The Perfect Frame Size

About two years ago I bought a photo printer and before printing and framing my first prints, I had to answer one important question: what size prints would I generally make and which frames would I choose.  The Epson 3800 can print 17″ wide (43 cm or DIN A2+), so I could have easily decided on that size, but there were three reasons to go smaller: (1) I don’t have hanging or viewing space for such large prints, (2) the costs for ink, paper and frames would be very high and (3) my camera at the time had resolution only for prints of size 16,5 x 24,7 cm (at the native resolution of 360 dpi of the Epson driver).

I knew that I can scale the images up quite a bit, but I didn’t want to stretch it that much, so I settled down on A3+ paper size (33 x 48 cm or 13 x 19″).  For whatever reason, at that time I was only concerned with prints with aspect ratio 3:4, and prints with size 30 x 40 cm would fit very nicely on that paper.

As for the frames, I was looking for a very flexible solution: good for color and black-and-white images, horizontal and vertical orientation and suitable for frequent image replacement.  After a bit of looking around I settled on 50 x 60 cm Nielsen C2 aluminum frames  in soft frosted gray and white mat boards.  Still thinking of my 3:4 aspect ratio, the boards would be 50 x 60 cm with 30 x 40 cm cutouts.  I was very happy with the results and since then had no need to change a thing.

My first two framed prints

But I’ve recently had an offer to display some prints in a large office, and I decided to go with ten images from my Faces that Tell a Story portfolio.  So I will have to buy additional frames — no big deal.  But guess what?!  The ten images have different aspect ratios: 2:3, 3:4, 4:5, even 10:11, so what to do?  Well, here comes the really good part — Nielsen sells custom-made mat boards, so I can still use my DIN A3+ paper and 50 x0 60 cm frames.   I’ve printed the images with 2:3 aspect ratio as 30 x0 45 cm, the ones with 3:4 ratio as 30 x 40 cm, the 4:5 have come out as 32 x 40 cm and that last one, with 10:11 will make a nice 32 x 35 cm print.

He-he, I like it when everything works out nicely…  🙂

Here is what the framed prints look like (aspect ratios 2:3, 3:4 and 4:5):