Monday, December 1, 2003

Beyond cheesiness: how to frame your pictures


By Ben Hochstrasser

Two weeks ago, David introduced you to an easy and inexpensive way of vignetting pictures. I, as the author of FrameFun, felt intrigued to investigate further on the colour cast issue he had raised and, while not quite able to reproduce the effect, have to agree that everyone who is vignetting images probably isn't going to be all that concerned.

The main reason for me to write FrameFun was not the vignette function. I looked for an easy way of putting a frame around a picture with a minimum effort. Photoshop and the like, while perfectly able to produce the desired result, are far from what the "accidental image manipulator" is able to remember when he/she doesn't use these products on a daily basis. So there, I sat down and started programming. Now here's how you can, using FrameFun, give your images that certain extra touch-up.

At this point I assume you have downloaded and installed FrameFun, and have read the documentation. I won't re-explain the most basic steps here, we're in the "advanced" class right now. If you haven't downloaded it yet, go get it from

Foto fake

When looking at artistic photographs, I noticed that there often is a black, slightly irregular border around the image -- resulting from the film frame around the negative. Here's how to add a neat black border around your artwork:

  • Select a black frame, 1 pixel wide.
  • Select a blurred border, roughly 1/150 (or the absolute equivalent) wide. The border is also black.
  • Apply.
  • Tweak until happy and play around with various frame and border widths. Do not apply a shadow at this time.