One of the reasons I like platinum printing is the ease of creating rough edges. Depending on the negative, I'll sometimes brush the sensitizer beyond the edge of the image area so that I can have dark brush strokes framing the image. For other negatives, I'll brush it on smaller than the negative so I can still have rough edges, but have them entirely exposed through the negative. It is entirely an aesthetic choice that I make on a per-image basis. Here are some examples.
I like to have the borders included too-to really see the whole negative. If you mount the picture together with a passepartout, you always have the option to hide the black borders.
I find some of the strong opinions in this thread interesting, and I think I get it. When something gets "fashionable" it can get overused and tired and old. I've only been printing again for a year or so and have not settled on anything at all. Sometimes clean white borders, sometimes clean straight thin black, sometimes "ragged" black ( but not as "grimy" as the example or with sprocket holes ) and sometimes I like to just lay the paper on the baseboard and make a borderless print. I choose what to do based on the picture and what I think will look good. Maybe it's a mishmash and not a consistent style, but there's also some fun and freedom and whim involved. I rarely crop... and I can't say why exactly... it's not to prove anything about composition but just that when I make a picture I am usually trying to think about the whole frame, and that carries over into printing. Most of my prints I just hold in my hand to look at, and if I was planning to frame one I'd make a more careful choice. Anyway, I have prints in all these styles that I like, and for now I have no plans to restrict myself to one border style.
TheHCB allusions are all bullshit to me. I didn't know who HCB was until I was 10 years into my photography. And until today I saw about 10 of his images at most.
As a matter of fact, I don't look at anyone's images. I do my own thing.
About the black border: I print my images Full frame. It's 100 times easier this way. No fiddling with endless non-existent/irregular frame formats. No fiddling with easel masks. No nothing, just pure printing the whole image inside a whole sheet of paper. The black border defines the edges of my images and 100% of my prints are like that. It's not a fad, not a fashion, it's simply my way of printing, my way of shooting and my whole style in general. I simply never crop: Not when shooting, not when printing. And yes, I believe it shows more of my talent, also. And when my prints are framed, the person has the choice to either frame over the black edges or not.
NB23, I'm sorry you hadn't heard of HCB before but that shouldn't matter. I tried to get a feel for what you might have experienced so I went to Wikipedia and looked for an unfamiliar name in the list of photographers. I hadn't heard of Laura McPhee before today. Now I found someone whose work is worth seeing. She doesn't use black borders.
I printed one print tonight. It felt weird dumping chems after one shot. But that's all I had time for and there is a backlog of negatives I am anxious to see. 100% full-frame with grimy border, from a 6x9 folding camera with an inaccurate finder. It's an interior scene, my daughter on a bed with her stuffed animal. It's at one of those bed and breakfast places where the rooms are done up in period furniture and everything just fits in to give the picture an authentic old era feel. The picture oozes with more curtains and wallpaper at the edges. There was tolerance in the composition, but I cannot imagine it cropped any other way. I get it. Sometimes it all comes together and it's great. Sometimes you miss though, and you have to decide if you are going to show it anyway with the flawed composition, or keep the standards high and pass the defective negative by.
I personally try not to hold impossibly high standards, so depending on the other strengths of the image, a distraction in the composition won't always disqualify a negative from my consideration. My photos from Russian River were like that, little problems here and there that detracted from some of the images - but I made many prints anyway. Then, from the batch, a few unique photos came out that may have never been printed if I waited for it all to be perfect.
I thought I'd revive this thread after reading Maris Rusis' thoughts in the article Forever silver in f11 magazine...
Still, I print with grimy borders and I don't think of it as contrived or fashionable. It's just what I do, because I simply want to see everything that the negative has to offer...