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  1. #1
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    How much of a print to show

    This thought has been debating itself in my head now for a long time. I see that most (almost all) printers crop the print (whether contact or enlarged) to remove the outline of the negative.
    I wonder if we do this because it's "expected" or because we've just never thought about showing the "whole" negative on the print or because we just don't like how it looks? Do customers (for those of you who sell prints) expect to see it cropped? Do they reject full negative prints?
    I personally like to see the whole thing, and I intend to start doing more contact prints, especially with a view to moving up to a larger size than 4x5 in the near future.

    I'd like to hear NOT what folks think I should do (I already know what I'm going to do), but opinions on the esthetics of a full vs cropped negative print and experiences on how they are rec'd by the consuming public (whether commercial or hobby audience)

    cheers

  2. #2
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    And having posted it here in "contact printing", I now wonder if I shouldn't have put it into the "presentation" forum.
    (I have no objections to it being moved.)

  3. #3

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    There are two reasons I can see for keeping the edge of the negative.
    1-you want to prove to the world that you did not crop
    2-the edge of the negative adds to the over all asthetic of the print.

    I tend to ignore the first one, because I do not feel it is a valid reason. I do print the edge of the neg when i feel the edge enhances the image. The cool thing about enlarging is you are not held to the whole neg. You can crop.

    Since this is in the contact printing section I do not see much need to ever disregard the edges of the film because I know I am framing for a cantact before I take the picture I think film holder outline enhances the image
    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

  4. #4

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    John,

    I've shown prints both ways, trimmed without borders and with.
    It's a personal choice you'll have to make for your own work.
    There is no right or wrong on this issue, just opinions.

    Understand that more people will question, "what is the black edge that doesn't quite go all the way around the image" then will know that its the unexposed edge of the full negative.
    George Losse
    www.georgelosse.com

  5. #5
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Losse
    John,
    I've shown prints both ways, trimmed without borders and with.
    It's a personal choice you'll have to make for your own work.
    There is no right or wrong on this issue, just opinions.
    Understand that more people will question, "what is the black edge that doesn't quite go all the way around the image" then will know that its the unexposed edge of the full negative.
    Hi George,

    Thanks for the input. I'm not really worried about the "right/wrong" issue, but I'd like to hear more about personal experience with how presenting a fully printed negative was received.
    I kinda' figured that the "lack of knowledge" would be the sticking point here, but i also wonder if folks would be interested in finding out just exactly what that "border" is?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bartley
    Hi George,

    Thanks for the input. I'm not really worried about the "right/wrong" issue, but I'd like to hear more about personal experience with how presenting a fully printed negative was received.
    I kinda' figured that the "lack of knowledge" would be the sticking point here, but i also wonder if folks would be interested in finding out just exactly what that "border" is?
    John,
    Some have asked, but more were shy and didn't. Then later, when asked them about the work, they said they didn't like the "borders" and "didn't understand why they only went part way around the print."

    I have never had anybody say that they would or would not buy a print because of the border being or not being included in the print.

    Again this can go to the other thread about image content, but in the end what really matters to the viewer is the print inside the borders, not the borders or lack of borders.

    We should focus more on the image we expose of the film inside the edges the holder causeses. Unless you want people to be more impressed with the equipment you use then with what you can do with it.
    George Losse
    www.georgelosse.com

  7. #7
    rbarker's Avatar
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    How much to show? Just the right amount?

    I think it's really a matter of personal taste. And, while composing to the borders of the film format has many advantages, it also creates limitations. Sometimes, the image is more effective if cropped to a non-standard size that better fits the subject matter and its presentation. There are some (both buyers and photographers) who identify with the "full-frame" school of thought, but I don't think that is meaningful to the average art buyer.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  8. #8
    noseoil's Avatar
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    I have a print I like in 4x5 and mounted it both ways. After living with it for a while, I've decided that a good clean print doesn't need or benefit from the unexposed edge of film. Personally, I now find it distracting and it does not help the image. If it is over-matted, things change. I like the idea of seeing that edge, just not as an integral part of the image for regular viewing.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    How much to show? Just the right amount?
    Absolutely!

    Don't forget that the very fact that one points the camera at a subject and clicks the shutter the image is cropped already.

    I tend to crop in the camera for the format I'm shooting, but often do additional cropping to better serve the image.

    joe

  10. #10
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Personally, I think that the subject should determine the crop. If a scene creates a strong composition as a square, I'm not going to weaken it just because I took the picture with a camera that happens to shoot a rectangular format, or vice versa. I spend time judging the best crop for a print and don't really take the 'standard' film and paper formats into consideration.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

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