Boy...I really do not much care for 'borders' on my photos. I don't use an easel for that reason. I generally will leave a border if I enlarge 35mm to the width of an 8x10, but I have no problem cropping either when I enlarge or with a paper trimmer.
I like the feel of a 'full bleed' on the photos. Makes me feel like I am looking at a part of the whole, but not through a deliniated window. Just this cow-girl's opinion.
For me this is more of an issue for hand coated paper. In my limited experience making cyanotypes and VDBs, the excessive border can seriously detract from the image but I do like seeing some evidence of the hand coating aspect. Sometimes the edge markings of a cut film holder and film notches also are distracting to me, but it's up to the maker to decide how they present it and "suffer the consequenses". All IMO of course
what works for me
I use 35mm. My standard printing size is as large as I can print on 8x10 paper with a little trimming thrown in..about 6-1/2x9-3/4. Almost all of my photos are taken in light that is slow to change of statice subjects. I like the proportions provided by the 35mm. I compose with great care. If I notice at the time a photo is being taken that the photo does not fit properly within the rectangle of a 35mm frame, I decide how I wish to trim 2 parallel edges after printing. When the print has been finished and dried, I trim off the frame edges and if I originally decided to trim either the height or width I do that. If I notice that the photo would be better by trimming the top, bottom or the leftor right sides I still do not trim it...EVERYTIME I LOOK AT THE PHOTO I GET THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE REMINDER TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE HELL I AM DOING. This practice has served me well. It has lead to a substantial improvement in composition. I do not second guess myself. I am not recommending that others do this...to each their own.
When taking photos of moving subjects, my granddaughter for example, I will crop as necessary.
I trim off the black edges of the negative projected unto the print because regardless of how nice it looks I feel that it is a distraction to the print itself.
Black border or not: this is a function of your vision. If you see your subjects filling the entire picture space and having internal coherence then the black border will be distracting. After all, when looking on the ground glass, you were not seeing a black border.
If, on the other hand, you photograph more on the order of, say, Richard Avedon, where the subject matter of your picture is essentially in the center, then the black border is what keeps your eye from getting stuck in the center; the black border keeps the eye moving and helps define the space surrounding the central subsject.
Whichever way one goes with this, one's decision to exhibit their photographs with a black border or not should be a function of vision and not based on an idea.
Showing the unexposed edge of large format film in the print, with the attendent multi-width black border, calls attention to the process. (Hey look! My photography must be great because I use a large format camera and don't crop!) I prefer attention to be focused on the subject. As Michael says, though, some prints benefit from a black border. If that's the case, then I prefer a simple 1mm (or so) black border.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
If you are being published in View Camera Magazine, include the film border. Otherwise, trim it.
I think it's an artsy statement. The enlargment with a negative outline with two notches in the side say HASSELBLAD. I'm a serious photographer. The brush strokes on a Pt/Pd print say HANDMADE.
That's why you can now photoshop notches or brush strokes. The digital types are feeling insecure.
I glass rod and masking tape my Pt/Pd prints. If you want to see if they are real lift the overmat.
Well folks.........lots of opinions and comments out there. Not much in the way of experience with the reaction of "the public", but maybe that reflects the ratio of "hobby" to " professional" photogs here.
I guess if I had to summarise the reponses, I'd say that most would look at leaving the border of the negative exposed as a personal "style", and not necessarily a marketable style or one that "the public" would understand at that.
So........seeing as I do this as a hobby ONLY, and I've never been much for following the beaten path, I think I'm going to go with my original thought and try a bunch to see how I like them. I have a feeling that I will in most cases.
It doesn't mean I'm stuck there - I can always change my mind later.
cheers and thank you
I cropped a 8x10 contact print down to 1-3/4x2-3/4. I took the original feeling it had the information to translate what I wanted. After finally getting to printing it a year later, I had to cut it back to get the origanal feel.
I would venture a guess that even a substantial percentage of "professionals"** print to service their own preferences rather than anticipate what any given customer would say if they were looking over their shoulder in the darkroom. After all, if you're a 'pro', presumably the customer chose you after seeing your previous work which, presumably, you did to meet your own artistic demands.
Originally Posted by John Bartley
There are a handful or so of gallery types here as well as shooters. Perhaps you'd get more of the variety of answer you're looking for if you checked in the presentation forum. It sounds like what you're wanting to know is how much commercial appeal different borders/edges have on a print made for presentation or customer.
** What warrants being called a 'professional'? Getting money for images? Making a living from photography? The approach to the art and craft?