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DPChallenge Forums >> Challenge Results >> Are you a border-hater?
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11/19/2003 03:02:18 PM · #1
I'm curious to know how generally unpopular photo borders are amongst the voting membership. Two of the top three photos from the Books challenge have borders, but they're rather small in size. I can't be 100% sure, but I'm guessing that my use of borders (nothing fancy, but more than 5-10 pixels in width) is hurting people's perceptions of my work.

Quite frankly, marking a photo down because of it's border (which may explain a couple of voters who gave the shot below 2 points) doesn't make any sense.

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Note that I never add a border to any photo I offer as a print, because that doesn't make any sense.

Message edited by author 2003-11-19 18:50:01.
11/19/2003 03:10:07 PM · #2
I gave you an 8 on this shot, would have been a 9 or 10 but the border hurt you on it. It's too big and heavy for the shot to me personally. I don't mind borders if they are a compliment to the shot and don't over power it.

Deannda
11/19/2003 03:10:44 PM · #3
A border becomes part of your presentation. It should not distract the viewer from the image. It should support the image and separate it from its environment.

Bad borders hurt the presentation. If you are unsure, you should leave the border off in most cases.

btw- i gave your shot a 9.. it's a great shot and the border did not hurt it in any way for me.

Message edited by author 2003-11-19 15:11:28.
11/19/2003 03:16:41 PM · #4
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

A border becomes part of your presentation. It should not distract the viewer from the image. It should support the image and separate it from its environment.

Bad borders hurt the presentation. If you are unsure, you should leave the border off in most cases.

btw- i gave your shot a 9.. it's a great shot and the border did not hurt it in any way for me.


John, I appreciate that you take a considered view on borders, which mirrors my own. I think in future challenges I'll be very wary about borders. It's not that I'm concerned about losing points, it's more that I'd like those who are distracted by borders to save some energy for commenting on the photo itself.
11/19/2003 03:22:11 PM · #5
I like borders in general, though there's a drawback, which may have hurt you here. When upload size is so limited as it is here, the border makes your image smaller. And in at least this case as an example, that detracts from the appreciation of the image. In the past, when I am worried about the image blending in a background, I'd give it a small 2-3 pixel border in white or black, as appropriate.
11/19/2003 03:24:22 PM · #6
I never comment on a border unless i believe it is taking something away from an image. In your case, I didn't think it was. It looks like a standard matting to me, and I'm used to seeing photos this way.
11/19/2003 03:27:50 PM · #7
Border doesn't bother nearly as much as wondering how this would have looked in color. I think this one is crying out with the potnetial for rich blues in the sea and sky; and earthtones from the rocks.
11/19/2003 03:36:08 PM · #8
In your photo the border mimics matting applied to a painting or printed photograph that I would expect to see hung on the wall. The difference (albeit slight) is that I wouldn't expect that much white all the way out to the edge of the photo and so it becomes a more attention getting piece of the presentation than it would be if it were surrounded by a wooden or plastic or whathaveyou frame. My initial reaction to your composition (including the border) is that the white provides a cohesive effect; reinforcing the white of the clouds in the upper central/left portion, the breakers on the waves in the bottom portion and the edges on the rock that creates such a visually enticing line down the righthand side of the photo. But like I say, I would expect something to break up that much white into a smaller mass. Perhaps if you moved your inner black line out a little so that your outer white section gave the effect of being a frame while the inner white area could act as matting it might have given me less pause. Either way, taking a second look at your photo in no way lessened the quality of your artistic composition for me. While your choice wasn't what I might have expected for a border I agree with John's assessment that it detract from the beauty you captured.
11/19/2003 03:44:45 PM · #9
Originally posted by coolhar:

Border doesn't bother nearly as much as wondering how this would have looked in color. I think this one is crying out with the potnetial for rich blues in the sea and sky; and earthtones from the rocks.


I posted the original color version here.
11/19/2003 03:47:24 PM · #10
Originally posted by KevinRiggs:

In your photo the border mimics matting applied to a painting or printed photograph that I would expect to see hung on the wall.


I appreciate your feedback on this Kevin. As you note, my intention on adding a border is to isolate the photo, a practice which is commonplace when presenting printed images. Your point about the use of a simple matting-effect alone is also interesting, and this is something that I'll keep in mind in future.
11/19/2003 04:09:43 PM · #11
Thanks for posting the color version. Guess my taste is different than some of your commenters as I find the color preferable to the b/w. It has a nice variation in the tones of the water and blue sky; is interesting in the transition of rocks thru the moving water at the bottom and out away from the store. The sky in the b/w is so dark that it almost completely loses a couple of small clouds in the upper right. Just my opinion, you know- different strokes for different folks. Does that make me a b/w-hater?

Message edited by author 2003-11-19 16:11:32.
11/19/2003 04:16:36 PM · #12
ronners,

Having been a picture framer for ten years of my life, I find that a nice border can pull together the elements of a good photo and make it a great one. I didn't have any problems with your border and gave you a 7 as my first vote. I usually go through the photos a second time but didn't have time. Too bad too as I think this deserves better than a 7. There are some who prefer a wider border at the bottom and thinner around the other three edges. You might consider trying that the next time. I prefered the B&W to the color!
11/19/2003 04:17:36 PM · #13
I am a B/W fan. Mostly b/w portraits and still lifes. I find few landscapes look better in b/w and in my opinon., that shot is one of them. The colors are beautiful!

