What’s the best way to share your digital photographs with others? Actually, there’s no single way that will suit all photographers; instead, today’s technologies offer us a wide range of options.


What’s the best way to share your digital photographs with others? Actually, there’s no single way that will suit all photographers; instead, today’s technologies offer us a wide range of options.

The simplest is to post your photos online or share them via emails. We’ve already explained how to resize images for online applications in Basic Editing. Social websites like My Space, Facebook and Flickr provide another popular option and you can also create your own online photo albums via sites like Snapfish, Kodak Gallery and PhotoBucket. They all offer free photo-sharing albums and cover costs through advertising and selling prints.


Social websites like Flickr.com provide a wide variety of ways in which to share your digital photos.
Uploading photos to a website from an internet cafe can be a good way to prevent them from being lost or stolen while you’re travelling. As well as letting you free up space on your memory cards, it also enables you to share your travels with friends and family members as you roam. Most upload site display images as thumbnails, which you can click on to view an enlarged view of the shot. Some sites even simulate page-turning to add a new dimension to online albums.


Some photo sharing sites support page-turning simulation to add an extra dimension to online albums.
Sites that charge a fee for storing your images have an advantage over free sites because they are free of advertising. Most will also provide guarantees that your images will never be deleted without your consent. They should also provide assurance that the e-mail addresses of visitors who view your photos won’t be collected and on-sold.

Portable Displays
Portable display devices like some mobile phones, PDAs and image storage devices can be used to display slideshows of stored digital images. Many support the addition of background music and some provide direct links to a variety of printing devices.

Photo Books
Photo books have become very popular in the last year or two, particularly since the major photo printing companies have begun offering this service. Several local services allow you to create a 20-page book for between $29 and $45 by uploading images to a web server and arranging them in pre-determined templates. The price of the book depends on the size of the pages and whether you choose hard or soft covers. Extra pages cost between $1 and $15 each to add.

Several manufacturers have produced do-ityourself photo book kits that include paper and a hard board cover that is either clipped on or attached with screw-in posts. The results can be quite impressive.

You can also print your own photo book on double-sided paper and have it bound professionally. Anybody with basic layout skills, a suitable software application and an inkjet printer that can print on double-sided paper can display their best shots this way. (We recommend using 170 gsm matte paper for the best appearance and handling.)

If you’re too busy to make your own photo book – or feel you may lack some essential skills – there are plenty of companies to help you. In most cases, the production process involves downloading a software application containing a suite of page and cover templates, into which you place your pictures. Once the images, text and graphics have been arranged by the client, the resulting file is sent to the service provider, either via email or by post (on a CD).

The finished book is printed on a high quality commercial printer and professionally bound. Clients can often choose between spiral binding and stitched, hardcover binding and some companies will produce cover sleeves (dust jackets) or slip-covers for books. Normal turnaround times range from 15 to 30 days.

Albums and Boxes
Photo albums have been popular since the earliest days of photography and remain a safe and convenient way to preserve and display a collection of pictures. If preserving your prints is important, choose albums made from materials that are pH neutral and lignin- and hemicellulose-free.

Avoid ‘magnetic’ albums that keep the prints in place with an adhesive sheet that is pulled over the prints. The glues used in these albums may damage prints over time. If you’re using portfolio binders, which hold prints in plastic sleeves, look for polypropylene, rather than polyethylene. Materials that have passed the Photographic Activity Test (SO 18916:2007 [E]) have been determined to be safe for use with all photographic prints.

Presentation boxes are another alternative. You can buy boxes for prints up to A4 size in most photo shops and some stationery outlets. For larger sizes, suitable boxes may be difficult to find, and many photographers make their own from paper-coated foamboard and pH neutral adhesives. If your presentation box will be used for long-term print storage it should be made from materials that will not release damaging chemicals.

A well-designed presentation box should open easily to display the prints and have a latch to ensure secure closure. We don’t recommend inserting prints in protective sleeves because the sleeving material will reduce the vibrancy of the colour of the print itself. It’s better to interleave prints with photo-safe tissue as you place them into the box.

Framed Prints
Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own photographs attractively framed and on display in your home or office. Most photo retail stores – and many department stores and stationery shops – carry a wide range of manufactured frames in a variety of sizes. You simply unclip the back, insert your photograph, replace the back and it’s ready to display.


