full list may be found by visiting PhotoFrame is a Photoshop plug-in utility for creating frames and borders around your images. The software is opened from your Filters menu and your effects may be viewed in a variety of ways. With 4,293 options available to you (before you start combining them!) it is important that the program provides some order to your world.

The borders are initially divided into five, themed sets. However, you may also gather together your favourites as a set for repeated use. At an even simpler level, the 'last used' border is always available. While there is no ability to automate the application of a PhotoFrame, it is relatively easy to create a Photoshop action and use that; when the action calls for 'last used' you can set up once and run many times. PhotoFrame costs £89.95 ex VAT but may also be purchased as part of a suite of plugins for £229.95 ex VAT. See

Bellwood Photographer's Toolbox

Bellwood Photography sells a number of products aimed at making the photographer's life easier. These include the recently introduced Toolbox 2 set of templates to complement the existing range of Photoshop-ready templates. The sets consist of backgrounds and borders as well as some innovative best-sellers like the 'magazine cover' shown right. Similarly the sunflowers are a big hit with the kids, as are the jelly beans from Set 3.

Visit to see the full range.

Let's get it on the world

We finish this review of presentation methods with a look at the options for showing your labours in the best possible setting. All prints need a border to set them off, and a frame to hang them on the wall. Most images are improved with a vignette, key line or some other device to 'hold' the image and to retain the gaze of the viewer.

We showed some simple Photoshop techniques in the earlier part of this feature, but if you are looking for more sophistication or a snappier presentation, we feature OnOne PhotoFrame Pro - brand new from DCP Systems and the latest offering from Bellwood - see the previous pages. Assuming that you have your image ready, you have to decide on the method of getting it safely into the frame. Here you have a number of choices. You almost certainly need to mount it onto a stiff board to keep it nice and flat, nothing looks less professional than a cockled print. Also, you may wish, in order to avoid the use of a glazed frame, to laminate the print with a protective layer.

The method of preference these days is dry adhesive and is typified by the Hot Press JetMounter system. This is a driven-roller, which draws the print through a set of rubber rollers to stick it firmly to a mount board.

This may be followed by another pass through the mounter to apply one of 14 different surface laminates which range from high gloss to textured, including leather and cloth textures. In case you have trouble understanding just how easy it is to apply the adhesives and laminates, the HotPress catalogue is very informative, but they have also produced a free DVD which demonstrates the process in some detail. If you are after a sumptuous, traditional presentation you might look no further than Border Frames which had some gorgeous, deep mounts at the recent GF Smith-hosted trade days.

These are made with multiple window mounts, to provide tremendous depth to the image setting and are available in the silver-gilt frames that are currently in vogue - canvas wrap seems to have run its course in the gallery sector, silver is back!

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1st Published 01/11/2006
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