purist approach to the photographic medium arose during the 1930s, and
has remained popular ever since, where cropping ("cutting"
into the full area of the negative) the image was a dirty word. Many
photographers though part of the art of photography was to framing the
scene tightly within the boundaries of the camera frame, many still
see this as an essential aspect of serious photography. By printing
an image with a black boarder not only is the full frame referenced
but the format of the camera used, 35mm, 120 or 4x5. The print can be
made with a very fine black boarder or a much larger one where the information
about the type and manufacturer of the film are referenced.
Detail from Auckland
II, New Zealand 1998 Lloyd Godman
In some cases,
like with Hasselblad cameras, the specific marks around the outside
of the frame even defines the make of camera used.
from the full negative reference, the technique also offers the image
an aesthetic device that frames the images and holds the visual material
in a neat rectangle or square and some photographer use the technique
more for this reason.
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