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  1. #1
    DarkroomDan's Avatar
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    What print size/mat size do you usually make and why?

    I just responded to a thread on choice of mat materials and, as part of my answer, I said that I tend to make small prints. I started thinking about this and just did a search to see if I could find a previous thread on the subject - I didn't but my not have phrased my search correctly. Anyway, I know that I prefer making small prints for a couple of reasons.

    The first is esthetic, I like intimate pieces that require close scrutiny and exclude surroundings. Getting up close can reveal detail that, to my mind, is lost in the larger work view from greater distance.

    I print in straight B&W as well as several alt processes - Gum, Bromoil, VDB, Argyrotype, Pl/Pd and Lith. Several of these produce effects that can only be seen on close examination. I am not suggesting that the value of a print is in the detail - If the image stinks at 10 feet, it wont smell any better at 1 foot. I love a print that is a strong composition from across the room and yields more and more interesting details as I get nearer.

    Several of the hand coated processes produce artifacts unique both to the process and to the individual print. In some, areas that appear as continuous tone or color become reminiscent of Pointillism at close range. The papers and some of the processes can have tactile dimensions that really should be held when viewed to be appreciated.

    THe other reasons I have for mainly printing small are 1) I shoot a lot in 5x7 and 2) My house is rather small and I like hanging a lot of my work here were I can see it.

    What size do you like your prints. Why?
    Daniel Williams
    Enumclaw WA USA

  2. #2
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    About fifteen years ago I bought a Durst Printo roller transport machine for colour neg printing. As the width of the machine is 12½ inches wide I standardised on a maximum of 12x16" colour paper, with plenty of 8x10" as well.

    Eventually I started to realise that my larger B&W prints weren't doing anything extra for me, so I standardised on 12x16" as the largest in B&W as well.

    All of the work that I show to people these days, is one of those sizes or a smaller portion of them.

    If you think your larger prints are big, then try competing with a missus who hangs quilts on a wall!

    Mick.
    Last edited by Mick Fagan; 10-31-2005 at 08:35 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling error.

  3. #3
    BruceN's Avatar
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    I'm currently gearing up for 20x24, and I don't see myself going beyond that. I do a lot of 8x10. Which reminds me - what's with these galleries framing 8x10 prints surrounded by as much as 15 inches of mat board? Does anyone really think that looks good, or are they just trying to justify selling bigger frames?

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    99.9% of my prints are made on 8x10 paper. There are two main reasons for this, the first being money. 11x14 paper is almost twice as expensive as 8x10 paper and when you figure in the extra $$ for the larger mats, it really adds up. If I were selling prints, I could justify spending the extra, but I'm not so I can't.

    Second, I live in a relatively small condo and I don't have room for really large prints so I stick to 8x10 prints.
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  5. #5
    Ole
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    About 80% 24x30cm (or 9.5x12"), the rest mostly 8x10" and 18x24cm. It all depends on what size paper I can find - I prefer 8x10" to 18x24cm, but like 24x30 best.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #6
    abeku's Avatar
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    18x24's in a 30x40 mat, "landscape cut in a portrait format". A bit narrow on the edges but with a proper frame you'll get that necessary space around the picture.
    - You will develop when you become an analog photographer / Exposed Material / Monochromes

  7. #7
    mario Ag+'s Avatar
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    I print on 8x10 most of the time. I like to print full frame 35mm negs on 12x16 paper leaving a large white border around the image.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mario Ag+
    I print on 8x10 most of the time. I like to print full frame 35mm negs on 12x16 paper leaving a large white border around the image.
    I've seen this type of printing and like it a lot. Though, I do question the economic practicality over a similar rendition on a floating matte.

    I personally enjoy the floating matte for many vertical images. Doesn't seem to work as well for most horizontal images.

  9. #9

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    All my b&w prints are made 8" sq ( or similar if rectangular) on 16" x 12" Forte Polywarmtone semi-matt paper used vertically. Mounting is in 20" x 16" window mounts again vertical. Why? Well I want to use a consistent approach and this is the best-balanced combination I've found after trying several others.

  10. #10
    jp80874's Avatar
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    The photography course I am taking requires a series of twenty 11”x 14” or larger prints, matted and over matted, by the end of the term. I am trying 16x20 inch size with 22” x 28” mats. The subjects are less than three feet away from the lens. I liked the detail that was coming out of the 8x10 negatives so much that I finished early and started a second series. I can't afford a second set of mats, so the first set will be recycled. The Professor has invited me to show ten in a group show at the start of next term.

    John Powers

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