DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register

DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Framing (Matting) Help - How Wide?
Showing posts 1 - 14 of 14, (reverse)
03/05/2007 12:06:41 PM · #1
My mother-in-law, who is an artist, was visiting this weekend and taught me a bit about matting and framing from an artists perspective.

Unfortunately, it means I've not been doing it optimally. So now I'm curious what others think. She and I worked on a large print project. She convinced me to use bigger borders, and at least sometimes, to add a bit extra on the bottom border. The shot we worked on was my Bass Harbor Light shot, which I will print 16x24, with 4" borders and 4.5 at the bottom. In that case, we used a 3/4" wide hardwood frame.

But now I'm going back and doing smaller 10x15 and 11x14" prints again, and I realized, I don't know how much border to use. I traditionally have been using 2" on each side, with the SP21 frame, and she thought that was too small (and perhaps the frame too thick).

So I'm asking the favor of your own opinions. Here's a 6 frame comparison with my Morning Dew (sometimes called Purple Dew) photo. It shows three matting options, with both the SP21 (approx 1/2") frame and the S21 (approx 1/4") metal frame.


All opinions and advice welcome.
03/05/2007 12:17:47 PM · #2
I prefer a minimum of 3".
03/05/2007 12:25:45 PM · #3
I tend to eyeball it according to whatever looks "right" to me, and then I let my framer do the actual measuring. I think the notion that there's a right and wrong way to do things in art is kinda dumb, no offense. You are the artist, so do whatever matting and framing suits you.
03/05/2007 12:36:05 PM · #4
The 3" with the narrower frame looks nicest on this shot.
03/05/2007 12:45:29 PM · #5
I like the 3" with either frame size. However, if it is going to be part of a grouping of a large number of prints, I would probably go with the 2".
03/05/2007 01:32:36 PM · #6
more ornate frame the farther you want to be away (not to distract from the image)

I've done very few single matte less than 1" , a few (black matte & black frame) between 1-2in most are 2.25-3.5

Message edited by author 2007-03-05 13:32:57.
03/05/2007 01:47:48 PM · #7
Most artists advocate a slightly broader border on the bottom to combat the natural human eye's tendancy to view an image as a bit bottom heavy or falling out the bottom if you don't.

Almost all galleries work on this premise and make the bottom border slightly fatter than the sides and top.

A lot of photographic artists use this phenomenon to greatly increase the bottom border, then put their signature in there which makes it look not SO greatly increased.

Message edited by author 2007-03-05 13:48:59.
03/05/2007 02:02:47 PM · #8
I like the narrow frame/wide mat combination. Just my personal taste...

Using a ratio from your Bass Harbor 16x24 print. Mat = 25% of short side.
10x15 use 2.5" mat
11x14 use 2.75"


03/05/2007 02:11:06 PM · #9
I like the 2" matte and the wider frame which appears on the right.

03/05/2007 02:18:25 PM · #10
I like the 3" with the thinner frame.
03/05/2007 02:34:42 PM · #11
4" will overpower a small print and 2" will look puny on a large print.

I just had a number of 10" x 15" prints framed and the suggested matte was 2" for the top matte. They were double or triple matted depending on the print, adding between 1/8" to 3/8" to the matte width.

It all depends on the print as to what will work best.

Previously I had a couple of 16" x 24" prints framed with the top matte at 4" and two underlying mattes at 3/8" and 1/2" (not positive on the inner mattes but they are close) so the full matte width is close to 4.5".

Message edited by author 2007-03-05 14:37:19.
03/05/2007 07:13:49 PM · #12
I have stumbled on a site which is really cool. You can try out all kinds of mat and frame options. Then you can create a gallery of your creations. It comes in handy if you are interested in selling a lot of prints matted and framed. Here is the site.
03/05/2007 08:40:48 PM · #13
I have seen a rule of thumb that the area of the mat should equal the area of the print (or artwork, in general). For 10x15, the print area is 150 sq. in , so a 15x20 mat would be 300 sq in minus the 150 sq in hole in the middle = 150 sq in. In other words, the 2.5 inch borders fits this rule of thumb best.

For a 16x24 print with a 24x32 mat, this works out to

area of print = 384 sq in
area of mat = 768 sq in - 384 sq in = 384

so the rule of thumb recommends 4 inch borders.

But then again, it's just a rule of thumb.


Message edited by author 2007-03-05 20:43:28.
03/05/2007 10:44:08 PM · #14
I have come around to liking this look, myself
25% of the width for the sides, 50% width for top, and 100% width below.
ie: 8x12 landscape print-4in on top, 2in on each side, and 8in below=a 16x20 matte and frame, portrait "style."
Of course a portrait shot changes a little, just bottom weighted.
Current Server Time: 08/20/2018 02:52:34 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.

Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2018 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 08/20/2018 02:52:34 AM EDT.