Last week I spent time sorting out hanging methods and preparing for the full print run by making some test strips. The test strips are to finalise the amount of sharpening to apply to the finished prints.
I have also been taking a closer look at how to hang and I went back to the guys in PhotoIreland, Angel and Julia to pick their brains about hanging unframed images. I think I have previously posted the image below where I used nails and fold back clips. Having spent a week or so looking at it I came to the conclusion that I disliked the clips, they get in the way of looking at the images so Angel suggested that I nail the images straight to the wall as above.
I decided that I would keep the masonry nails in reserve and see if I could find another, better looking option. Panel pins would be perfect however they will not go into a solid wall. Then last week I came across these copper plated nails that are designed to go into hard wood planks. I bought a bag and took them home to test and although they will not go very deeply into the wall they go in deep enough to hold up my prints. They are nice and slim and look good too so I am optimistic that this way will work however I will also have a fall back option with me on the 29th when I arrive to start hanging.
I also had, as I think I said in a previous post, ordered some magnets to try out at the same time. I decided to go with the less expensive option of using a flat magnet which would clamp to a screw head underneath, the more expensive option is to buy two magnets for each attachment point. One is counter sunk and is made to be mounted on the screw head itself and then then second magnet is placed on the other side of the print. I decided, on doing the maths that this was too expensive for my budget and also they are not available locally and I would have to order and wait before I could see the end result. I found a couple of things with these. The first was that they are very, very powerful. They come in pairs with a small plastic ring between the two magnets to make it easy to separate them. By mistake I allowed two magnets to stick together and they were near enough impossible to separate, I had to use a knife with a narrow blade and I could see it was possible that I might slice my own finger off! Also they just didn’t work without the second counter sunk magnet, the print kept slipping down and exposing the screw head beneath. This might be due to the size of the screw head but regardless for the cost I decided I wasn’t going to explore this any further. They would still make an interesting option in the future.
Also I tested out putting up a line on the wall using a piece of string as a level. I am trying to think of ways to speed up the hanging and if I this worked I could hang a line of prints on the wall at the same height quickly. I have decided that I will go for all prints hung in a line to emphasise the narrative across the set.
I go this idea following making a mistake with one of the first prints where I drew a line on the wall which, once the print was hung was clearly visible.
So I hung two test strips, one sharpened by various amounts using the Nik suite of software for a viewing distance of 60 cm (L) and the other for 60 cm to 1.5 meters (R).
I have decided to go with the second viewing distance and have pre sharpened using Nik pro Raw Presharpener, reducing noise in Dfine 2 and finally sharpening for output at the appropriate image size using Nik output sharpening. I hung my images off an imaginary central line of 155 cm. This means that the top of the image is 155 cm plus half the heath of the print (21.5 cm) or 176.5 cm from the floor.
Another issue I wanted to look at was the method for hanging the prints on my own. My initial idea was to mark up the wall using a spirit level and pencil then hanging the print using something temporary such as blutack. This would allow me to take my hands away from the print and use them to hammer the nails into the print and wall. I found that while this method does work its flawed. First of all the print doesn’t sit well, flat on the wall. Also after I had the four corners nailed it was tricky to get the blutack off and I left a couple of marks on the print. SO since then I have begun to think about asking for help. On Saturday I mentioned to someone in my local coffee shop that I was hanging alone and she instantly volunteered her husband! I spoke to him and he is available to hang on the 29th. Now I just need someone for the 30th and 31st.
Finally I am thinking of how I can show the process fo hanging the exhibition and also the opening night. I intend to use video for some of this and yesterday I made this video of the first print of the exhibition run rolling off my printer and shared it far and wide because I am trying to show the process of making the exhibition.
Also last week I made this time-lapse video of the test hanging in our bedroom and in the hall way outside. It was a family affair.