Framing any picture when it is going to be exhibited is important, and photographs are no exception. Again, I work on the principle that keeping it simple is best, using either black, white or plain wood frames (beech usually). A simple black frame, often quite thin, for Black and White photographs; a simple unvarnished wooden frame for most colour images and, when the colours emerge from a darker scene, as with my recent dawn photographs, a plain white frame.


The mounting of the photograph is equally important. For images that are A3 and above in size I work on the principle of a mount that allows ideally 10cm all the way round between image and frame, and certainly no less than 7.5 cm. This gives the photograph room to assert itself without clutter whilst at the same time giving the viewer a guide to the point of focus. One wants the frame noticed momentarily, similarly the mount, then forgotten for the rest of the time the viewer is looking at the image, as if the whole framing process has acted to separate the image from others on the same wall. The photograph has been given a spatial context, one might say.


If the photograph is strong, then simple framing will enhance that strength. A weak photograph becomes weaker the more the framing is complex in terms of mount colour or over-elaborate frame. There was a very good example of this at the gallery I went to see this morning with a view to an exhibition in early September. The current exhibition of paintings included some strong images, subtly done, but the framing and mounting was universally a distraction and did nothing but deflect the viewer's attention away from what should have been the main point of interest. It was as if the frame was trying to make a statement but the statement was at odds with the painting. Subtle effects were overpowered and even strong colours lost their way when competing with a poorly chosen colour for the frame.