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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> Letterbox becoming more accepted - Hooray!
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07/17/2011 02:55:58 PM · #1
I've noticed that half (6 of 12) of the ribbon winners on the front page used letterbox borders. Yeah!

Used to be a bit of contention about those. Glad to see they're more accepted lately as I like to use them myself when it works for the photo.
07/17/2011 03:15:42 PM · #2
I call it "the DPC crop."
07/17/2011 03:23:03 PM · #3
I don't see what it adds.
07/17/2011 03:25:56 PM · #4
Originally posted by DomD:

I don't see what it adds.

Perceived contrast and aspect ratio.
07/17/2011 03:40:59 PM · #5
i'm an admitted member of the "border patrol"; however, i do not "penalize" for a border, but a similar image might score higher without one. i have left many comments stating "i dislike borders but this one works", there are a few that i do like ( gave ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' vawendy's recent red a ten). as the op stated "when it works for the photo" and i feel many don't.
07/17/2011 03:43:41 PM · #6
Originally posted by FourPointX:

...however, i do not "penalize" for a border, but a similar image might score higher without one...


Surely this is penalising?
07/17/2011 03:52:20 PM · #7
i can see how it can be perceived this way, but as easily can be perceived as myself simply scoring an image higher if it doesn't have a distracting factor that draws my eye?

eta: clarifying, many images with borders score highly from me, and i think the border adds to the image. i just don't think it's the majority of images that include one, where the border works.

Message edited by author 2011-07-17 15:54:13.
07/17/2011 04:09:50 PM · #8
Originally posted by FourPointX:

the op stated "when it works for the photo" and i feel many don't.

As with anything else, it is very subjective. I used a letterbox on this entry and I felt it was VERY effective. Made the trees appear like supporting columns, but it was still distinctly a border. It pulled in a ribbon, but still got comments complaining about the border. Despite the handful of objections, I think it would not have fared as well without it.
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Message edited by author 2011-07-17 16:10:24.
07/17/2011 04:53:47 PM · #9
I've just about given up on borders. I'll use one once in a while. I always seem to get negative comments about any border, but they rarely seem to add points. I'll use the letterbox border when I feel it works with the photo and I want to add some height to an otherwise long, narrow crop.
07/17/2011 04:56:15 PM · #10
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by FourPointX:

the op stated "when it works for the photo" and i feel many don't.

As with anything else, it is very subjective. I used a letterbox on this entry and I felt it was VERY effective. Made the trees appear like supporting columns, but it was still distinctly a border. It pulled in a ribbon, but still got comments complaining about the border. Despite the handful of objections, I think it would not have fared as well without it.
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In this particular case, the broder IS part of the image and does not read as a border at all. Stunning image. Personally, I think that any added lines around an image take it in the realm of commercial art. but there is no single answer either.
07/17/2011 05:15:58 PM · #11
Originally posted by mariuca:

In this particular case, the broder IS part of the image and does not read as a border at all.

This just shows how subjective everything really is. Site council did validate it.

I do think we still need that forum where we can post examples of things that have been validated and DQ'd for various things. Perhaps we can just make an ongoing thread to post them in?
07/17/2011 09:34:31 PM · #12
Like has been said, it's subjective. I don't like letterbox, never will. To me it seems to be space that could be better utilized with image. If the aspect ratio of the image is more desirable as laid out in letterbox, why not leave them off entirely? I have never seen one that I wouldn't like better without them. YMMV.......8~)
07/17/2011 10:04:16 PM · #13
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

... If the aspect ratio of the image is more desirable as laid out in letterbox, why not leave them off entirely? ...

Many times (for me) the image needs something other than the neutral gray bg of the voting page to help it stand out, therefore the reason for a border quite frequently. If it's an image that I like in more of a 16:9 ratio the letterbox is the a perfect solution to showcase the image.

Still would like to see this idea implemented. :-)
08/08/2011 10:34:13 AM · #14
have you ever seen someone frame art that way? no. its pretentious and a fad.

Originally posted by glad2badad:

I've noticed that half (6 of 12) of the ribbon winners on the front page used letterbox borders. Yeah!

Used to be a bit of contention about those. Glad to see they're more accepted lately as I like to use them myself when it works for the photo.
08/30/2011 04:26:28 PM · #15
Im curious if ANYONE in DPC has their art, on their walls, in their home, WITH "letterbox" or other gimmick border matting. just curious.
08/30/2011 04:35:21 PM · #16
Ahum... euh... will sound stupid now.
I tried to define what it is that you all call "letterbox borders" but didn't manage finding it.
I'm sure in Dutch we will have another name for it, but until now I couldn't match anything with the term.
So, could someone point me out an example?

