Ragged or square borders on hand-coated prints?

Discussion in 'Hand Coated Wet Prints' started by tnp651, Nov 18, 2017.

What do folks think about masking out the brush-marked edges vs letting them show?

  1. Ragged

    66.7%
  2. Square

    33.3%
  1. tnp651

    tnp651 Subscriber

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    What do folks think about masking out the brush-marked edges vs letting them show?
    BigBi-ragged.jpg BigBi-square.jpg
     
  2. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I like them both - what really matters is what you like, and what you want the final image to look like.
     
  3. Ryeman

    Ryeman Member

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    To mask or to show brushed edges is a decision for the person who made the photograph. But as a viewer I really dislike them. I think they are an affectation. They always catch my eye and deflect my brain from looking at the photograph, unnecessarily drawing my attention to the process rather than the essence of the image itself.

    Alan
     
  4. Dan Pavel

    Dan Pavel Member

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    IMO a hand-coated print as an art object is not only about the photograph. The artistic expression is obtained by printing a particular image on a particular paper in a particular way and all this are means of expression. In this regard the the brush-marked edges contribute to the final outcome in an expressive way, too. It could be an benefic contribution, in harmony with the other visual elements involved, or not, by contradicting them.
    For instance In your example, IMO, they contradict the peaceful character of the image and therefor they should be avoided (at least in the way they are in your example).
     
  5. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    I mat my prints so the the brush marks don't show, but they are there when you lift the mat and reveal that the print is hand made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  6. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    Your choice but I'd let the edges show; looks more like hand-crafted.
     
  7. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    Usually I let the borders show, but try not to bring too much attention to them.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I just turned around to look at the borders on one of Andrew's prints - one he did of this image: Dead Link Removed
    The print I have has discretely ragged borders.
    Looks good to me - I think I'll keep it:whistling:.
     
  9. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    This.

    I think there's an aesthetic part and a practical part. Some people like to make normal silver gelatin prints with crisp black borders or with "dirty" black borders too.. and it's just a matter of taste and what you like. Some images look good with a black border, and IMHO some don't. Some of my prints are pretty high key and I think a dark border clashes with the delicacy of the print... I even think crisply defined borders do.. eventually I want to make some prints with a vignette mask so that the edges fade smoothly into white paper without a defined border at all. I tend not to like brush marks around the edges, but I get it that many people consider it to be part of the expression and art.

    From a practical standpoint, leaving the borders to darken can hide problems that you might want to know about.... so at least during testing it's a good idea to mask off part of the border...
     
  10. OP
    OP
    tnp651

    tnp651 Subscriber

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    Here's another consideration: I've been printing 9x10 inches (23x30 cm) on 11x15 inch (28x38 cm) Platine. Even being careful, I don't think I can keep my sloppy coating to less than an inch. So I might need to keep my images a little smaller if I want the coated border to show. (Right now, I mask to 9.5 x 12.5 with tape and coat within that rectangle.)
     
  11. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    What type of tape are you using to mask?
     
  12. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Still one of my favorite photos ever posted on this site. One of these days I’ll have to get one, too.
     
  13. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i don't mind ragged borders if they are not too in your face ..
    the square look is nice it really makes
    the geometry of everthing in the image pop..
     
  14. OP
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    tnp651

    tnp651 Subscriber

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    Scotch Magic Tape is sufficiently waterproof and doesn't pull the paper off when removed. I take it off right after coating.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  15. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    Agree wholeheartedly.
     
  16. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    Someimes it can add to the composition, like on "Struggle" by Robert Demachy. Sometimes it just looks distracting and ameteurish. If in doubt, go with a clean border. Using ragged edges just to give it a "hand made" look is nothing more than an attempt to lower the viewer's expectations.
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Yes this is what I do in 90% of the cases ..If the border is a polaroid neg pull then I like to show this fact.
     
  18. mxanderc

    mxanderc Member

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    I agree with this approach. No point in being needlessly careful during the printing process with masking, etc. The end product is where neatness counts and that neatness is created with the matting.
    Aesthetically, I can enjoy looking at sloppy artsy brush marks, because I enjoy getting a glimpse of the process, but I agree that often detracts from the subject. I'd never show or sell a piece without a mat. Let the process geeks enjoy the brush marks by lifting the mat if they choose.
     
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