View Full Version : How do you print 'sloppy borders'?

Yaakov Asher Sinclair
27-Dec-1999, 17:13
How do you make print look like it was 'painted' on to the print? The developer seems as though it was 'sponged' on, leaving a 'sloppy border.' I've seen this technique and I'd like to try it myself. Thanks in advance Yaakov Asher Sinclair Jerusalem

N Dhananjay
27-Dec-1999, 17:38
Not sure if this is exactly what you are referring to. Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz have a book on black and white in which they mention using an 'oversize/full size' negative carrier which gives a ragged edged border. DJ

Robert A. Zeichner
27-Dec-1999, 17:40
If you're referring to the edges of the image having a rough appearance as though torn, blurred or otherwise manipulated, it was probably done in a program like photoshop. There are actually libraries of different edges you purchase on CD ROM that will allow you to achieve this sort of effect. Of course the whole thing started with the idea of printing the entire negative, thus revealing the imperfections of the aperture plate in the particular camera used to make the negative. It just grew into what seems to be an endless series of effects (presumably to create a different look). To do any of this manually (chemically) you might try sponging on some developer, or maybe making a mask of some sort using clear mylar. I've got to believe it could be difficult to do this in a controlled manner, chemically. I'll be watching this thread though, because I just know someone's going to have some clever ideas.

Mike Kravit
27-Dec-1999, 18:31
Most of my printing is done in platinum. I hand coat sensitizing emulsion onto fine art 100% rag papers. The edges when developed show the brush marks. A very nice technique.

You can also get "sloppy borders" by filing your negative carrier. This requires that you alway print your images full frame. Obviously no cropping would be possible.

Ellis Vener
27-Dec-1999, 19:11
Yaakov, it sounds like you are describing some sort of hand coated paper, possib ly platinum/palladium emulsion. what you are seeing is the overage brush stokes.

Ray Dunn
27-Dec-1999, 23:00
Interesting question! I too admire the 'painted' look of the edges of the platinum/palladium process - that is, the hand-brushed overage. Thinking about how one might achieve the same effect with standard papers, how about painting the edges with some opaque but water-soluable paint; perhaps tempra paint. The paint could shield the edges of the paper from being exposed, but leave a ragged, brushed edge (in reverse). The water-soluable paint could then be washed away from the print, probably before the developer bath so as not to contaminate it. I don't have any idea if this would work, or the problems that would be encountered. Just a thought. I'd like to hear from someone who would be willing to try this technique, since I don't have the capability to print anymore. I would think this technique would work equally well for color or B&W (if it works at all!).

Of course, another technique for a soft, ragged edge can be obtained by stuffing cotton or some gauzy material around the edge of the printing frame. You could also lay some frayed burlap material under the frame extending into the print area to get a 'ragged' edge. I've acually done this one with B&W, and while it is a bit of a pain, it works well. These techniques are another form of vinetting (sp?).

Alan Gibson
29-Dec-1999, 09:01
Another method is to sandwich your negative with another one while printing. The second negative is a high-contrast photograph of a large sheet of white paper 'sloppily' painted black, but not up to the edges. Hence the negative will have a clear centre and black borders.

29-Dec-1999, 17:48
Another way to get 'sloppy borders' is to print the image as required, including any cropping, burning in or dodging. But instead of putting the print into a dev tray, you can carefully paint the dev on. This process is very much trial and error until you have mastered the technique. It is also a sure way to exhaust the fix if you are mean enough to not buy any stop bath.

30-Dec-1999, 12:31
probably the easiest way is to use rockland colloid's liquid light or AG plus on a sized watercolor paper like strathmore 500. They will never be as beautiful as a plat or pall print but you will get brush strokes and with a little testing can be pretty? well kinda... or you could ease yourself into alt processes with kits from Bostick and Sullivan.



good luck Yaakov

Dave Anton
30-Dec-1999, 14:41
Have you tried using Liquid Light? It's an expensive liquid emulsion that can be brushed onto any paper. you develope as you would regular printing paper. cheaper than plat / plad printing. good luck. Dave.

30-Dec-1999, 19:02
If you are interested in achieving sloppy borders with alternative processes, look at www.mikeware.demon.co.uk/index.htm, this site also provides an improved palladium/platinum process, which works out cheaper and easier.

Daniel Taylor
30-Dec-1999, 19:47
Extensis offers a Photoshop plug-in that allows you to create various brushed overlays to give this effect. www.extensis.com, if you are a Photoshop user.

Larry Cuffe
19-Feb-2001, 11:14
I've got an effect similar to this when playing around with Resin coated paper. It was a while ago now but I think I've got the sequence right. Develop the print normally and fix. wash briefly and then bleach using a potasium permanganate solution. The image disapears. Wash then paint the developer on again. Only areas where there was originaly silver not removed by the fix can be redeveloped and the result is an evenly developed print which looks as if the developer or emulsion was hand painted on. Hope this helps LArry

19-Feb-2001, 11:39

I do "irregular borders", although they don't look as being painted, with an irregular cardboard cut-out. Looks fine and is easy because I just put over the photo paper and then I print as usual. Just my 2 cents...

19-Feb-2001, 19:52
A friend of mine would do this sort of thing by making just a regular exposure, and then applying the dev. with anything from a sponge, or even a spray bottle. It looked sort of cool, but I imagine it'd be pretty hard to repeat.