As I have previously mentioned, we have slowly been decorating our apartment after nine months of barren walls. Two weeks ago I began adorning the kitchen and bathroom walls with vinyl stickers available at Etsy.com and posted my process here. This past 4th of July weekend, we returned to our original artwork idea of having our iPhone and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 panorama picture shots printed, framed, and mounted.
To be honest, I’ve found that the Samsung Galaxy knocks the iPhone out of the park in terms of panorama quality…perhaps the larger screen and heftier device makes it easier to hold steady when prepping for the shot. Regardless, we decided to take panorama pictures of each vacation / outing we ventured to with great landscapes. This artwork is 100% original, 100% ours. I think that personal framed artwork in your house creates a more welcoming environment as well as provides a fascinating story for inquisitive guests.
The panorama picture below was our first attempt at framing art. We took this shot during a January hike in the Malibu Canyon trails. The weather was superb and I think it made a great coastal picture.
The best website I have found for quality panorama prints is ezprints.com. They’re ordering system is simple and customer service was great (after an unfortunate smashed frame courtesy of the United States Postal Service). The length of your panorama obviously depends on how long you took the shot on your phone. This print is 14″x 54″. We have another shot of the Nevada desert that was a little shorter running 14″x 38″. Because of these odd sizes, having a custom panorama frame is your only option.
Custom frames found online run anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on your choice of materials PLUS shipping and handling….which is way too much in my book.
We decided to have a custom plexiglass frame cut at a local vendor, Santa Monica Plastics. It cost $50 for the plexi and the cut. The piece itself turned out pretty well. When we finally mounted it with two brackets glued on the back that rested on two nails, it lasted on the wall for about 20 minutes before it fell (and scared the living bejesus out of me). The double pained plexiglass was just too heavy for our thin walls. We needed a proper mounting frame.
So, our next decision was to build our own custom wood frames…using the two plexiglass pieces as protective covers. Using three 8″x 6′ boards, we cut them down to our above mentioned dimensions using a table saw. Once measured, we used left over wood to create two posts in the back that served as a mounting board and stabilizer to connect the three boards. The boards were nailed together. Next, we hand-sanded the entire frame in preparation for staining. I chose a dark wood stain color (Minwax) to match my living room furniture and was quite pleased with the rustic-looking results. After three coats of stain dried under the sun, two brackets were attached with a framing wire. Lastly, our plexiglass from our previous attempt was screwed in as a front casing to protect the picture.
All-in-all we’re very pleased with our custom built framed artwork. The excess wood will be used for our second panorama desert scene and the second plexiglass panel will be cut down to the smaller dimensions. This project culminates the originality of art from the initial picture to the hand-built frame to home-felt presentation. If you’re a professional cell phone picture taker…create your own framed panoramic picture art!