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Author Topic: Matte position in the frame when using a standard frame size with variable image aspect ratio  (Read 4237 times)
Jim2
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« on: September 11, 2009, 09:13:04 PM »
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I'm curious about this topic. On the Camera to Print tutorial, Michael says he uses a standard frame size, which is a great idea because one can order in bulk. However if the aspect ratio of the print doesn't match that of the frame, won't there be a difference between the top matte space and the sides? Shouldn't they be ideally made all the same space left = top = right with heavier bottom?
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Jim2
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 09:15:10 PM »
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Come to think of it.... I can make L = T = R with varying aspect ratio as long as it still allows heavy bottom i.e. the height:width of the image ≤ height:width of the frame.
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bill t.
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 10:05:04 PM »
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Standard 18x24 frames take a 12x18 print (made on 13x19) with symmetric 3" matte widths.  It's one the least common standard sizes, but they're out there at nice low price points.

Have noticed we're starting to see several manufacturers making 19x25 frames to fit full 13x19 prints with symmetric mattes, but not much yet at the dirt cheap price points available for traditional ratios.  Of course there's always boring metal sectional frames. I just love metal sectional frames especially when my competition uses them.

If you really need asymmetric matte widths, I personally think it's better to float the image no more than about 1/4" high with slightly unequal top & bottom.  The three equal sides thing with a huge bottom matte width is just a weird looking compromise masquerading as an affectation...to my eye.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 01:50:04 AM by bill t. » Logged
Tklimek
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 12:24:58 PM »
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Jim...

You are absolutely correct.  Don't forget, even if you crop your images without maintaining aspect ratio you'll blow your "perfect" mat size anyway.  *Most* of the photos I end up printing have had some cropping applied; usually.  Sometimes.  Maybe.    

There are some in this forum which are either pro's or perfectionists and for them the image "is what it is" and they will print, mat, and frame (or bag) without regard to any standard sizes.  That is fine.  There is another group (of which I am one) which seeks to provide an economical approach as a compromise to perfect sizing.  

Since I own a 17" printer (Epson 4880) I want to maximize my physical print size while trying to follow a few simple rules.  I've standardized on two (with a bit of variation) particular sizes; a large size and a small size.  For my large or maximum size I use 17" paper; either roll or cut sheets.  These are for my very best prints.  When I'm either testing or making my other size prints I either use a 10" roll or standard 8 1/2 x 11 pre-cut papers.  

One of the rules I try to follow is to try to allow at least a 1 inch margin around the actual printed image (as suggested in "Camera to print").  This allows the print to be handled much easier without fear of touching the actual printed surface.  So by following this rule, the largest size I would be printing (image size) is:

 17 inch paper minus (1 inch on each border = 2 inches) = 15 inch.  It pretty much works the same way for the smaller papers although sometimes I feel it is necessary to leave less than the 1 inch margin (sometimes as little as 1/2 inch on each side).

Since I know my maximum size for both my "large" and "small" prints, I can standardize on my frame sizes.  I've chosen a 22 x 28 for my large prints and 11 x 14 for my smaller prints.  This seems to work well enough for me.  For my larger prints I double mat, and for the smaller ones I single mat.

Everyone has their own ideas, and mine is just my opinion which seems to work well enough for me.

Keep in mind I have not sold a single print......ever......  LOL.  But I'm still entitled to my opinion!  And I happen to think most of my prints have turned out pretty cool!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

Quote from: Jim2
I'm curious about this topic. On the Camera to Print tutorial, Michael says he uses a standard frame size, which is a great idea because one can order in bulk. However if the aspect ratio of the print doesn't match that of the frame, won't there be a difference between the top matte space and the sides? Shouldn't they be ideally made all the same space left = top = right with heavier bottom?
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