Why white borders on some prints?

Often my compositions will not fit easily into a standard 8×10 or 11×14 frame.

So I will add white borders to force the image to render as I saw it when it’s printed. 12×18 frames are difficult to find, but 11×14 and 16×20 are everywhere.

I have done this the early days in a “wet” darkroom. I’ll compose the print allowing for even borders all the way around. My old Beseler 23CII has a unique effect I can achieve with some filed out film holders.

This image of Marissa was scanned direct from the 8×10 print I’d made with this enlarger.

The 35mm frame isn’t made to print a borderless 8×10 without cropping, so I compose almost all my photos to be printed full frame. This means that there’s extra white space on the long sides.

Full Frame digital (What Nikon calls “FX”) has the same ratio as 35mm film. So, images shot with my digital Nikon will have white borders.

Meanwhile, go look at my images. Maybe buy one. Knock yourself out.


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