Edit: got it :)

Message edited by author 2011-08-30 16:43:26.
08/30/2011 04:40:23 PM · #17
hm, with regards to this image of trees and tractor: if you are trying for an effect - in this case looking like the photographer was peering out from under a train car, then I guess it makes sense. I would never ask someone that was purchasing a print if they would please matt it radically so it looks this way. curious if you or anyone else at DPC matts for customers or selves in this manner on letterboxed entries.

Originally posted by mariuca:

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by FourPointX:

the op stated "when it works for the photo" and i feel many don't.

As with anything else, it is very subjective. I used a letterbox on this entry and I felt it was VERY effective. Made the trees appear like supporting columns, but it was still distinctly a border. It pulled in a ribbon, but still got comments complaining about the border. Despite the handful of objections, I think it would not have fared as well without it.
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In this particular case, the broder IS part of the image and does not read as a border at all. Stunning image. Personally, I think that any added lines around an image take it in the realm of commercial art. but there is no single answer either.
08/30/2011 05:47:04 PM · #18
Originally posted by oldbimmercoupe:

Im curious if ANYONE in DPC has their art, on their walls, in their home, WITH "letterbox" or other gimmick border matting. just curious.


I really don't understand how this is relevant. They are different ways of displaying art. I put photos up on the site all the time without borders. Yet I never hang a print on my wall without a frame, or at least a mat. Different methods for different venues.
08/30/2011 06:09:34 PM · #19
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by oldbimmercoupe:

Im curious if ANYONE in DPC has their art, on their walls, in their home, WITH "letterbox" or other gimmick border matting. just curious.


I really don't understand how this is relevant. They are different ways of displaying art. I put photos up on the site all the time without borders. Yet I never hang a print on my wall without a frame, or at least a mat. Different methods for different venues.


+1

08/30/2011 07:50:59 PM · #20
If you've got to do it ... make the frame like a standard TV frame/resolution ... lay the letter box frame resolution in it.

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Is too wide for the height, for example.

Or else, let your picture dimensions mimic the standard letterbox aspect ratio.

Message edited by author 2011-08-30 19:53:31.
08/30/2011 08:52:28 PM · #21
7 of the photos in my top 10 highest scoring photos have the letterbox border... many with comments about the border.
08/30/2011 09:39:33 PM · #22
Originally posted by oldbimmercoupe:

Im curious if ANYONE in DPC has their art, on their walls, in their home, WITH "letterbox" or other gimmick border matting. just curious.


I do. This image

I have it with a thick black border and a thin white line on top and bottom. It is in a black frame with black matte and I like the way it looks with the white cut edges of the matte and then the 2 extra white lines running horizontal. It's next to my widescreen TV that's hanging on the wall and I think it compliments it nicely.

*****Edit to add proof.
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I know many may not like it and this is just a quick snap that I just took of it so you can't see how the TV and the picture on the other side looks together but it's there on my wall and I've sold a few matted prints of this image. I no longer sell it with "letterbox" but that's for selfish reason's. LOL

Let the flaming begin

Message edited by author 2011-08-30 21:49:59.
08/30/2011 11:52:30 PM · #23
Originally posted by SEG:

Let the flaming begin


' . substr('//www.kpriest.com/dpchallenge/burn_letterbox.jpg', strrpos('//www.kpriest.com/dpchallenge/burn_letterbox.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
08/31/2011 01:29:42 AM · #24
I rarely use letterbox borders, but chose to do so on my City Nightscape entry because I thought it worked. Received an interesting comment stating that the border 'completely ruined' the shot. Reason given? Without the border an obvious line in the image adhered pretty accurately to the rule of thirds (for whatever that's worth). With the border the commenter stated that the line was close to central. So being the pedantic bastard that I am, I went and got a ruler.

The results:
Without the border the line was 34.6% of the way up the image.
With the border the line was 35.5% of the way up the image.

:)
08/31/2011 08:35:03 AM · #25
Every tool can be used well or misused. Borders are just another tool. In my voting since the letterbox fad became popular, I'd say about 75% of the letterbox borders have made the photo look worse, 15% did not really imapct the images for good or bad, and 10% helped the presentation of the image. I do mark down and usually comment when I think the border is silly/useless/distracting/etc. This is a photography site after all, not a border site.
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