Print Size

29396036638_294a233bc4_bI started work on a post about the cost of materials for my hybrid workflow and realized that so much of the total cost is for the prints and that their material cost is directly related to their size. I thought I should write something about print size first.

I grew up surrounded by photographs, by which I mean photographic prints. There were studio portraits of several generations of family members hanging on the walls, smaller portraits in frames all around the house, albums of family snapshots, and boxes of photographs my parents had no place to display but which fascinated a small boy who even then realized that he did not have his mother’s talent for painting but daydreamed about using a camera to take pictures, like his father.

Not a single one of the photographs in our house was larger than 8×10. I saw larger photographs, of course, in public places, but all of the photographs in our house, and in the houses of friends and relatives, were small enough to view comfortably at arms length.

And that is how I print today. Most of my prints are 4×6. My “big” prints are usually 8×10 or 7×10.5 on 8.5×11 paper, but when I find larger paper at a good price I like to print 8×12. I have never printed larger than 8×12 from 35mm negatives, and I feel no need to do so.

2 thoughts on “Print Size”

  1. I always printed 12×16 until I realised that the work of photographers I really admired tended to be 6×6 8×8 & 10×8 in largish mounts. It’s a comfortable size for viewing.
    So I could not agree more, infact I find people at exhibitions seem @ spend more time viewing smaller prints than very large ones. Maybe being closer makes one connect more with the image being displayed.
    Hope that makes sense ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David, It makes a lot of sense. I think proximity to an object can effect our reaction to it. My goal in printing is to make the picture interesting enough from across the room that the viewer will want to walk up to it for a closer look. And the very action of walking towards it can help to establish a connection.

      Liked by 1 person

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