On EverydayHDR I have had the pleasure of reviewing almost every print option available from Metallic Prints, to prints directly on Aluminum and insanely large banners and canvases.  Recently, I have had the opportunity to look at another medium to print your images on, Glass.  Yep, directly onto glass.

These interesting keepsake pieces are affectionately known as “Fractures” from a website called FractureMe.  At Fracture they print your images directly onto glass.  Here is a look at the process from their website.

Fracture-Process
A Screenshot from the FractureMe website explaining the process.

After seeing this new printing method I had to have a look for myself.  Their friendly customer service staff were very helpful and granted me two prints for further review.

Website Experience

My overall experience on the website was excellent!  I first went there with the thought… “What the heck is a Fracture?”  That was very quickly answered with the informative page “What’s a Fracture?“.  After watching the video and reading about them my next thought was pricing.  That thought was quickly answered by the Sizing & Pricing Page.  The website was clearly built, designed and presented with the inquisitive customer in mind.

When it came to the purchase and uploading process everything went very smoothly.  I think my upload to cart completion time was less than 5 minutes.  The sizes are a bit odd, but as I type this I just received a helpful email from them about Aspect Ratio.  While I do understand aspect ratio as a photographer, this is great for casual shooters who have no idea what the words Aspect and Ratio together even mean.

Building-the-Print

 

I ordered a large print (15.6 x 20.8) and a small print (4.8 x 6.4) with wall mounts so I could take a look at the mounting method and quality differences in the various size prints.

Shipping & Packaging

I was very pleased with the shipping speed and the packaging with Fracture.  From the time I completed my cart transaction to the time it was on my front porch was about 7 days!  That is pretty quick in terms of receiving a print without selecting expedited shipping.

When it arrived it was in a branded box, no different than many other printing companies.  This one cleverly says, “Your Fracture Has Arrived”.  That definitely added to my anticipation.  However, I was quite surprised that the box did not say Fragile or Glass Inside.  “Do Not Stack” and “Please Don’t Break This Box” are listed, but I think instinctively no one wants their boxes broken.

Fracture-Box

 

The inside was very reminiscent of Alcatraz so maybe that is why the words Fragile or Glass are not necessary.  I was pretty impressed with the packaging actually and was very curious how I received free shipping with the amount of care and material that went into the packaging.  Definitely an added plus and a true benefit to ordering over $100 worth of prints.

Shipping-1

The Inside of the Box as I opened it.

The prints were securely fastened to the box which was very nice to see.  I have seen all kinds of varieties of shipping from the bad to the excellent, like Fracture.  Be prepared to have a pair of scissors, an exacto blade, or a small saw to get into the packaging!

Shipping 2

Securely fastened prints in the packaging.

 

 

Print Quality

The Print Quality of the Fractures left a bit to be desired.  I was impressed by the overall presentation of the print after it was hung and seen from a distance, but up close the print appears to be pixelated.  Blacks are made up of a series of dots from different colors.

Detail of the Fracture Print with 3x Macro Magnification.

Detail of the Fracture Print with 3x Macro Magnification.

I noticed this rather quickly on the small print.  This print was not much of a photograph, it was more of a design.  The tree and foreground were rendered in Photoshop and I added a sunset from an old picture to the background.  In the detail you can see that the black areas are made up of several colors with a certain fringing that was not present in the original design.

Fracture-Me-Small-Print-Detail

Detail of the Fracture Print with 3x Macro Magnification.

I would expect this from a large print as larger prints tend to show more of the grain in a photograph than small ones.  This pixilation is present in both large and small images.

As I said before, the images look amazing on the wall and from a distance as the pixels run together.  With that being said, these prints are more for the individual who wants a clever, clean, and modern way to present their images, but is not overly concerned with print quality.  I would venture to say they are home-worthy, but not gallery worthy.

Back-of-Fracture

The reverse side of the Fracture Print.

 

Hanging Method

One of the areas that separates mice from men in the printing industry is the method used to hang the print.  Some methods are very sturdy and make it easy to install, while others may leave the integrity of the work on the wall in question.  Each Fracture print comes with a screw to hang it in the wall.  This is not your normal screw, it is a pre-anchored screw designed to penetrate drywall but give it enough body to not fall out easily.

Supplied-Screw

Screw included with every print.

 

The small print came with a rather easy hanging method.  It is a pre-dug out portion of the foam core that fits the head of the supplied screw.  Once in place, just slide the print down and the print is hung.  While this seems logical, I am curious as to how many times one could hang the piece before the foam core begins to erode away.  Or how many unlucky attempts you have at lining it up perfectly before the foam core hole is damaged.

Hanging-Methods

I was much more concerned with the hanging method for the large image.  It did not have a pre-dug hole but a piece of foam core with a grommet attached.  At first glance it looks stable enough, however there is not enough of a bevel in the grommet to safely hold the screw.

I drilled the supplied screw into the wall, placed the image on the wall via the grommet and it nearly fell to the ground.  Luckily, I had some fast hands and was able to grab it.  The problem arose with the print simply resting on the screw and not being locked in place.  Below is a dissection of the issue I am discussing.

Diagram-Slice

Dissection of Large Fracture hanging on the wall.

POST UPDATE:  12 February 2015:  

After writing this review I was informed by the company that the grommet method is the old hanging method.  Turns out I was one of the lucky ones to get one of the remaining few.  Here is the new hanging method for larger prints… it is a HUGE improvement!

The new hanging method for larger prints looks much like the hanging method for the smaller print depicted above.  It is now made of metal and is much easier to attach to the wall.  It also leaves you with a sense of satisfaction knowing the print is securely hung on the wall.  While it does take a bit of work to get it lined up properly, it is a huge improvement over the grommet method shown above.

Hanging Method 2

Bottom Line

I like what Fracture is doing here with their prints.  I think it is a clever way to print a photograph.  It is also an inexpensive way to hang a beautiful image on a wall without worrying about a frame.  The print quality could use a bit of adjustment to be gallery worthy, but that is really not what this printing method is for.  I am more than comfortable hanging these at home and wouldn’t mind a few more around the house.

For the price, you really can’t beat it.  They look great from a distance, which is how photographs are usually seen.

After detailed analysis “Who are Fractures for”?

  1. The casual photographer who wants a modern looking image on their wall at a very fair price.
  2. The person, like me, who does not like buying frames for photographs as they are often more expensive than the print.
  3. The proud parent who wants to show their family memories in a unique way.

 

Blake Rudis

f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.


For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.


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