Color photos and mat color

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mark

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The wife and I are having a disagreement. I prefer white mats around any photograph. She wants colored double mats. I personally think colored mats detract from the photograph.

I was wondering what you folks thought about coloered mats?
 

roteague

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mark said:
The wife and I are having a disagreement. I prefer white mats around any photograph. She wants colored double mats. I personally think colored mats detract from the photograph.

I was wondering what you folks thought about coloered mats?

Not sure if you mean both mats should be colored. I use a colored inner mat, the color choice depends upon the photograph, and a white outer mat. That way I only have a small sliver of color showing around the photograph.
 
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mark

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Yep she wants both mats colored. Now why do you put colored mats in to begin with?
 

roteague

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mark said:
Yep she wants both mats colored. Now why do you put colored mats in to begin with?

I like to use a colored mat on the inside to hightlight the photograph somewhat. For example, if I have a lot of sky in the picture, I may have a light blue inner mat. I also tend to mount in a wood frame, either cherry or koa (rare and very expensive). Note, my inner mat is very small, only about 1/4".

My suggestion, is to try it to see if you like it; there is one photographer locally that uses an off-color white with ragged edges and it looks quite nice. Not something you might have thought of; sometimes it helps to experiment a bit.
 

Loose Gravel

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One of the reasons I don't do color or paint.

I'd say she is right. Color is tricky business. Look at how painters or museums mat their paintings. Go to a frame shop and talk to a framer. Color helps convey mood and emotion. So I suppose it depends on what you are trying to do and who your audience is. Remember that 12 to 20% of white males are 'color blind'. Also remember, if it didn't make a difference then businesses wouldn't pay color consultants millions of dollars to pick colors for hospitals and restaurants, etc. Everything makes a difference.

One reference is the book: The Elements of Color, by Johannes Itten
 
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