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Author Topic: Small photo, large frame?  (Read 9594 times)
PSA DC-9-30
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« on: February 05, 2008, 10:57:43 PM »
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It seems to me that a few years ago the fad was to display a small photo matted in a (relatively) very large frame. Photography magazines and books seemed to follow suit, placing small images on pages with a whole lot of white space. Based on some recent galleries / shows I've seen, it seems that this trend is coming back. I can't help but feeling a bit cheated when looking at such a small photo in a large frame; I always wonder whether the original lacked IQ or resolution sufficient for a print large enough to suit the frame, or whether the photographer is just cheap and trying to make the photo look a lot more grandiose than it actually is.

Do you think there are any compelling reasons why a given photo could benefit from being printed at small size and shown in a very large frame?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 10:59:51 PM by PSA DC-9-30 » Logged

larryg
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 12:05:22 PM »
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I was really surprised by my first introduction to Ansel Adam's work.  Many of his works are small prints with large mattes.

I know of another photographer who takes this to an extreme.  

i.e.  8x10 print    with a matte size of   16x20 or large matte.   Interesting but not sure how it translates into sales?
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HickersonJasonC
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 05:26:03 PM »
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It's about presentation and isolating the image from it's surroundings. An 8x10" image with a 2" mat looks worlds different on the wall than the same image matted to 16x20".

If you watch the Bill Atkinson interview on a recent LL Video Journal, you'll see he mats 5" all around the print. I do this also regardless of print size. For instance, a print measuring 6x9 inches matted approximately 5" all around gives a framed size of 16x20". An 18x12" print matted in this way gives a 28x22" framed size. These a standard frame sizes also, which is important to some.

The idea of "print large enough to suit the frame" is strange to me. We print large enough to suit the image, then mat it large enough to isolate the image on a wall. Some images just look better at 8x10" (or smaller), like this one:

[attachment=5034:attachment]
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bill t.
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2008, 12:29:47 PM »
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Oof, those little bittsy pictures in those big ol' mattes are just TOO PRISSY!

That's minimalized art to tuck away in that short section of wall in entrance way.  Rather it's not art at all, it's Decor.  Anyone planning to do that should also consider 12 ply mattes with 3" openings as deep as the Grand Canyon.  The local art supply carries premade 3/4" black wood frames with 8 ply mattes with cutouts about 25% of frame size.  They can't keep 'em in stock.

We did it that way up through at least the 70's because 8x10 was "normal" and the only mounting boards we could get down at the photo store were 11x14 (too small) and 16x20 (too big).  Anything bigger was almost unimaginable, things larger than that were up in the stratosphere with the super-pros.

Yes, it's a shock to see those small old Weston and Adams prints.  Adams rarely did anything bigger than 16x20 and of course Weston is strictly 8x10.  A well known gallery I was in recently carefully segregates their small Adams & Weston prints away from the much bigger work in the main section of the gallery.  Jerry Uelsmann 30 x 40, Cartier Bresson 11 x 17, Ansel Adams & Weston 8 x 10.

The surround really does affect the photo.  I would rather push the frame out than drown in a sea of white foam within it.  To wit, about 2 feet x 5 feet.  Put THIS is your breakfast nook, Decorboy!

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