Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures hanging in a hallway and a fragment of this song

white frames
This is an idea I could swear I saw on one of the blogs I always read. Yet I haven't been able to find it in her archives so maybe I'm misremembering that. If you're reading this and it was you - sing out, I'd love to give you the credit! Anyway I saw the idea somewhere, filed it away in the back corner of my mind. It came back to me when I needed ideas for Christmas presents, late last year.

I found quite a few examples online and decided on my approach. Cut out the photo, use it as a guide to cut the shape out of nice black/dark coloured paper, stick it on a background paper, choose a frame and possibly get a matt cut as well.

I spent lots of time shooting and selecting profile photos of the three kids. Resizing them so they would all be in proportion and the right size for the frames I eventually settled on was a little bit fiddly, but I got there.

On several op-shopping expeditions I picked up lots of small frames in good condition. I wanted to make two sets of three, and thought I might use similar but not quite matching sets, perhaps painting the frames to tie them together. This all became too hard in the end and I ended up buying the two matching sets of inexpensive frames new.
silver frames
The thing that gave me the most trouble was the idea of cutting out the photos. I was pretty sure I should use a craft knife rather than scissors as this is supposed to be neater, more precise, more polished. Unfortunately I don't really have well-developed craft knife skills. I found a pair of small precise scissors and hoped I could get a good result with them, if the knife didn't work out. I got several extra copies of the photos printed in case of mistakes, but it still worried me and I put off starting.

I worked hard at all the other projects I had going on, but avoided this one. I ended up with my little sister coming over right before Christmas (okay, it was Christmas EVE) to help me with the cutting. She did a lovely, careful job with the knife. I actually had to stop her before she did all of the cutting for me - I felt it was important that I do some of them myself! I used the scissors and it was ok. Not perfect, but what is?
K had had a bright idea during the planning phase - I could do half as much cutting by skipping the black paper, and simply painting the backs of the cut-out photos with matte black spray paint (which we happened to have already). This worked out surprisingly well. It took a bit of practice to get a nice even coat - at first I tended to overspray them, leaving some slightly raised bumps of paint.

Luckily the framing was easy to put together at the last minute. I had earlier abandoned the idea of getting matts cut - this would require bigger frames than I really wanted. So, amazingly they were all ready for Christmas, though unfortunately not in time for good daylight photos.

And I think they were very well received. I'm not sure you really get the effect of silhouettes like these unless you know the subjects. It's fascinating how recognisable a silhouette actually is, considering how much information is lost from the photo. I suppose, given that you can often recognise someone you know well at a distance by their shape and gait, it's not that surprising.


amy said...

So crafty! And I'm here to tell you that cutting your own mats is an entirely achievable skill. It just requires a metal ruler, a beveled mat cutter (not that expensive), and a steady hand. I haven't done it in ages, but I used to cut my own mats when I was a photography student. That mat cutter is in the basement somewhere!

Donna Lee said...

I love silhouettes. Those are beautiful in the plain frames. I bet they were more than well received.

DrK said...

these really are very clever and effective, what a great present idea!

美妙 said...
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Kuka said...

ooh! I love these! I have seen them somewhere too, but can't quite remember.
They are gorgeous =)