Choosing the Right Medium
Do you prefer more traditional mounting and display options, such as matte and frame? Or do you lean more towards modern aesthetics?
Fine Art prints - personally created in-studio by me - are printed on museum-grade papers using archival pigment inks, ensuring they will retain their vibrancy for decades to come, if properly displayed and cared for. They are printed with a slight border around the image to help you frame them more easily (if you choose to do so upon receipt) and to allow room for signing and numbering. Each fine art print also comes with a certificate of authenticity, and some may be limited editions.
Metal prints - fulfilled by Bay Photo - "represent a new art medium for preserving photos by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets. Because the image is infused into the surface and not on it, your images will take on an almost magical luminescence. The ultra-hard scratch-resistant surface is waterproof/weatherproof and can be cleaned easily – just avoid direct sunlight." To help minimize glare, I've chosen the satin finish for a smooth finish that's less prone to showing reflections (although there will still be some depending on the setting/lighting). Available in larger sizes than what I can produce in-studio on fine art papers, and all metal prints include mounting hardware.
Acrylic prints - also fulfilled by Bay Photo - "are beautiful Fine Art LexJet Prints face-mounted to plexiglass with polished edges." Backed with DiBond for a sturdy, substantial display and using 1/8" non-glare finishing to manage reflections. Available in larger sizes than what I can produce in-studio on fine art papers, and all acrylic prints include mounting hardware.
The Importance of Lighting
The highest-quality print in the world won't display well without appropriate lighting
Lighting is arguably the most important part of displaying photographic prints (or any other art). Many photographers and collectors are surprised - and ultimately disappointed - when displaying prints as lighting is often overlooked and they fail to take into account the difference between a backlit monitor screen and a print that produces no light of its own.
There are a few important factors to consider when displaying art in your home or office:
Avoid direct sunlight: This is critical to avoid premature fading of colors and damage to fine art papers. Even the most robust UV protection will not be able to fully protect your art. For fine art prints mounted behind glass, or metal or acrylic prints, sunlight will also often result in glare or reflections (even low-glare options, such as what I provide on my metal and acrylic options, are prone to this, albeit at a lesser amount).
Use the right type of lighting: Of the various lighting options available, LED generally provides the most accurate color reproduction while fluorescent will be the worst (by far). Ideally, the color temperature of your lighting will fall between 2700-3500 Kelvin, and the CRI rating will be 90 or higher. When proofing my fine art prints, I am working under such conditions. The brightness of your light source - or lumens - will vary depending upon the distance between the source and the print, and how much ambient light is available. Generally, if your lighting source is reasonably close to the print, you will not need too-high a lumens count but an easy solution to find what works best for your space is to opt for dimmable LED bulbs.
Manage glare and reflections: It's important to consider all times of day when choosing where to display your art, and how to light it. A location may receive plenty of ambient sunlight in the morning but fall into shadow as the day progresses. Conversely, a wall that doesn't receive any direct sunlight at midday may be bathed in strong light in the morning or afternoon (see #1). If relying on artificial light sources, one must consider if existing lighting is sufficient or if brighter bulbs or new fixtures will be needed. Ideally, the primary lighting for a print will be above the piece at a roughly 30 degree angle. Doing so will help ensure glare and reflections are greatly minimized.
Determining the Right Size
It's easy to have a print that's lost in a sea of empty wall space
It is one thing to view an image on a phone or tablet, or even a monitor, at close distances. Most likely, however, you will be viewing a print on your wall from several feet away; the larger the print, typically, the farther the distance. What may feel like a large print when held in one's hands can quickly dwindle in size and impact once it's placed on the wall. This can be offset, obviously, by opting for a larger print to better fill the wall space, or a grouping of multiple images can be used to achieve the same - or greater - effect (and you will have the added benefit of being able to enjoy more scenes).
I encourage you to use painter's tape or other means to see how well different print sizes fill your desired display space. Below are some mock ups to help you visualize the difference between different print sizes on a 10' wall (hover on the images for sizing details):
Representation of a 12" x 18" print, without matting or frame, on a 10' wall. Click for larger view.
Representation of a 16" x 24" print, without matting or frame, on a 10' wall. Click for larger view.
Representation of a 20" x 30" print, without matting or frame, on a 10' wall. Click for larger view.
Representation of a 24" x 36" print, without matting or frame, on a 10' wall. Click for larger view.
Representation of a 30" x 45" print, without matting or frame, on a 10' wall. Click for larger view.
Representation of a 40" x 60" print, without matting or frame, on a 10' wall. Click for larger view.