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05/02/2010 09:19:02 AM · #1
I was reading another thread, an image discussion, and I noticed that once again, the border on the image ended up being a prime subject of the discussion. I know that the general vociferous tone of commenters in general have gotten me to the point where at most I use a thin black border. One thing that does pique my curiosity is why the Border Police don't ping those letterbox images. Personally, I hate those things, but it would never occur to me to lower my vote on the image based on what I feel is a bad choice of space usage. I can honestly say I have never seen one of the letterbox images where I felt that the technique was in any way advantageous. But yet, it's the thinner, quasi-normal, and/or color-coordinated ones that get blasted.

Discuss....
05/02/2010 09:31:48 AM · #2
Any border of the sort that tends to provide an environment for the image to live in is a different category of animal from one designed to separate an image from its environment... Accordingly, a well-used letterbox border, or one that, say, floats the image in a sea of white space, becomes an integral part of the composition, and can work very well in that sense. The more conventional border is simply a complex line separating an image from the background on which it is "hung", and these have to be handled subtly to not become intrusive.

Just for illustration, here's two variations of a shot I was working up but never entered:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_868780.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_868637.jpg

In our team discussion thread, I posted the bordered version first, and several people suggested I present it without border. When I did so, all of them agreed it worked better with the border, though there was further discussion that it might be better yet minus the frame around the outside of the white. Since I never got around to entering it I never bothered refining the frame.

R.

Message edited by author 2010-05-02 09:34:34.
05/02/2010 09:38:13 AM · #3
I've never been able to get the passion with which some voters hate borders. It's fair enough pointing out you dislike it and you feel that it doesn't help the image but some people seem obsessed with them. I had one comment saying that he hated it, mentioned nothing about the photograph, and when i looked at his previous comments it was the same one, cut and pasted, to everyone who used a border in the challenges he'd commented on. Nothing else. I can't quite work out what he was getting out of DPC really. Perhaps he'd had a bad experience with a border as a child and DPC was now some sort of therapy. Weird. I quite like borders myself but only tend to go for a thin black or white one. Not too keen on coloured ones or anything too flashy.

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I can honestly say I have never seen one of the letterbox images where I felt that the technique was in any way advantageous.


The only letterbox one i used was this one... Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_842731.jpg... as i was going for an old, smokey film feel for it and i still think it helps that.
05/02/2010 09:41:06 AM · #4
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Any border of the sort that tends to provide an environment for the image to live in is a different category of animal from one designed to separate an image from its environment... Accordingly, a well-used letterbox border, or one that, say, floats the image in a sea of white space, becomes an integral part of the composition, and can work very well in that sense. The more conventional border is simply a complex line separating an image from the background on which it is "hung", and these have to be handled subtly to not become intrusive.

Just for illustration, here's two variations of a shot I was working up but never entered:

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_868780.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_868637.jpg

In our team discussion thread, I posted the bordered version first, and several people suggested I present it without border. When I did so, all of them agreed it worked better with the border, though there was further discussion that it might be better yet minus the frame around the outside of the white. Since I never got around to entering it I never bothered refining the frame.R.


I absolutely agree with the views expressed here and would argue that the border used in this instance is a definite asset to the overall presentation of the image in question as it gives it a painting like quality.

There are however, instances where the type and colour of border used is a definite drawback as it is so cumbersome and invasive that one's focus is drawn primarily to the border in a rather unappealing manner, hence the criticism...

I may not be right, but that is nonetheless my view in this matter.

Have a great day all,

Ray


Message edited by author 2010-05-02 09:41:34.
05/02/2010 09:46:05 AM · #5
Before reading the entirety of your post, I viewed your two images, I looked at the border one first. I also thought it would look better without the border. But, once side by side, the border one did look better.

That is an interesting point. It only looked better in comparison to the one without. In voting, there is no comparison.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:


In our team discussion thread, I posted the bordered version first, and several people suggested I present it without border. When I did so, all of them agreed it worked better with the border, though there was further discussion that it might be better yet minus the frame around the outside of the white. Since I never got around to entering it I never bothered refining the frame.

