"Grimy" borders on prints?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Cybertrash, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    I've seen a lot of pictures recently of b&w prints where there's this kind of "grimy" or "dirty" borders that look like this:

    [​IMG]


    I was just curious, why do the borders look like that? Are they using some special kind of easel?
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Cut back film carrier, black rebate, very fashionable in the 70's and 80's

    You were never considered real unless you could prove that the whole frame was captured at moment of pressing the shutter, kind of a homage to HCBresson.

    These days I think they are very ugly and take away from the image. But I am a cranky old fart.
     
  3. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I think it's for 'artistic effect'. I sometimes print similar borders, especially on my square images. I think it finishes them off, but I suspect others don't like them. I won't go into my own method, but essentially you devise a system of printing the border onto the paper so that it is developed at the same time as the image. My technique involves exposing the border first via the easel and then the image. Some people do it using the negative carrier. Alex
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    My negative carrier in axomat was exactly 24x36 mm: so to get black border I had to file with a rasp 1-2 millimeters on every side. As result I got imperfections similar like in those example. Sometimes I like it, bit in many cases I like clean thin black border better, they do not distract eye from the picture itself so much.
     
  5. Cybertrash

    Cybertrash Member

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    I see, interesting. But wouldn't the pattern in my example suggest that it is a little more than just a larger than 24x36 mask in play here? Considering that you can see the edge of the film, then a white border, and then a black border?
     
  6. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    If the print was made in an enlarger, then I would tend to agree with you. If it was made by electronic means, then I believe borders and effects can be added, but I don't have any experience of that kind of work. Why don't you give it a try, if you have access to darkroom facilities. It can be good fun devising a method to produce the border, and then trying it out. That is what I like about B&W darkroom work. There are lots of techniques and effects you can use to alter the look of your images, and they don't need to involve expensive tools or materials. If you have an idea to create a particular look, try it. If it works, great, or if not, try something else. Alex
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Me too. Thank goodness that the look is no longer fashionable.
     
  8. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Yes, your example looks like more than just larger mask. Here is example from my axomat:

    http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art/Warsaw-170-205649119
     
  9. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I agree...and these days they just remind me of all the silly borders available with digital plug-ins. I don't think they add anything to an image and, as far as being HCB pure..well, I won't even get into that :smile:
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    One of the ways to show the print was made with projection printing, which is always in fashion in my darkroom. It is also a 'fingerprint' that identifies me as the printer. However one usually can only make low magnification prints that way.
     
  11. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Dirty borders also prove that you are stubborn... I use them and cannot escape their tyranny... I just can't imagine looking at a print of one of my negatives - without seeing the entire negative. For me it is like seeing the print in person. I have to see it all. For me there is no choice, save yourself.

    Since I must use dirty borders, I can tell you what's happening.

    It's reflections.

    If you paint the edge of the filed negative carrier black, you will still reflect a fair amount of light from the cut-edge of the top and bottom of the negative carrier.

    When you don't paint the edges, then you get MORE reflections. These reflections can shoot out and inside the edge of the negative. So you may see echo images of negatives near the border... Or maybe a black/white/black effect.

    It all depends on the cut and the finishing of the negative carrier opening.
     
  12. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I guess it all started for me when I got prints back from my slides. Cropped by the slide mount... Further cropped un-aesthetically by the lab... I thought a particular slide was rubbish until I removed it from the mount and saw their (horses) ears were not cut off.
     
  13. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I was reading in one book why HCB insisted on full frame: not because of purity, but because western newspapers cropped picture sometimes to absurd level.
    What was too much to him was attached photos: they tried to show how life in USSR is miserable, and how women are not free in USSR.
     

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  15. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    My Durst m670 bw has a negative holder that looks like a book (sort of), where the top-side is newton glass and the bottom is open.
    Then you insert the negative mask, 6*6, 6*7 or 35mm, depending, and close the "book" after also placing your negative in there.
    The negative masks are made of metal and are almost exactly the thickness of the plastic used in DVD covers.

    So, since I was missing a 35mm mask at the time, naturally, I made one by cutting out the plastic of a black DVD-cover to the correct specifications of my negative 6*7 mask.
    (the only difference is the hole in the middle)

    Then i made the "hole" for the 35mm negative with a sharpie.

