Framing 13×19 photographic prints


How do you frame your prints?

Modern DSLR cameras produce images in an 8×12 format which is a bit more rectangular.  In comparison an 8×10 print looks much squarer.  The tricky part is finding mats and frames for 8×12 or 13×19 which is the largest size many people’s home photo printers can produce.

Art Prints

4×5, 5×7, 8×10, these standard sizes that you would get from a photo studio or school photo day photographers are easy to find in your local Kohls, Target, Walmart or any other store that has a home decorating section.  But try to find a non-standard size and it gets trickier and expensive.

Let’s face it.  Framing outside of standard sizes gets expensive.  Rarely does one save as much money as they think they might framing it themselves.  Often it better to simply order a framed print when ordering a unique from size from my gallery.  Or ordering a canvas print.  Canvas prints are basically always made to order and the labor is less than having a mat cut and a frame made to size.

Art Prints

Where did these photographic ratios come from?

Some say that the 4 to 3 ratio comes from the printing industry. 8.5×11 inch was a common paper size even before the first photo was ever made; and goes back several centuries.  4×5 inch film was popular back in the day of large format camera including those press cameras you see in the movies.  8×10 is simply a multiple of 4×5.

35mm format is 3:2 and there are not a lot of 6×4 frames or mats out there. One solution is to shoot with cropping in mind.  Give in today’s cameras large megapixel counts, as long as you are not producing billboards, one can easily crop to fit a more standard ratio.

35mm still is 8 sprocket holes on 35mm movie film; which makes about a 24x36mm frame. “regular” movie film running vertically is 4 sprocket holes. Still 35mm cameras evolved from 35mm films used with 35mm movie cameras. Mechanically it easy easy to make the film advance an intergral number of sprocket holes. Thus 8 was used with most 35mm still cameras; one sprocket hole is 45 degrees of sprocket rotation. – Kelly Flanigan

Hip to be Square

Shooting, cropping and formatting for a square aspect ratio has a lot of advantages.  There are ready made square frames in smaller sizes like 4×4, 8×8, 10×10, with the popularity of Instagram, frame manufactures have created a lot of ready made frames for this ratio.

Art Prints

Another advantage is the square online often gets shown larger on certain websites.  Because the square is easier to layout on a page, photos are often cropped willy nilly into squares, you by creating a square yours is less likely to be cropped in a strange way when displayed in certain situations.

The downside is composing in a square format can be challenging. Square frames and mats:

Wood Frame, 14 by 14-Inch, Matted to 7-inch by 7-inch Opening, Black:
Kiera Grace Langford Wood Frame, 14 by 14-Inch, Matted to 7-inch by 7-inch Opening, Black

8×8 frame:
Malden International Designs Manhattan Matted 8×8 Black Wall Picture Frame

16×16 black frame:

Art To Frames Picture Frame, 16 by 16-Inch, Black

Framing the 13×19 Print

I recently had the chance to prints some photographs on an Epson photo printer at the arts center where I teach.  Now what to do with the output without spending an arm and a leg on custom framing.

If you print with a 1/2-inch margin all around (12×18), and then mat with 3 inches all around, you will have an 18×24 matted print, which is a stock frame size found in most art supply stores.

You can choose to frame casually without a mat (poster style) or buy a mat and then a frame.

You can get pre-cut mats here:

10 of 18×24 White Pre-cut Acid-free whitecore mat for 13×19 + back+bag

18×24 frame:

Art To Frames Picture Frame, 18 by 24-Inch, Black

13×19 Frame (no matting):
Art To Frames Picture Frame, 13 by 19-Inch, Black


My next camera purchase?


Fujifilm X100T 16 MP Digital Camera (Silver)

In a previous post about cameras to really learn photography with – I talked about the virtues of Fujifilm’s retro styled but high tech nod to the classic rangefinder camera’s of old.  This line of cameras feature the sweet spot of 35mm lens equivalent and classic easy to read dials for seeing setting at a glance without having to scroll through menus.  Great optics and large sensors mean even professionals can get excited about these compact gems.

Well the version that is getting me excited comes at the end of next month.  November 30th is the drop date for the Fujifilm X100T 16 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
.  With classic retro good looks and a killer set of features, I think this just might be the camera I take to Italy next summer.  I love idea of shooting freely with a mighty little camera unencumbered by a big bag of lens and other crap that might just attract too much attention from the pick pockets.

