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Photograph Mount Size..?

Posted 24/01/2013 - 09:30 Link
A bit of an open question, but what do you consider to be the 'best' size for a photo mount?

I like to match the mount size to the size of the picture. For example for a 10x8 picture I use a 12x10 mount, giving a 1" border all round. A 12x8 picture I use a 16x12 mount giving a 2" border.

However many people like to use a large mount no matter what the picture size is. It is quite common to see a small picture in a large mount. At our local photography club we had a talk given by a competition judge. He said that judges like to see pictures inside 20x16 mounts as they 'look better'.

Personally I don't think they do. A small picture in a large mount to me looks lost.

Also I think it's a waste of good mountboard.....

What are your views?
6th Year Apprentice Pensioner
Posted 24/01/2013 - 09:48 Link
If you want to enter club photography competitions, then you have no's 50x40cm or nothing. Which is slightly smaller than 20x16 inches, for no apparent benefit the required spec having been changed.

If we're talking aesthetics, then it's a matter of how it looks. We made a choice regarding exposure, composition, etc., so hopefully we're up to deciding what mount size will suit a particular image best.

I agree with you, large mount is not always best.
Best regards, John
Posted 24/01/2013 - 10:15 Link
The 50x20cm mount size is also required by the Royal Photogrpahic Society for prints submitted for distinctions. This is the rule regardless of the size of the print. Its also the generally accepted mount size for photograpic exhibitions.

Posted 24/01/2013 - 10:40 Link
Here we go again in the deepest, darkest frozen north (that's even further north than David) 20x16 is still being used

Posted 24/01/2013 - 10:48 Link
I think you might have some things to raise at the next AGM of your local federation Alan! :
Best regards, John
Posted 24/01/2013 - 10:50 Link
Think the federation is getting there. As Barrie pointed out for the projected images they are working to the new standard, just haven't removed details of the old standard.

I think it is probably the particular club I'm a member of

Posted 24/01/2013 - 11:19 Link
50 x 40 cm is the required mount size for most Photographic Alliance of Great Britain ( PAGB )influenced Competitions, Exhibitions and Society Competitions.

50 x 40 cm is in fact 19.7 inches x 15.75 inches, so is almost the same as the old 20 x 16 inch standard.

I visit lots of Photographic Societies. Very rarely do I come across any Photographic Society where the mount sizes are any different to 50 x 40 cm or 20 x 16 inches.

In my opinion, the standard mount size does give all prints an equal footing and concentrates the judge or viewer on the print image. It also helps with displaying prints on easels and print stands. Small mounts can also cause damage to prints on large mounts; when they rattle around the storage box.If there was no control over mount size, some photographers could submit prints that were much larger than their competitors.
Friendly Regards
Posted 24/01/2013 - 11:26 Link
I think we need to differentiate between what is the most advantageous mount size for a print for general use, perhaps selling or mounting on a wall at home, and what is a competition standard.

There's no doubt what is needed for competitions - it's in the rules. What is best for a given print for display is something else, which i think may have been what the OP was getting at?
Best regards, John
Posted 24/01/2013 - 12:40 Link
I prefer a very generous mount, four inches top and sides and five inches at the bottom on a print size around twelve by eight. Pictures always look better with a slightly deeper mount at the bottom. Small, intense prints can look wonderful with a huge mount.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Posted 24/01/2013 - 15:54 Link
johnriley wrote:
There's no doubt what is needed for competitions - it's in the rules. What is best for a given print for display is something else, which i think may have been what the OP was getting at?

Yes John it was. Also, although I don't think it's in the rules but no doubt someone will correct me, some judges think all competition prints should be in a white (or nearly white) mount. For me, as with the mount size, I think the mount colour should compliment the picture.

I'm beginning to see now why I never win any print competitions....

Mind you, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear no matter what the mount..!!
6th Year Apprentice Pensioner
Posted 24/01/2013 - 16:55 Link
What is best if you print with a border like what i do.
Posted 24/01/2013 - 17:37 Link
gartmore wrote:
Pictures always look better with a slightly deeper mount at the bottom.


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