~jae
11/19/2003 04:20:31 PM · #14
Gave you an "8". The frame was a little large, but the framing helps mostly because of the grey of the website background.

Message edited by author 2003-11-19 20:15:26.
11/19/2003 04:35:36 PM · #15
Originally posted by Olympian:

ronners,

Having been a picture framer for ten years of my life, I find that a nice border can pull together the elements of a good photo and make it a great one. . . There are some who prefer a wider border at the bottom and thinner around the other three edges. You might consider trying that the next time.

A thicker bottom border I something I do frequently, but I thought that most pictures when mounted were actually lower on the mat (wider at the top) and that I'd been doing it "wrong." I know I'm influenced by seeing jillions of posters and working in graphics. At DPC I've been trying to use thinner and simpler borders when I use them at all.

Sometimes resolution is an issue, and a border can help fill out the frame, and can help make the file size smaller because the solid color compresses better.

ronners -- I think you border is basically fine. I'd try making the white inside the thin black line a light gray, which would make it look like the beveled edge of a matte board.

Message edited by author 2003-11-19 16:38:35.
11/19/2003 06:08:42 PM · #16
Originally posted by coolhar:

Thanks for posting the color version. Guess my taste is different than some of your commenters as I find the color preferable to the b/w.


As a bit of additional information, the color of the water in the cove was unbelieveable (lots of different shades of green and blue), but this shot from the lower angle didn't really capture that. Unfortunately a shot from above wouldn't have had the same compositional strength.

Thanks for your feedback, and I'm glad that you like the color version.

Ron.
11/19/2003 06:47:38 PM · #17
just my opinion, but when you only have 640x640 pixels to express your creative freedom, i think big borders just get in the way.

i've only done it once, really, and that was intended to make the "border" a definite part of the shot:

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People told me they loved it. I still think it was the reason the photo didn't score so well... ah well, gotta take risks.

i do wish sometimes that we could get rid of the black 1px border around ALL challenge entries. that would allow us to more easily do some non-rectangular entries as i was attempting to do.
11/19/2003 07:32:46 PM · #18
When the border rule was introduced I went crazy and slapped borders onto all my pics. At that time borders came over well, but now I think a border has to be well thought about before added to a pic. When I look back at the photos I entered with those big fat black borders on them, I have to cringe. I hardly add borders anymore, I have done it maybe two or three times in the last few months. My opinion is that a border can do more harm than good. Sometimes a border can enhance a photo amazingly, but mostly the photos I see here, and those I enter myself, would fare way better without.
11/19/2003 07:40:58 PM · #19
I tend to like very simple borders. A simple black border maybe with a thin white line in it (or versa visa).

Certainly not all photos need them and it can distract. My propaganda entry for instance, in fact not an entry as I decided to not enter it as it was nothing more than a poor snapshot, would have been without any sort of border, so I make my selection based on the photo.

I admit I don;t like the fuzzy borders though, in general, and prefer something that looks like matting.
11/19/2003 07:43:24 PM · #20
I really do think the border hurt you there. Every possible pixel should have gone into the picture- because of the detail of the photo, and the landscape-not into the border.

Beautiful photo though.
11/19/2003 07:44:46 PM · #21
I'm not a fan of the really big borders. Like the one you have is a bit wide. But I do not let the borders affect how I vote. Since they are not really a part of the picture, they do not take my vote down any =)

I prefer the simple borders.

~two
11/19/2003 07:56:38 PM · #22
Plain borders are fine with me as long as they serve to enhance the image and don't overpower it. The borders I hate the most are the ones that sample a color in the photo and use a thin line as a border. It especially bugs me when the line is inside the image area. I don't know what it is, but I really hate those. Maybe it's just that I think an image should survive on it's own merits.
11/19/2003 08:02:57 PM · #23
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

The borders I hate the most are the ones that sample a color in the photo and use a thin line as a border. It especially bugs me when the line is inside the image area. I don't know what it is, but I really hate those. Maybe it's just that I think an image should survive on it's own merits.


I don't mind where the thin line is taken from an image colour, it is what is often done with matting and I think can enhance the right photo nicely.

I don't ever intentionally vote a photo doen due to border anyway, but I guess a really bad one would have me vote lower because overall it lowered to impact of the photo.

I do agree with you Spaz on line within the image area.

11/19/2003 09:05:11 PM · #24
I didn't vote on this challenge, and I don't automatically mark down pictures with borders.

If the border helps, it might get an extra point out of me. If it distracts, the opposite is also true. I try to judge mainly on the picture, but the border is part of the presentation.

Looking at your picture, I probably would not have subtracted a point, but if I was on the fence as to what to vote, I might have gone with the lower number. To my eye, the outer border was a bit wide, and tended to compete for attention with the picture. If you felt the border was pointless for the print, it might have been wise to leave it off the submission also.

------
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11/21/2003 02:08:12 PM · #25
Borders seem to help most images, in my opinion. Your Point Lobos photo is beautiful, by the way. The white border is a little harsh on my eyes, but my eyes are usually over sensitive. I wonder what it would look like with a white around it and a larger black border?

Unless the photographer really puts in an ugly border, my voting isn't influenced on it one way or another.
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