Be cautious about using reflective glass in the frames as it can create specular reflections that can affect viewing quality.
When choosing a frame, consider the environment in which it will be displayed and try to match both the picture and the frame to it. For light coloured walls and flooring, a dark picture in a dark frame that harmonises with the furniture is ideal. For dark walls and flooring, look for a softer, lighter coloured picture and frame.
Consider displaying frames pictures in groups, either on a wall or on a bookcase, shelf or mantelpiece. Keeping them around eye level will ensure they’re not overlooked. Add interest by using several different frame sizes and/ or staggering the frame heights. Use small frames in confined areas like bathrooms and hallways and large ones on larger wall areas.

If you already have a collection of small frames and have a tall but narrow area to work with, try stacking your pictures vertically. To fill in a large space, try displaying one large picture frame accompanied by several smaller ones. This type of arrangement works particularly well for family portraits.

Printing Pictures for Framing
When you are printing pictures that will be framed, the actual surface of the paper you print on is of little importance as both glossy and matte papers look very similar behind glass. Be cautious about printing on textured papers as they may not show up to advantage when prints are framed. The best option is to stick with a paper that has a good lightfastness rating and is thick enough to sit well in the frame without bulging forward and coming in contact with the glass. Papers of 200 grams/square metre (200 gsm) or thicker are ideal.

All framed photographs should be surrounded by a mat. This frame-within-a-frame can be plain or decorated, coloured or pure white. Its purpose is to make an attractive border to the picture and at the same time separate the picture from direct contact with the glass.
The small air space prevents moisture buildup and the development of mould and fungus. More than one mat may be used with a picture – although the more mats you use the more you are likely to draw the viewer’s attention to the frame and mat and away from the picture itself. Pre-cut mats are available from most outlets that carry photo frames as well as from all specialist framers.

The backing behind the picture should be stiff enough to provide support. Cardboard is popular for smaller prints but more rigid materials, such as foam core, are required for prints of A3+ size or larger. Foam core is also available from framing specialists, who often offer a cut-to-size service. The most common thicknesses are 3mm and 5mm, the latter being more suitable for prints of A3 and larger sizes.

The frame itself can be made of any material you like, as long as it can support and contain all the other framing elements. Popular options include wood, brass and anodised metals, although you can also buy frames made from plastics and composite materials (these usually have decorative mouldings).

Glass – or a transparent plastic substitute – is used to cover and protect the photograph. Some people prefer anti-reflective glass, which is more expensive than plain glass but subdues specular reflections. Both provide similar protection so this choice is a matter of taste. However, antireflective glass tends to suppress some of the vibrancy of printed colours, which may not suit rich and detailed pictures.

All frames should have dust sealing. This usually consists of wide brown paper (or plastic) tape that is stretched across the gaps at the back of the frame to prevent dirt and insects from getting in. Paper tape is more durable – if you can get it. Plastic tape is a reasonable substitute but it must be photo safe and care must be taken to ensure the areas to be covered are completely dust-free. The final touch involves adding hangers (loop screws and wires) to allow the picture to be hung on the wall.

Printing on canvas is becoming increasingly popular for photos that will be framed and displayed on walls. Many photolabs offer it as a service but with the right photo printer, you can also make your own canvas prints. Canvas prints must be stretched and mounted before framing.

If you’d like to explore printing on canvas, Hahnemuhle’s Gallerie Wrap system provides an easy way to mount canvas prints and requires no special tools. Each kit contains one or two sheets of canvas media plus adhesive-coated stretcher bars and full instructions for printing and mounting the image for display. A stepby- step demonstration can be viewed at www.hahnemuhledirect.com. Click on the Gallerie Wrap link.


Hahnemuhle’s Gallerie Wrap system provides an easy way to mount canvas prints.
If you don’t want to mount or frame prints yourself, professional framing shops can be found in most towns and suburbs. A quick check of the Yellow Pages should give you several to choose from.

The following websites provide additional information on the topics covered in this chapter.
www.photoreview.com.au/tips/outputting/ contains a selection of tips on printing and inkjet media.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Print_permanence contains an overview of print permanence.
www.wilhelm-research.com is the most highly-respected tester of photographic media and publishes data on print permanence for a wide range of printers and media.
www.epson.co.jp/e/technology/print_permanence.htm for a white paper explaining issues associated with print permanence.


This is an excerpt from Mastering Digital Photography Pocket Guide 2nd Edition.
Click here for more details on this and other titles in the Pocket Guide series.


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