Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to Cut a Window Mat

Matting photos make them complete and professional.

First, choose the mat color you would like. I usually stick to black or white.

Measure the length of the photo. Subtract the length of the photo from the length of the mat. i.e. if you have a 10 inch photo and a 14 inch mat, you'll have 4 inches.

Divide that number in half. That number is the amount of mat you should have on each side. So, using the previous numbers, 4 divided by 2 is 2. So, you will have 2 inches of mat on each side.

Repeat this for the height of the photo.

When you found your vertical and horizontal numbers, measure from the end in with your vertical number and make a mark towards the bottom of the mat. Measure in from the top of the mat and make another mark. Draw a line between the marks. That will be your 2 inch border.

Repeat this for the other vertical and both horizontal lines.

Now that you have your square drawn, get out your bevel mat cutter.

Line up a line from your drawn square with the cutter so that the square is on the inside. i.e. if the blade is on the left, the square should be on the right.

Make your first cut, rotate 90 degrees and make the next cut and so on.

The middle should fall out after the last cut.

There you have yourself a window mat.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Film Vs Digital

I know we are in the age of everything digital, but what happened to film? I studied photography in high school and college, and learned the art of film. I learned how to choose the right speed of film, manually shoot it, develop it, and make enlargements. In my opinion, that was the best part of photography. It was creating a piece of art from start to finish.

But the times, they are changing. Now you shoot the image, upload it to a computer, and print it out. It doesn't seem as personal as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, I do love how easy shooting digital can be. But I do miss all the time I spent in the darkroom trying to get a print just right. Or being able to choose more than just glossy or matte finish.

I think it's sad that some schools don't even have darkrooms anymore. They have gone completely digital. I remember how to burn and dodge without using Photoshop. Gone are the times when we'd be in the darkroom for hours. We no longer have to tone our images ourselves. Now we just have to click a button on Photoshop, and it will take care of it for us.

I embrace the future of photography and welcome the digital era. But I will remember and miss the days of the darkroom.