Framed in Germany

A blank wall, especially a blank white wall, drives me crazy. I see it as a canvas asking to be filled with color, pattern and texture. I like to fill it with art and photography that represent the story of our family. If it’s on my walls it’s deeply personal, a gallery of our life. Since we move around a lot, I have some fun and frustration rehanging old favorites in new ways and I get to add new experiences to the gallery. The following group is my first try at printing out in black & white.

Jeromy took these pictures of waterfalls on a business trip to Hawaii. I think he took them on a weekend excursion to Maui. I’m insanely jealous of this entire trip because I didn’t get to go along and the bugger went skydiving too! Anyway, I didn’t know these photos would turn out so nice. I used Snapfish to change the photos to black & white and printed them out in 8×10 for about $3 a piece. The frames were purchased at Michael’s for about $10 a piece. This grouping only cost $52 to make! My favorite picture of the group is this one:

I think it shows many of the elements that make a good black & white photograph – the movement of the waves crashing on shore, contrast between the sky and ground, and a variety of texture from the plants and rocks on the beach.

I have another black & white grouping that is a little different. This pair was taken on a vacation in Italy.

The picture on the left is of Scaliger Castle in Sirmione. It was a beautiful day when this picture was taken, not a cloud in the sky. The sun provided some great shadows that were perfect for a black & white picture. The picture on the right was taken on the roof of the Duomo in Milan. I love how the pattern stands out in this picture.

Since our black & white pictures turned out so well, I thought I’d take a chance on some color photography. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to decorating, so it always worried me that color photography wouldn’t coordinate with my color scheme. I’m really happy I took a chance with this arrangement:

These pictures are of some of our travels around Europe – Prague Castle, the view of Boeblingen from our kitchen window, Neuschwanstein, Roman ruins in Sirmione, a Venice canal and Fruehlingsfest in Stuttgart. This arrangement was a bit difficult to put together. First of all, I used Snapfish to print out 8×10’s, which worked out great. The problem came when I tried to find German frames to fit my American 8×10’s. See, German frames are measured in centimeters, so the dimensions will never quite match up! Argh! I turn into a pirate when I get frustrated. So, I had to have custom mats made for my German IKEA frames. Just a piece of advice, sometimes it might be easier to have the frame picked out before you print out your picture that way you can print the correct size.

My favorite picture of this group is my son and husband on the swing. It took a few times around before I got the timing right and had the shot framed nicely. Really it was just dumb luck. It tickles me that you can see the giant ferris wheel in the background and there is a girl wearing an American flag shirt. We were in Germany and my two American guys are having a blast. Perfection!

In the future, when I’m working on hanging a new grouping, I’ll go through the step by step process of getting it to look right.

I hope this post provides some inspiration for you to get those pictures printed out, framed and put up on that empty wall. That wall is lonely and just begging for some love.

One thought on “Framed in Germany

  1. I love your photos! My favorite is the Ferris wheel framed one of your guys swinging. That really did turn out well. I sorta did something similar with some pictures I took in France. But are of some roses and kinda look like the picture that comes IN the frame! Still having them in black and white makes it easier to group a couple of pictures together that otherwise share no common denominator. The hardest part is hanging them like you did. I was lazy and leaned mine on a shelf. Can’t wait to hear your tips on picture hanging!

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