For some reason I struggle with seeing a "rugged" photo of nature framed in a "polished" looking frame. It just looks out of place to me. So I started framing my photos on Birch limb frames instead. Building a strong frame with overlapping sides is challenging and if you aren't careful they can warp and twist but I have been happy with results.
I rip the limbs in half, wax the ends with Anchorseal, then clamp them to a bent mold to dry (bent 2x4 works). This helps to limit the natural tendency of the wood to warp towards the bark. After a few weeks I trim to length (best not to make cuts very even), cut the joints, bond together, finish with laquer, attach a suitable glazing, then cut the photo to shape and tape it to the glazing.,
If you select crossing limbs in which one is significantly bigger than the other you can simply cut the smaller shape from larger one and bond together the joint. But I developed a joint to help retain as much wood section in each frame member as possible (see photos).
I would be interested to see other ideas to display photos in a way different than traditional framing or canvas.
I feel a little guilty that the "portal" perception may be a bit deceiving. My intent was to show the framing technique and some examples but since the examples have photos of people I did not have permission to share I just popped in some of my landscape photos. In other words, the framed photos don't really look backlit and bright as in the images (photos of photos never look that good). The first panoramic photo is of the actual photo in the frame.
That first one is 6 feet long which is why I had to come up with a way to increase the structural integrity of the joint. The other frames I just recessed the larger side to allow the smaller side to nest and epoxied the joint. It is really easier than it looks. Spray on some finish, screw on a plastic glazing, tape on a photo and you are done. I did find that securing all four joints to the wall helps deter any tendency to pull or warp away from the wall.
In case somebody doesn't recognize the photos the subjects are:
1. Panorama taken from Kaleetan Peak from Glacier peak around to Keechelus Lake.
2. Trail to Mt Winchester looking South and East.
3. Cascade Pass returning from Sahale Arm.
4. Dragontail Peak From Colchuck Lake.
5. Heather Pass, Lake Ann, and Black Peak from East side of Heather/Maple Pass trail.
I like this technique and results but I really am interested in hearing how others display their photos. I don't want to do this everywhere. I mixed in white painted standard frames in with these in my hallway but I would like to do something else in other rooms of the house.
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