What gets me so excited about this little camera?  Well for one I just love the concept.  Getting back to simple controls so one can truly be creative without wasting a lot of time flipping through menus.

The large sensor (16 megapixels) means I’ll have nice big files for printing huge images for my fine art portfolio.

The 23mm lens married with the APS-C 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II Sensor w/ EXR Processor II (same as in crop sensor DSLRs) will give me the equivalent of a 35mm lens on my Canon 6D full frame, which is my “go to” focal length.  35mm is just the perfect focal length of the story telling kind of photography I like to do for the book cover market.

My last professional compact camera was the Panasonic Lumix LX-5 which has a couple of major drawbacks.  A smaller 10 megapixels, dials that move all over the place in your pocket and no viewfinder.  Lack of a view finder (you can buy one for an additional $140 or so) drives me crazy and makes me think I’m shooting with a cell phone.

The new Fujifilm X100T 16 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
also features a new Electronic Shutter up to 1/32000 seconds – the world’s fastest settable camera, new Classic Chrome Mode which expands Film Simulation Modes to 11 modes and full HD Movies – 60fps, 50fps, 30fps, 25fps, 24pfs with exposure adjustment.

It also features some cool things like a

  • ISO up to ISO 51,200.
  • Program mode exposes as long as 4 seconds
  • Seven customizable Fn buttons
  • Aperture can be set in third-stops directly at the aperture ring
  • Built in Wi-Fi
  • 3″ screen.

A very exciting feature is a built in intervalometer for time lapse movies.  This is something my Canon 6D doesn’t even have.

The built in ND filter allows for 3 stops of aperture. No need to screw on an filter to get smooth waterfalls.


Bottomline is that Fujifilm took a look at where the market was going.  Low end point and shoot cameras are disappearing as consumers pick up cell phones and say “why do I need a camera?” and go snap happy with their cell phone and Facebook.  Meanwhile professionals are looking for quality and camera stripped down of all the silly stuff created to entice amateurs.  Sure the Fujifilm X100T still has some silly stuff like creative film modes like “sepia!” that any pro will never use when they can do it better in Photoshop but where it counts, quick to use dials, big sensors, great viewfinders and quality optics, the Fujifilm X100T beats out the competition and even rivals DSLRs.

Fujifilm X100T 16 MP Digital Camera (Silver)

Which camera to really learn photography?


Sell Art Online

A discussion of cameras that truly address the needs of real photographers.

I’ve come to the conclusion that beginners truly wanting to learn photography need a striped down camera. Instead of something with all the bell and whistles, which quite frankly the stuff professionals simply ignore, someone just starting out in photography would gain more value from a simple camera. And I’m not talking about things like “IA” or “Intelligent mode”, “Automatic mode” or “Idiot mode” as in the camera does all the work, no I mean a camera that gives the user quick and easy access to the three basic factors in photography – ISO, Aperature and Shutterspeed. It also would include a real viewfinder instead of an LCD screen and a single non-zoom lens.

Back in the film days the go to learners camera found in high schools everywhere was the Pentax K1000. It featured a needle exposure meter and an all mechanical design that could be used without the need of batteries.

The Pentax K1000 (originally marked the Asahi Pentax K1000) is an interchangeable lens, 35 mm film, single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, manufactured by Asahi Optical Co., Ltd. from 1976 to 1997, originally in Japan. The K1000’s extraordinary longevity makes it a historically significant camera. The K1000’s inexpensive simplicity was a great virtue and earned it an unrivaled popularity as a basic but sturdy workhorse. The Pentax K1000 eventually sold over three million units.

Pentax K1000 camera

Instead of going through a bunch of confusing software menus, a camera such as this gave the user instant access to all of the important elements of an exposure via mechanical dials.  Plus this was the pre-autofocus days so the user was actually fully involved in selecting where the image would be focused on.

I picked up this Petri Racer camera at a flea market basically as a photo prop because to me it has all of the features of what one would expect in a film era single lens reflex camera.  Although this is actually a rangefinder camera.

The Petri Racer is a Japanese fixed-lens 35mm rangefinder introduced in 1966. It features a built-in match-needle coupled CdS lightmeter but no automatic exposure program. It could be equipped with a Petri 2.8/45 or 1.8/45 lens. The shutter is a ten-speed Petri.

