The print sheets will be carefully rolled to a diameter of slightly less than the 4 inch diameter cylindrical shipping tube diameter and taped at that diameter. This is how they are also transported after printing at my lab. One end will have a neon red WARNING label with four statements. First the tube should not be opened if the tube shows shipping damage. Second if the received shipping tube appears damaged to not accept the package from UPS. Third if the received shipping tube appears damaged but was received, to contact me via email at email@example.com. And fourth if the received shipping tube appears undamaged to open the package at that end only. Of course I do not expect UPS to damage tubes during shipment but the possibility exists as boxes sometimes will crush other parcels. This process is important to follow as there is considerable potential costs involved to all parties invovled. This is so I can collect insurance from the shipper, order another print from the lab, then ship such to a customer. I cannot freely replace damaged prints if a shipping tube was opened. In such case there would be no reimbursement from a shipper thus it is the responsibility of the customer to NOT open damaged packages. If a print is damaged I will replace the print at my base replacement cost, see below.
At the shipping tube end noted on the WARNING label for opening, one will need to remove the taped on plastic end cap. With the tube oriented vertically at that end, just inside will be a packaging insulation plug to inhibit movement of the contents lengthwise in the tube. Pull out and removed the plug. Below at the top end of the rolled print will be the invoice, a copy of the web image description page text, and an information sheet including these handling instructions that can be easily removed without removing the rolled print. After inspecting the invoice please read the handling instruction. At this point the best advice would be to not remove the print and instead leave it safely inside the tube until it is delivered to the framing person. By removing and opening up a print for viewing, there is greater opportunity not only for damage, but also dust will tend to collect. Please see below for instructions on removing the print from the shipping tube.
Many people have become accustomed to handling their personal photographs without regard to the way they touch media. However human hands are naturally covered with oils and slight acids. Such is the reason fingerprints readily form on many objects with a single touch. Once a fingerprint has formed on print media, it is difficult to remove unless done so immediately using special safe photographic wipes. Those wipes are not likely to be available to customers or framers so my advice is simply not to touch prints with ones fingers and hands. Any professional framer will work using either safe white cotton or polyester gloves. When one does touch and move a print about while mounting, the media ought to be only touched along the one inch wide borders which are out of the image area. Before shipment any handling by myself or my printing lab will be done using white polyester gloves.
An important handling issue with any prints is the issue of crinkling. Crinkling as specifically used regarding prints is a term describing damage to print media caused by excessive bending which leaves a permanent crease or deformation on the surface of a print. Crinkling cannot be fixed so one needs to handle prints carefully. Customers will be responsible for making sure crinkling does not occur by themselves, their framers, or anyone else who handles the prints. I will be carefully checking each print prior to shipment making sure there is absolutely no chance a crinkled print has been inserted into a shipping tube.
Those who have only handled small prints are probably unaware of this damage mechanism because small prints are not as easily mechanically bent. On the other hand, large prints will readily crinkle if not handled properly. Professional framers who mount large prints as portrait photographs will already be aware of the need to be careful. Framers that only deal with small prints or posters may have little awareness. Crinkling will occur when the print media is bent at too little an angle. That angle is not much more than the rolled curvature of the print in the 4 inch diameter tube and the reason I am using large 4 inch diameter tubes for shipment versus 2 or 3 inch tubes. The best way to deal with the print is to not remove the print from the shipping tube at all but rather deliver it to your framer and ask them to carefully remove the print from the tube in your presence. Then after they lay it out flat, inspect the print so both you and the framer are aware it is un-damaged. If one simply gives the tube to a framer without inspection, an unscrupulous framer may claim it was already crinkled if they subsequently caused damage. In such a situation the framer may refuse to reimburse for damage and a customer would thus end up losing their investment. Considering the cost of these prints, please take these precautions. One sure way to cause crinkling is after removing the rolled print from the shipping tube, to simply grab around its diameter. That will immediately collapse the diameter inwardly and crinkle.
