Last Monday I mentioned I’m working on a special print project for charity and have been ironing out a few details, one of which was framing. It isn’t my intent to sell the print framed, but I also don’t want to make it difficult for the buyers to find framing options either.
If you shoot with a cropped sensor camera and have tried to find frames to match your native print sizes, you already appreciate the dilemma. Traditional full frame cameras capture images at a height to width ratio of 4:5 while cropped sensors are 2:3. That means the “traditional” frame sizes of 8 x 10, 16 x 20, etc., leave something to be desired for us “non-traditional” folks.
Cropped sensor (or DX) type cameras are not new. Most DSLR manufactures have been producing them forever as they are cheaper to produce and there are millions and millions and millions of people using these types of cameras. So where are our 2:3 ratio frames? I’ve performed this exercise before, but I thought maybe the times would have changed and I set out to find a 16x24 frame in my local area. After stopping at 2 nationally known retailers and 2 more large specialty craft stores, I found exactly 1 option – a simple black frame.
So what are our options in this 2:3 discriminatory world? There are 3 that I came up with.
- Stay true to your “artistic vision” and let the buyer worry about how to frame it.
- Sell out and crop your image to make the traditional frame makers happy, or
- Add a border to your image to bring it up to a traditional frame size.
Here’s my original 2:3 ratio image:
… and here it is cropped to 4:5:
For this particular image where I’m fading to black on the borders, it’s more of a subtle difference as I’m not really loosing any of the image. If it were a nice edge-to-edge landscape or something of that nature, then you have no choice but to make some difficult decisions. Even so, I still prefer my original 2:3 interpretation of the “Still Watchful” image. That leaves me with option 3, add a border.
In this case I moved up to a 20x30 print size by adding 3 inches to the left and right, 1.5 inches to the top and 2.5 inches to the bottom using the extra space on the bottom to include title/series/artist information.
There. I’m back to being a conformist frame makers. Hope you’re happy.
Are you shooting with a cropped sensor camera? Have you found any alternatives to bowing to the 4:5 world? Drop a note in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.
By the way, I’m still working with test prints and the finer details of this print before offering it for sale. If you have an interest and would like to be notified when it becomes available, please send me a note from my Contact page and I’ll be happy to keep you informed as things progress.