How much border around the image?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by brian steinberger, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    I'm just curious as to what the "general rule" is as far as the amount of white border to leave around a print and different sizes. I've always heard an inch around the image is good. But I would assume with smaller sizes (5x7 and 8x10) you could get away with 1/2" or even 1/4". In my printing now I usually print 6x8" on 8x10 leaving 1" of white border, but when printing square prints I'll print 7x7", leaving only 1/2". But I've also always liked the looks of an image printed on 8x10 paper with only 1/4" border, these are nice to hold in your hands and view.

    I've heard that leaving larger borders makes it easier to frame if not dry mounting (that makes sense) and also borders leave room for contaminants to take their time making it to the image.

    What are others' views on this topic and for whatever reason?
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The size of the border depends on the size of the print, the composition of the print and framing style.

    Steve
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I am a 1/4 inch border kinda guy. Everything bigger than 5x7 gets 1/4 inch borders....




    hmmm, except (!) when printing 35mm full frame on an 8x10 sheet.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it is kind of like the joke a russian friend told me about making tea
    one person asked another " how do you make your tea so good ? "
    the tea maker responds " i use just enough water "
     
  5. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    :D That's the best answer John! :D

    gene
     
  6. mwdake

    mwdake Member

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    I always use 1/4 inch if the print is not for matting and framing.
    If I am going to frame the print then I do 1/2 inch borders which leaves 1/4 exposed after matting.
    It works for me but I know a lot of people who make their borders much larger.
     
  7. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    120 6x6 negs print 7x7 on 8x10, and 9x9 on 11x14. I don't print larger.
    35mm and other rectangular formats are printed 6x8 on 8x10 and 9x12 on 11x14.
    Sometimes I print smaller. Sometimes I crop more than indicated above if I feel the composition is stronger that way.

    I like John's 'just enough' analogy. *grin* - good one!
     
  8. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    Usually 1 to 2 inches on 11x14 and 16x20 paper. I usually mount prints with the matt opening about 1/4 inch wider than the edges of the exposed print all around. So need to allow for that plus corner tong bends, fixered finger marks, signatures etc. Also, if not dry mounting a wider border keeps it flatter and reduces corrugation as the print moves with temperature and humidty changes.

    I take my tea weak, black and with one sugar and get into trouble with the domestic authorities for never finishing it and leaving mugs with dregs lying around the place. I only ever drink just enough!
     
  9. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    For wall mounts a 9.75 x 7.75 inch print on 11.0 x 9.0 paper provides a just adequate .75 border to allow mounting allignment. 11x14 inch paper cut down to 11x9 results in one 5x7 and 4x5. No waste, works great. One inch borders is probably the minimum for archival consideration.
     
  10. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    This is purely an artistic choice. The only rule is that there are no rules.