Hello Photographer!

April was the sunniest month on record and May is now doing what April usually does and is throwing rain and strong winds at us!

There’s lots to see and photograph though, in what is often one of the most stunning seasons of the year colour-wise. We are doing our first motorsports course this month up at the beautiful Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, and our new Stage 3 digital course too. The new website is shaping up nicely (don’t forget to send us your pics if you’d like them to be considered for inclusion) and should be ready for launching in the next few weeks.

As an aside to all that, Martine is also preparing her retrospective show which will be held in Nottingham’s Bromley House for the summer. She’s celebrating 25 years of shooting architecture and has been busy buying mounts and frames for the exhibition. With this in mind, she thought she’d share her research with you, as there are huge variables in mounting and framing costs.
Do read on….

Mounting & framing your images

I’ve been doing lots of research and carefully spending money on mounting and framing some of my photographs which go on show for two months this summer. It has been an interesting exercise, and I’ve discovered that there are not only lots of providers of DIY kits, ready-mades, and custom built products out there, but there’s just as much variety in pricing too!

Back in the days when I was a BA (hons) student, the preferred method of finishing and presenting our work was to do it ourselves, and in the 1980’s bought I into the Maped system, which is a French product with an incredibly easy to use mount cutting method. Maped’s cutters sit in a grooved metre rule which allows you to lock them in place and provided you hold the two together firmly on your mounting card, you can cut a really straight 45 degree line, ensuring proper pro quality window cuts. Recalling this, I thought I’d do all my mount cutting myself as I did 25 years ago for my degree show, but discovered my existing stock of cutting blades was depleted and my ancient ruler in poor condition from hard use. Having subsequently discovered that mounting card was not the price I had remembered, I then looked at the option of buying ready made window mounts instead…..


When I was at the The Photography Show at the NEC in March, there was a whole host of folk selling mounts and frames.  If you’re wanting to mount your own images, you’re best sticking to standard sizes, and I’ve been pricing up 40x50cm mounts, which are perfect for showing off A3 prints. Do shop around, but I latched onto Pinnacle who sell a variety of sizes and rather than buying single apertures, you can buy packs of 5 or 10 which are discounted for bulk quantities.   This seems a sensible approach if you’re not likely to make a regular habit of mounting your photos like me, as gone are the days when I sold framed images to clients -everything commercial goes out on DVD or via FTP upload now.

So, having sourced my mounts, I was onto frames. Oh boy! So much choice…. Gone are the days when you simply stuck your picture in the car and took it to the framer on the high street.  For bespoke sizes E-Frame kept popping up, their website is easy to use and their prices are lower than the high street with a standard delivery time of 7-9 days which is on a par with the local supplier with a shop too.

However, if your needs are simple, Sainsbury’s Homebase, Tesco at Home, BHS, Next, John Lewis and lots of retailers came into the frame (oh Martine, these puns are dreadful), but the clear winner for not only a huge variety of sizes, but pretty decent quality and a cracking price was our favourite bunch of Swedes…. Ikea. No contest.

As for what I’m sticking into these mounts and frames? Well all will be revealed on June 10th at Bromley House Library in Nottingham when the show opens to the public. And there’s no better way of seeing my top buildings of the last 25 years than to join me on my Historic Interiors Course which is on Monday 22nd June there, so read on……!

Historic Buildings

How to shoot Historic Buildings
Sumptuous listed architecture

£99 for the day
Monday 22nd June 2015

We’re back to an old favourite, but this time in mid summer which means that we are able to explore Bromley House Library’s lovely walled garden, as well as shooting the Council House from the Market Square fountains on our way over for the afternoon’s image-making there too. If you’re not from Nottingham, you won’t know these two classic buildings to which we refer; the first being a Georgian townhouse, home to a private library since 1751 and one of the world’s first commercial photographic studios from 1841. We have the free run of this elegant structure, from the former darkrooms in the attic, to the newly restored Hopkins Room with its tall bookcases and fine plaster-work.

For the afternoon, we explore Ceceil Howitt’s 1929 Council House, the city’s civic home with its ballroom modelled on Versailles, twin domes and Galleria, sweeping staircases and imposing council chambers.

You’re learning about lighting and composition, styling and creating images with ambience with one of the UK’s foremost architectural photographers, Martine Hamilton Knight DLitt (Hon) whose own work will be on display in Bromley for the summer.

Why not join her for a day of memorable image-making too?

Historic Buildings
Course content – in brief
  • Shoot two stunning listed buildings with top tuition throughout
  • Discover Bromley House’s secret city garden in flower
  • Have a go with tilt & shift lenses (Canon & Nikon)
  • Learn to control colour temperature and high contrast in interiors 

Book your place now!