How to print with "interesting" borders?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by gregmacc, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. gregmacc

    gregmacc Member

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    I'm wanting to finish some of my prints with borders that are not crisp and clean. I can achieve precise edges with my easel but it doesn't always suit the image. I'm interested in any techniques that people are using to provide non standard edges to their prints. My preference usually is to have some space between the edge of the print and the edge of the matting board, so that some base paper white is clearly visible.
    Cheers
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi gregmacc

    you could get 2 pieces of matboard and make a window mount and use that instead of an easel ..
    you could also talk an exacto blade and chip away at the emulsion, or scrape some of it off
    with a blade/emory board..
     
  3. David William White

    David William White Member

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    You can hack your own carrier (foamcore board, black plastic bag, etc.) and roughing it up as much as you want, or you could even swab or brush fixer around the border of your paper, wash, then expose.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    file out negative carrier has been a tool of choice for many years.
     
  5. gregmacc

    gregmacc Member

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    Great ideas people ... can't wait to start experimenting
     
  6. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    Construction paper - rip it so you don't have a straight edge, and tape it to the blades of your easel.
     
  7. dfoo

    dfoo Member

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    For 135 negatives I cut a 36x24 window into a piece of stiff paper (a file folder) and then roughed up the edges with a scalpel. Works well, and has the added advantage of keeping the glass from pressing right down the negative which can cause newtons rings.
     
  8. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Fold it along the line you want before you rip it. The construction paper I have tears all to pieces if you don't "encourage" it to be kinda straight.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Use some paint-on emulsion and only coat the middle of the paper.
     
  10. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Michael reminded me of another technique that works well for tearing the edges of the fiber prints themselves. Instead of folding the paper to keep the rip going the right way, what you do is use a fine-tipped brush to 'draw' your border with water. Over and over until the paper has lines soaked down it, weakening the paper. Then you grasp the print with the wet line over the edge of a table and rip the border down and off. This really looks nice with step-off mounting.
     
  11. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    you can make a non-edge fade border by using a card cut out and raising and lower it during the exposure.

    Jon
     
  12. rjbuzzclick

    rjbuzzclick Member

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    For 4x5 contact printing, I hand cut out a frame out of cardboard, the center opening is just larger than my negative, which gives a slightly sloppy rough black frame around the image but leaves the rest of the 5x7 paper white.
     
  13. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    I was looking through Diane Arbus Revelations and found something relevant.

    Diane Arbus transitioned from hard edge easel-masked borders to black edge filed-out-negative-carrier borders and then later in 1969 to soft borders.

    Neil Selkirk tried to duplicate the technique Diane Arbus used when he made prints for an exhibition of her work.

    He found strips of cardboard about 2 1/2 inches long by 1/4 inch wide with tape on the ends hanging from the enlarger column. She would tape these strips to the top of the negative carrier.

    When they disintegrated, Neil tried better cardboard but it didn't look the same. To duplicate her edge he found the source of her strips was cheap cardboard boxes containing negative sleeves. When cut down to the right size the edges were hairy, and when he suppressed the hairs with saliva-wetted fingers it made the edges perfect.
     
  14. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Use the easel blades to hold the paper down but don't use them to mask the projected image...rough edges without having to file your carrier.

    See an example here
     
  15. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    If you use "paper" of any kind, be sure it is opaque so the light doesn't darken the emulsion during exposure.
     
  16. Paul VanAudenhove

    Paul VanAudenhove Member

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    You could simulate the look of hand coated paper by painting your borders on a transparent overlay. By painting the edges, you would have a white border; or by painting the center you could then overexpose the border to get black borders.