The Perfect Frames for Your Photos

Finding the perfect print option for your images can be daunting. Figuring out which paper to use is just the first part of the task. At least equally important for a printed photo's visual appeal is the right frame choice. And in this article, I show you frames that can elevate your images.

I'm sure many of you have heard that low-quality lenses can ruin the image quality of even high-end cameras. Another piece of advice you'll often hear is that investing in quality glass is more important than buying an expensive camera body. I'd say to get the best image quality, both are important.

With framed prints, it's similar. No matter how much you spend on the most exclusive fine-art paper, putting it behind low-quality glass will waste a lot of that quality. Colors look less vibrant, details are reduced, and if you stand in front of the frame, you see more of yourself reflected in the glass than the image behind it. If you position yourself at the correct angle to see the photo and not your reflection, you'll often spot dust and other particles behind the glass.

With many frames, mounting works in reverse order. At first, you put in the glass, then the passepartout with the mounted image, and finally the backplate. For some frames, it can be a fiddly process. The problem I mostly have is that I will only see if I have dust on the glass after I turn the frame. A dust-free environment certainly helps. But there always seems to be at least one little particle evading my efforts as I repeatedly clean and reframe my photos.

Yes, I'm an amateur when it comes to framing photos. But I have now found a solution that's so simple that it even works for me. And while searching for this solution, I also investigated different types of glass. Some can leave quite a gap in your wallet, but I found that, as with lenses, it's money well spent.

Halbe Picture Frames

During my research for the perfect picture frame, I found Halbe frames. It's a German frame manufacturer offering frames with a unique mounting principle. Instead of mounting in reverse order, the magnetic principle employed by Halbe allows you to frame your photos top-down.

I found there are several advantages to this:

  • I can easily align my photo with the passepartout in front of it.

  • I don't have to use tape to keep the photo in place. The pressure of the frame and glass on the passepartout is enough to keep everything aligned.

  • Quicker mounting reduces the chance of dust behind the glass.

  • Keeping the glass facing downward further helps with that.

In the feature video, I show how easy it is to mount a photo in a Halbe frame. This quick process makes it also possible to switch images from time to time, something I would never do with conventional frames.

Browsing the Halbe homepage, you'll find they offer many options to customize their frames. With standard sizes up to one meter, wooden or aluminum frames, different designs, and various glass types, you can find the perfect match for your photos. They even offer special frame sizes for very large format prints at a reasonable price.

I got a 28'' standard-sized frame with a passepartout for a 24'' print. The cheapest option Halbe offers to frame such a photo is a thin aluminum frame, which you can get for less than 70 Euros. But that would be with standard glass. An upgrade to their premium Artglass nearly doubles the price.

At first, I wasn't sure if such an upgrade would be worth it. But looking at one of my older frames with normal glass confirmed it was finally time to do it right. I went with a classic wooden frame, a white passepartout, and Artglass AR 70. And I'm happy with that choice. Below you see just how much of a difference it makes to use Artglass versus normal glass you'd get with a cheap frame.

What I Like

The frame I got speaks high quality. From the wooden front over the glass to the mounting system on the back of the frame, everything is well-made. The magnetic system allows easy framing of an image, and the Artglass is nearly invisible. When I first put the glass in front of the image, I couldn't notice it. Only if you have a window nearby and stand at an angle to the frame will you see a slight reflection. The video from Halbe shows a great comparison of the different glass types they offer.

Although I went with the classic framing option, the other mounting styles Halbe offers look great too. I find the Conservo-Distance to be an interesting option I might try in the future.

What Could Be Improved

I did my research and went with the option that I thought would be the best. And I have to say, it's hard to find anything wrong with these frames. The only thing you should be aware of if you decide to get one of the wooden frames with Artglass is the weight. A nail in the wall will not do it. So, be prepared to put at least two proper screws into the wall.


There is a saying: buy cheap, buy twice. With picture frames, it's the same. Getting a Halbe frame with Artglass was an eye-opener for me, and I will now have to save some money to replace my other frames piece by piece. It will take time, but it will be worth it. I will always have photos on my walls, so it's a longtime investment. I spend so much time and energy creating images of the highest quality, and it's strange that up until now, I didn't go through with this process toward the end, the framing of the image.

If you are also interested in Halbe frames, you'll find more information on the Halbe homepage. They offer delivery throughout Europe. If you're based in the US or some other country outside of Europe and can't get your hands on Halbe frames, I'd still encourage you to look for an option with Artglass or a similar-grade anti-reflective glass. It makes a huge difference.

Michael Breitung's picture

Michael Breitung is a freelance landscape and travel photographer from Germany. In the past 10 years he visited close to 30 countries to build his high quality portfolio and hone his skills as a photographer. He also has a growing Youtube channel, in which he shares the behind the scenes of his travels as well as his knowledge about photo editing.

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"They offer delivery throughout Europe. If you're based in the US or some other country outside of Europe and can't get your hands on Halbe frames, I'd still encourage you to look for an option with Artglass or a similar-grade anti-reflective glass. It makes a huge difference."

I always have such info in the conclusion at the end. It should not be a complete waste of time -> at least the glasses can also be purchased outside of Europe with other frame manufacturers.

Good Point, I'll remember for my next review ;-)

Avoid the reflections by avoiding the glazing (glass, plexi, etc.). Spray/Coat the print with a protective coating such as premierart eco shield. Better result and much less expensive.

Whats your experience with wet-wiping coated prints? In case a fly takes a sh** on the print? At least on the glass I have the occassional spot and thats easy to remove. Would the coating also hold? Just curious

I solved that problem quite some time ago...I make my own frames. :-) But, you need the time and you have to enjoy the smell of sawdust, paint, or wood stain. ;-)