Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by caimi, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    I'm just throwing this out to see what kind of opinions I get:

    What do you think of using borders around your pictures?
  2. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Borders are to the picture what salt is in the soup : they must be there, but not too obvious ...

    C U
  3. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I usually use a double matte to from photos, the rear matte a thin black edge. I generally don't put borders on photos, but I would probably use a thin black border if I did.
  4. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I used to put a small black border around my images before uploading, because I like the look when posted here in forum threads. But it was a bit of a hassle in Aperture (even with the BorderFX plugin) and I eventually stopped.

    For the last few batches that I've printed through an online service, since I was printing to a non-4:3 ratio size I included a black border to fill the extra space, which looks pretty good since I mount them directly to sintra board and hang them unframed.
  5. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    I'm not a fan done subtly or badly. I like a good clean picture that stands on it own merits of it's content.
    I bet a really really well chosen border might slip past me without me noticing. But those I've noticed don't add anything to the picture and get in the way.
  6. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US

    I'm not sure what you mean. I've heard that comment before: "a good, clean picture that stands on its own merits without a border". But I honestly do not understand what that means in the context of not using a border. Does the border somehow detract from the picture's merits? Or does it mean that a picture with a border would be somehow less without it.

    I propose the border does just the opposite. I use a thin black border on most of my pictures with a deliberate idea in mind. It is my contention, in reply to the "own merits" criticism, that my pictures stand on their own merits within the confines of a thin black border. The border serves the same purpose for every picture. To subtly, perhaps unconsciously, remind the viewer that he is looking at a picture so that he really LOOKS at the picture.

    You may argue that a viewer doesn't need that reminder. That he knows he is looking at a picture. But I use the thin black border not as adornment or enhancement of the idea in the picture, but as a way to lift the picture, which is a one dimensional slice of time, out of your three dimensional consciousness so that, if only for a few seconds, it now fully represents the idea or emotion or memory that the picture tries to convey.

    Like a picture frame on a painting in a museum, the border makes the picture a vehicle into your consciousness to hopefully help you focus on the idea, emotion, memory that the picture conveys. It makes the picture stand out and away from and apart from the contemporaneous rest of your life to allow you to fully consider it.

    No border, no matter how small or big or flashy or subtle, will do that if the picture itself is unsuccessful in conveying the idea or emotion or memory that the photographer had it mind. But when the picture stands on its own merits, I believe the border drives those things home, by confining your attention to that one, whole thing while you, undistracted, understand or feel what the photographer was trying to convey.
  7. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Maybe what I do is "faux pas", but If I'm not going to frame the photo (which is almost always the case for me), I print boarderless, or I cut the boarders off with a guillotine cutter after printing. But I think the decision has a lot to do with how you're photo is to be presented. A bunch of pictures, nicely spaced in a photo album, a webpage, or even a wall don't need a printed boarder IMO. The spacing between the pictures act as a boarder. Even a single large photo on a webpage surrounded by a bit of white space or text and the framing of web browser itself doesn't benefit much from an added boarder. If my picture was going to be hung on a big blank wall, without a frame then yes, I think a printed boarder would help.
  8. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I think an image handing on the wall needs a "border" to separate it from the wall. For me, the primary border is the frame and matte. I always print my images with a modest (minimum 1/2") border so there is some paper to hide behind the matte.

    I tend to be more than a bit anal about precise cropping. To this end, I generally create something similar in appearance to the double matte method. I print with a bit wider border (~1") and custom cut the matte's window to reveal ~1/4-1/2" of white paper on the sides and top and 1/2-3/4" at the bottom. The extra space at the bottom is to allow for the sig.

    For more casual images I simply print with a wide border (8x10 image on a 11x14 sheet 4x5 image on 5x7) and frame without a matte using thin strips of matte board under the glass and behind the frame's lip to space the print off of the glass.