Another way crinkling can occur is by picking a large unravelled print up by an edge, and then carrying it about while the rest of the print hangs down. The resistance of air to perpendicular movement is enough to make the media flutter. Instead one should only move unravelled prints by full flat support beneath, or by picking up a print at opposite corners, or within the shipping tube. To turn a large print over, I would particularly advise sliding in two flat sheets above and below, then turning the sandwiched print and sheets over together. For example, use a sheet of rigid foam core board of greater size than the print dimensions. Another way crinkling might occur is when someone decides to move a print outdoors say to transport to a framing business. Even though a print may be supported by a flat surface, if it is not attached by say tape, the slightest breeze may lift the media up and cause crinkling. More reason to keep the print in its shipping tube prior to framing. Additionally there is considerable opportunity during the framing process to damage a print. Thus I would advise using framers with experience mounting large photographic media prints. Professional framers will confidently be able to safely handle prints.
To remove the print, first read the above handling instructions. Place the shipping tube with end cap already removed, to lay down lengthwise atop a flat clean table large enough to support the length of the tube and print. The print is within a sturdy 3-mil polyethylene plastic bag. Remove the small length of tape securing the rolled print to the side of inner tube surface. Remove the print from the tube by grasping the rolled edge of the print then gently pulling it out of the tube. Thus the rolled print will end up laying lengthwise safely flat atop the table. I will re-itterate to never grasp the rolled print by its diameter else it will surely collapse inward. Pieces of blue masking tape with weak adhesive secure the rolled print so it will not unravel upon tube removal. The end of the tape one ought grasp for removal has been folded back on itself for easily grasping with fingers. If one will be re-inserting the print back into the tube, one will need to reuse the blue tape, thus tack each strip of tape onto a safe object. The tape should be removed without pressing down on the rolled print by steadying the print at the rolled edge at one end and simply gently pulling it up. Be aware that once the tape has been detached, the rolled print will tend to unravel. Thus inner lengths of the print will unravel rotating out to lay flat atop the table. Of course be careful during unravelling to allow for adquate table space. There will be a modest amount of curl remaining in the print after doing so. However after the framer has mounted the print behind a mat against a backing board within a frame with glazing, it will become quite flat. To remove the print from the plastic bag requires first removing additional strips of blue tape. Then simply grasp the near end of the print at the open end of the bag and pull away the bag in the opposite direction. Re-inserting a large print back into its plastic bag can be done by simply gently pushing the print in while atop a work surface.
Before purchasing any of the larger prints, one ought to have some idea where a framed picture may be displayed. As color prints become larger, lighting to adequately illuminate prints becomes more of an issue. A well illuminated print can wonderful. But if lighting is dim, a picture may fail to add much to one's home or business. And that is especially true for image subjects which are darker. Ideally one would have a large enough space on an unused wall that has good natural indirect or interior room lighting. For instance in a room where sunlight indirectly bathed a room interior during parts of the day or a well used room where strong interior lighting is turned on for living or working purposes whenever occupied. The most efficient interior lighting would be to mount a couple 75 watt spot lights from above ceiling positions at a 45 degree angle towards the picture. With natural lighting from sunlight, a picture should not receive any direct sunlight because ultraviolet light will significantly reduce the lifetime of any type of photographic print. Interior fluorescent lighting also emits some ultraviolet light. There are clear plastic filters which easily fit over standard tube sizes available to reduce those emissions. If one wishes to mount a picture in an area that is somewhat dim, I would advise using one of the smaller lighter images as "Aspen & Red Fir Leaves on Illuminated Snow ", "Mono Lake at Old Marina Backlit Orange Sunrise", "Basalt Balls & Navaho Sandstone Dome", "Fairmont Butte Color Swaths of Wildflowers", or "Franklin Point Wild Strawberries on Sand". The most efficient lighting installations today are controlled by motion sensors that only turn on interior lights when the cat walks down the hallway. (smiles)
If a print is damaged by the shipper see Shipping Tube above. If a print is otherwise inadvertantly damaged by a customer or say their framer, I will replace the print at my base cost of having another print produced by my lab plus shipping and handling. Thus if I am selling a print for example for $207 and a customer accidentally crinkles the print, and the cost my lab charges for a reprint is say $70, I will charge a customer $70 plus whatever shipping and token handling costs that might require say $12 for a total of $82 instead of $207. Likewise if a customer damages a framed print in the future, even if it is years, I will so replace the print as long as my business and the lab printing process is still viable. Thus customers purchasing my prints have some guarantee into the future in event of damage. To obtain such a replacement, please first contact me by email for authorization. A customer seeking replacement will be required ship such a damaged print back to me. Customers that lose a print whether by theft or accident will not be allowed this base cost replacement.David Senesac