    - Actually I was trying to be as precise as possible, but the hole was way too big, creating a wide, black border outside the negative.
    - So i used black electrical tape to close the gap to fit more with the 35mm negative

    And voilla!
    [​IMG]

    The good thing about this method, is that you don't have to ruin your real negative holders, as getting replacements isn't that easy these days.
    I also made a dirty border for 6*6 frames out of cardboard, but this has too much paper-fiber on it, looks ugly, so i may just make one out of plastic for that too ^^

    Mileage and enlarger-systems may vary, just be creative with some scissors and a knife and some tape, and you can probably make something that works :smile:
     
  16. M Stat

    M Stat Member

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    Once I was told by a photography appraiser that the clean borders on my platinum prints were not preferred by collectors, they want to see my brush strokes. To which I replied that it is too bad for them. I don't make my work for anyone else but myself, and I like the borders clean.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    To me they detract and distract from the image itself an awful lot, and I find myself not focusing on the content of the picture as much as I would like to.

    But each printer has the freedom to choose how they want to print and show their work. When you look at Diane Arbus's prints in museum shows, for example, the foundation has extremely clear instructions of exactly how the prints may be displayed in their frames, and the image borders HAVE TO be shown, and then a certain distance between the image edge and the over-mat border is mandatory.

    To each their own. I try to rely on my pictures being satisfying enough, (to my own senses), that I don't have to rely on effects outside the image area to improve it. Of course somebody else will think that I'm a lunatic for doing so, or thinking that way, but that's how I feel.
     
  18. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    When I print full frame I use a glass carrier or purpose-milled full frame carrier. I can't stand raggedy borders, but I think an ultra clean, 1-2mm black line is really sexy on b/w prints.

    I eschew them when I crop ever so slightly to correct a crooked horizon, but if it's part of a series of printed work, I will make a mask the size of the image area and burn the line in with white light from the enlarger.
     
  19. ROL

    ROL Member

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    They're using some kind of special aesthetic. :laugh:
     
  20. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Making a print with non-original border effects came up last year in another forum. Here is my attempt at manually recreating the design of the digitally-reproduced example at the top of the linked thread. (That image in the link was made digitally as the agency digitised all their files years ago, and the original neg is rather valuable!).

    To show a little of the edges of the neg around a print, the simplest way would usually be to use a glass neg-carrier, while using the carrier's masking arms to limit the amount of extraneous light to just the narrow strip you need. This method is shown in the 'straight' version of the print I made in the linked thread, though showing pretty much the whole neg rather than a narrow strip.

    To make a simple, evenly sized, black border around any format of print, decide your cropping and then cut a piece of black card (or 3mm foamcore) the same size as the exposed area of the paper. Decide how wide you want your thin black keyline and trim the card by that amount on two edges. Make two fogging exposures, one each with the card pushed top-left and bottom-right to produce the black key lines symmetrically.

    Using a glass neg-carrier, the sky is the limit to the strange edge-changing items you can put in there with the neg, if you didn't want to make your chosen effect with multiple exposures.
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Bill has it right.

    Funnily enough, I have been printing a fair bit recently and have made this choice for a few negatives.

    I use an Omega D6 with an Ilford Multigrade 400 head - a diffusion source.

    The glassless negative holders are aluminum - painted black on the bottom piece, and white on the top.

    The attached example was shot in an RB67 - TMY-2 developed as an experiment in Pyrocat (PMK).

    I like the aesthetic for certain photographs, including the sense of three dimensionality it gives to the result of the process.

    Unfortunately, the APUG re-sizer seems to defeat my efforts to upload a sharp version of this scanned print.
     

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  22. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    OH so it's like a paper mask not a metal one, so you're seeing the fiber ends etc where it wasn't cut perfectly?

    I always wondered how that happened....

    I also don't understand why they don't make glass ones so you can get the edge effect without worrying about struggling to catch the edges of the film... lol
     
  23. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    You're being facetious, right?

    [​IMG]
     
  24. StoneNYC

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    No :sad: I don't print optically... I have a great enlarger but haven't used it yet... It's in the basement, it came with metal plates to put film in but the edges are metal and wouldn't produce funky edges.

    I can't tell from that tiny image what that is... :/ is there glass on that?


    Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  25. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Axomat has metal negative carrier, so I taped some sellotape on the edge of metal to be sure that negative will not be damaged.

    On focomat V35 they have different negative carriers: with glass, without, 24x36mm, 26x38mm (so I heard, did not see it in live)... my negative carrier is 24x36 - so I did rasp job on that one too. Good think that top is anti newton glass that is bigger than 24x36mm.
     
  26. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Stone:

    The example I posted (post # 20) was printed with a carrier with plates that have clean, metal edges. The "funky" stuff is a result of the light source and reflections off of those edges.