Size of Your Photographs?
I'm curious as to what size other people make their prints, and why.
My first show I printed while at school; they were all 8x10 and the experience was pretty much a blurr. My second show were all 11x14; while watching others look at my work I noticed they all stayed about the same distance from the photographs. This meant they were missing the really delicate details in the prints, and I also didn't like the look of a close-up next to a wide, open landscape when they were the same size.
My last show, I made my close-ups and small scenes on 5x7, middle distance stuff on 8x10, and any big landscapes on 11x14. This had the effect of pulling people in to look at the small prints where they would be close enough to see the delicate details in the bigger prints...people were constantly moving in and out as they moved around the gallery. A small close-up next to a big landscape also makes visual sense to me.
My final step in this evolution (I think!) is to make close-ups 5x7, small scenes 8x10, middle distance 11x14, and open landscapes 16x20. Does size matter to you?
It is not the size it is how you use what you got.....SOmeone had to say it.
I think the subject dictates the size. A 30x40 print of an intimate scene would just not work in my book. and some grand landscapes work best at 5x7.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
When I shoot I often think "how will that look big?" I like large prints of graphic subjects (graphic being bold, dramatic, colourful), so my intent from the time I release the shutter is to print as large as I can. It is purely a taste thing.
The answer to your question is: My final prints are usually (or at least have grown to be) 20" on the short edge.
I got back into darkroom work about a year and a half ago. I have enlarged all of my work to 8X10 since then. I recently became a member of a co-op gallery and have noticed most of the members work is presented in 11X14 or larger. My stuff looks small compared to theirs. (Print envy). I mostly do street photography which lends itself to larger format well. So I am in the process of gearing up for the larger size.
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Since a lot of my work is contact prints, the negative size is what dictates the size of my prints. Otherwise, it depends on what I am having the print enlarged for and the size of the original negative to some degree.
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I too have been contact printing for the last 15 years. So my print size has been limited to the film size, mostly 8x10 and 8x20, some 11x14 and some 4x5 and recently some 5x7. Before I started contact printing, I like 11x14 for prints from 4x5 and 120 negatives.
Last spring I made some 16x20 prints from a few 8x10 negatives. Just as an experiment to see if I would like that look for my work. It didn't feel like my work.
Try printing some of your images at different sizes. Then look at them and see what size THEY want to be. It may sound strange but the prints will tell you what size they should be.
In the end, your the artist, you have to decide how you want your work to be seen.
Yes, the bigger the better.
Originally Posted by mrcallow
Many years ago, my first trip to San Francisco, I went to a show at the LACMA. They were "forgotten" pictures by Ansel Adams. They were small, contact print size (from 120 or 3x4 film). I fell in love with the small image. I still like to print small. I usually like 5x7 on 8x10 and 8x8 on 11x14's. I *did* get a 16x20 Nova slot and one of these days, I'll start doing 16x20's. But I like the intimacy about smaller prints.
I'm currently printing everything on 11x14 paper with big white borders and a few on 8x10 paper with large borders. I'm not fond of huge photographs. Anything over 11x14 or 16x20 begins to look like wallpaper for a bank lobby to me.
Last week I went see a local photography exhibit. There were a couple of nice pictures but most were just uninvolved images of whatever happened to be in front of the camera when the button was pushed. Not photographically interesting but I suppose the subject matter must have held some interest for the photographer at the time.
They were enlarged to 14 or 20 inches on the long edge and nicely matted and framed. As far as I could tell that was the only thing that transformed them from typical travel snapshots into fine art.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.