R.
05/02/2010 09:48:29 AM · #6
I love borders! Big ones, small ones, black, white, colored, cute & ostentatious! But, the ones I love most of all are the ones that are illegal on challenge entries!
05/02/2010 09:50:56 AM · #7
I don't care if I get a negative comment or two on a border. If I decide it should be displayed on a black (or white) background instead of DPC's light gray, I make it so.
One or two comments rarely constitute consensus, and I do think that the border/background/letterbox positively contributes to the overall score in many cases.
05/02/2010 09:55:31 AM · #8
Originally posted by PGerst:

That is an interesting point. It only looked better in comparison to the one without. In voting, there is no comparison.


Yeah, that's the problem :-(

In any case, those of us who've actually exhibited photographs have learned first-hand how, out in the real world, the *presentation* of the image is almost as critical as the *making* of it, as far as the viewer's experience goes... Unfortunately, here at DPC we have people who just are using knee-jerk reactions.

I mean, can you imagine going into a gallery and rejecting every image you saw because you wish none of them were matted and framed? Of course not. But at the same time, you might (very legitimately) be turned off by some of the more bizarre choices artists (or their handlers) sometimes make in presenting their work...

R.
05/02/2010 10:39:05 AM · #9
Totally agree. I can't say how many times I've changed a vote just because I've gone back and looked again. :)
05/02/2010 01:02:48 PM · #10
Put me down on the list of people who don't care that much for borders. They have their place, and I use them from time to time myself, but as presented here at DPC, IMNSHO people go overboard with them. They seem to operate on the philosophy if a little border is good, a great big one is better. The letter box border folks are the biggest offenders IMNSHO. I don't know how many shots in the B&W Landscape were, again IMNSHO, ruined by a huge, heavy black letter box border.

On the other hand, the letter border works brilliantly in Clive's shot. Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_842731.jpg To me it's interesting that I never noticed it was a letter box border until he mentioned it -- I thought it was a window frame or some such thing, and part of the shot.

My point is that borders should be used with discretion. They should enhance the shot, not take it over.

05/02/2010 01:16:27 PM · #11
Originally posted by Germaine:

....My point is that borders should be used with discretion. They should enhance the shot, not take it over.


I completely agree with that.

05/02/2010 01:41:12 PM · #12
Originally posted by hajeka:

Originally posted by Germaine:

....My point is that borders should be used with discretion. They should enhance the shot, not take it over.


I completely agree with that.

Me too! ;-) Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_15418.jpg
05/02/2010 01:45:23 PM · #13
Originally posted by hajeka:

Originally posted by Germaine:

....My point is that borders should be used with discretion. They should enhance the shot, not take it over.


I completely agree with that.


Absolutely. In a lot of cases the border provided by the site is good enough. I've seen too many cases of adding a border for the sake of adding a border. The border, like Robert indicated needs to act as either a container or a barrier and needs to complement the image.

Indeed, the border on this image got me a DQ as the border was considered clipart. But why did I add the border at all? It certainly wasn't to separate my from the gray background of the site. I added it because I thought it "looked cool". One good argue that it did fit with the "feel" of the image. But to be honest, if the comments are "nice border" and nothing about the image? The border failed.

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_855851.jpg

edit to move image to bottom of post

Message edited by author 2010-05-02 13:46:07.
05/02/2010 01:58:23 PM · #14
Originally posted by Germaine:

Put me down on the list of people who don't care that much for borders. They have their place, and I use them from time to time myself, but as presented here at DPC, IMNSHO people go overboard with them. They seem to operate on the philosophy if a little border is good, a great big one is better. The letter box border folks are the biggest offenders IMNSHO. I don't know how many shots in the B&W Landscape were, again IMNSHO, ruined by a huge, heavy black letter box border.

On the other hand, the letter border works brilliantly in Clive's shot. Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_842731.jpg To me it's interesting that I never noticed it was a letter box border until he mentioned it -- I thought it was a window frame or some such thing, and part of the shot.

