Had a chance to contemplate this more yesterday; had lunch in a cafe in a nearby town that displays work by local artists. The current work was photography by a woman with impressive credentials (Antonelli School and LRPS) and included some film stuff even! What caught my eye were some pieces with square prints, maybe 8x8 inches, in a 16x20 frame, mounted with top and sides equal. That's about 4" top and sides and 8" at the bottom -- really looked strange. I definitely prefer the optical centering.
As many threads do, this one has wandered a lot. It was started about the framing, not the printing, but hey, it's all good clean fun. :whistling:
Just another data point ...
Thanks. And just to follow up, I think I decided on 12x12 in an 18x22 frame, optically centered.
But what really struck me here was the ludicrous degree of oversized frame and, presumably, mat. An 8x8 print in a 16x20 frame? What's up with putting an entire wall around each side? I've seen that before and I just think it looks pretentious, "look how much space I think my small print deserves." A small print can be exquisite and can deserve a close look, but to me putting in a comparatively giant frame isn't the way to do that. Part of the appeal is that it's small. (Ok, 8x8 isn't that small, it's not like a 4x5 of MF contact print, but small compared to the frame.)
Well I lacked any measuring instruments at the time, but that's my educated guess of the dimensions. Optical centering means the print is centered left to right and mounted such that the center of the print is slightly above the vertical center line of the mount/frame. The amount of adjustment can be determined by a graphical construction as shown at the link i posted back on page 1. The adjustment is obviously proportional in some fashion to the various dimensions. My feelings about the top and sides equal is a question of the degree of difference in the bottom. That method would likely bother me much less if the lower part were maybe 1.25 or so times the top and sides (or less) versus the 2 x of the mount I disliked. The woman had quite a wide assortment of frames and mounting styles, so it was a chance to see a bunch of ideas in play.
As far as frame size vs print size, some folks like a wide margin around a print to provide its own space, isolated from the frame and surrounding pieces - a gallery within a gallery -- sort of.
So, opinions are like noses -- almost everybody has one ... :D
Years ago I heard of a show where one of the requirements was that all work had to be in 16x20 frames. :laugh:
Edit: There is a magic condition where optical centering can reduce to top and sides equal. The interactive script at that link above actually warns of that condition and suggests regular centering, especially if the top gets smaller than the sides. Who knew it could all be so much fun!
Ah, thanks for the explanation, though I could have gone back and found it.
I understand some border. I just seem to see borders I think are extreme. I think it hits some internal reaction about wasted space and material more than anything.