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  1. #1

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    "Grimy" borders on prints?

    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:




    I was just curious, why do the borders look like that? Are they using some special kind of easel?
    "Art is is a picture of some dude I never met smoking under a lamppost at 6400 ISO and in BW."

  2. #2
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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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. #3

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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. #4
    darkosaric's Avatar
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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. #5

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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?
    "Art is is a picture of some dude I never met smoking under a lamppost at 6400 ISO and in BW."

  6. #6

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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. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    These days I think they are very ugly and take away from the image. But I am a cranky old fart.
    Me too. Thank goodness that the look is no longer fashionable.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #8
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybertrash View Post
    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?
    Yes, your example looks like more than just larger mask. Here is example from my axomat:

    http://darkosaric.deviantart.com/art...-170-205649119

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Me too. Thank goodness that the look is no longer fashionable.
    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

  10. #10
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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.

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