My point is that borders should be used with discretion. They should enhance the shot, not take it over.


The problem with using discreet borders that seemly blend into the image, like in Clive's shot, is you run the risk of getting DQed. It's a catch-22.
05/02/2010 03:33:50 PM · #15
It's pretty rare for me to even notice that an image has a border, because my interest focuses on the the content, composition, and impact of the image itself, not the border.
If someone mentions it in a comment, then I may notice it.
05/02/2010 03:37:56 PM · #16
I think a good border brings you into the content of the photo - not out.
05/02/2010 04:53:42 PM · #17
The way I understand it is this--the voting interest here is on the technicals of the image. That's why the letterbox border is OK, it's technical, it's what happens when a cinematography widescreen is displayed on a standard tv video screen. So it's not supposed to do any of the artsy-fartsty stuff like separate the image from the BG, or lead the eye into the image or anything, it's just there because there's no image on that part of the screen. Sometimes the hardass technical bias of this site gets me down & then at other times I just don't put on a border & then other times I blow it all off & put on a border. Inconsistent, that's me.
05/02/2010 06:21:44 PM · #18
Originally posted by pixelpig:

it's what happens when a cinematography widescreen is displayed on a standard tv video screen. So it's not supposed to do any of the artsy-fartsty stuff like separate the image from the BG, or lead the eye into the image or anything, it's just there because there's no image on that part of the screen.

Okay.....so why have it there at all? It's not like it has to be because the aspect ratio won't accomodate the display.

I understand that on my TV......I just think it's stupid and pretentious on a still image for no reason. It just doesn't make any sense to me. YMMV, and again, I don't deduct points for it as it doesn't affect the image.
05/02/2010 06:46:46 PM · #19
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

... It just doesn't make any sense to me. YMMV, and again, I don't deduct points for it as it doesn't affect the image.

Then why moan about it? You don't like it, some people do. There's probably a dozen threads on this topic in the past...everyone agrees to disagree most frequently.

Some photos here on DPChallenge do benefit from a distinct border, especially given the neutral grey background on the voting page.
05/02/2010 07:36:49 PM · #20
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

... It just doesn't make any sense to me. YMMV, and again, I don't deduct points for it as it doesn't affect the image.

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Then why moan about it?

Read the post I responded to, and then try again, Barry. I was responding to someone else's post.

If you'd actually have read all of it, and then noticed that I specifically stated that I do *NOT* deduct for the border, you'd have been able to figure out that I wasn't moaning.....merely expressing my lack of understanding of its usage.

That okay with you?
05/03/2010 08:56:36 AM · #21
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

... It just doesn't make any sense to me. YMMV, and again, I don't deduct points for it as it doesn't affect the image.

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Then why moan about it?

Read the post I responded to, and then try again, Barry. I was responding to someone else's post.

If you'd actually have read all of it, and then noticed that I specifically stated that I do *NOT* deduct for the border, you'd have been able to figure out that I wasn't moaning.....merely expressing my lack of understanding of its usage.

That okay with you?

Not really.

Why start another thread? I did notice you mentioned not deducting while voting...that's all fine and dandy, yet you still put down border types with statements like this...

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I just think it's stupid and pretentious on a still image for no reason.


Yep - I'd call that moaning. :-)
05/03/2010 08:58:27 AM · #22
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by NikonJeb:

I just think it's stupid and pretentious on a still image for no reason.


Yep - I'd call that moaning. :-)


...and downright rude, but what do I know I'm stupid and pretentious! :(
05/03/2010 09:50:38 AM · #23
no, wait, I want to be stupid & pretentious! Is it possible to be stupid & pretentious at the same time?

Message edited by author 2010-05-03 09:51:55.
05/03/2010 10:23:13 AM · #24
n/m

Message edited by author 2010-05-03 10:27:03.
05/03/2010 10:33:57 AM · #25
My entry on the Zen challenge, got heavily corrected for it's border, I liked it, and that's why i put it in, but i also felt I got heavily penalised for it.
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