Petri Racer Rangefiner Camera

With a rangefinder camera you don’t look through the lens but rather through a separate view finder.  To focus you set the distance of the subject on the lens.  Street photographers love type of camera because they can preset the focus and then shoot from the hip without bringing the camera to their eye and perhaps alerting their subject.  Without a mirror flipping up and down, rangefinders are also very quiet.  Also the camera came standard with a 35mm lens which is a favorite focal length of street photographers as it provides enough of a wide angle to include the “story” of a scene.

For someone learning photography, this camera like the Pentax K100 has a lot of mechanical features and all of the settings are visable at a glance.  On the lens itself there is an ASA ring (to days film sensitivity or ISO), aperture setting, shutter speed (The Petri Racer only has 10 shutter speeds from B to 500) and distance settings.

The only thing important thing missing in these basic vintage mechanical camera is the instant feedback afford by today’s modern digital cameras.  The ability to gain instant feedback on exposure, composition plus the zero cost of recorder images digitally compared to the old film days of buying expensive film and waiting until the roll is finished and processed to see how well you are progressing to me is the most amazing thing about modern photography.  Digital has the ability to shave years off of the learning curve as well as saving the beginner a lot of money.  If your first 10,000 photographs are your worst as famously said by Henri Cartier-Bresson, is true then at least with digital it doesn’t really cost anything to shoot, evaluate and delete 10,000 images.

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Modern equalilants

So are there modern equivalents to these old workhorse learning cameras?  Unfortunately in the digital era there haven’t been too many “striped down to the essentials” cameras on the market.  Manufacturers have been in such competition to bring out feature after feature that even today’s inexpensive point and shoot is chock full of “features” that most people probably forget about after they leave the store.  Who really wants to have to remember a laundry list of “exciting” features and modes for every situation under the sun?  Wouldn’t you rather have an understanding of exposure and then easy access to controlling the elements of exposure – ISO, Shutterspeed and Aperature.  Don’t you think if you got all of the whiz bang features and modes out of the way maybe we could concentration on taking a good photograph instead of flipping through menus?

Well finally there are some cameras coming out of the market that addresses this interest for a more basic, let me say “photographers camera” as opposed to gadget lovers camera.

One of the major players in the rangefinder market has always been Leica.  The favorite of famous street photographers, Leica cameras have always been focused on quality where it counts. Fantastic lenses, sturdy bodies, and only the features photographers really need. Leica 10773 M-P (Typ 240) 24MP SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)

But beginning photographers rarely have $7,000-$8,000 to spend on a camera!

Luckily for those a bit more budget conscious we are now starting to see some more reasonably prices rangefinder type cameras come on the market.  In the past I’ve had experience with some “pro” style point and shoot cameras like the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7K 10.1 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Optical zoom and 3.0-inch LCD – Black, which include more manual dials then the average point and shoot and emphasis a quality lens.

One camera that has caught eye lately is the Fujifilm X30 12 MP Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Silver)

The Fujifilm X30 is a stylish, premium compact camera with class-leading functionality, superb design, enhanced battery performance and unrivaled image quality. This large-sensor premium compact has evolved from the best-selling X20 camera. In addition to its high quality 2/3-inch X-TransTM CMOS II sensor, the X30 features an impressive real-time viewfinder, EXR Processor II and a new control ring along with extra dials and function buttons for more control. Tilting 3.0-inch 920K-dot LCD monitor, improved battery performance (approximately 470 photos /charge), remote WiFi shooting from your smartphone and a variety of manual functions make shooting with the X30 a true pleasure.

  • 12MP 2/3-inch X-TransTM CMOS II sensor with no Optical Low Pass Filter
  • 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder with 0.65x magnification
  • Bright F2.0-2.8 Fujinon 4 x Optical Zoom Len
  • Instinctive control ring
  • 11 Film Simulation Modes including – New Classic Chrome, Provia, Velvia and Astia

I’m thinking that this camera would make a fantastic camera for someone who really wants to learn photography.  In has the instinctive manual controls needed to truly grasp the concepts of photography. The new control ring, which automatically determines the most appropriate settings for the chosen shooting mode, functions like aperture, shutter speed and more can be quickly chosen without taking your eye from the viewfinder. This is complemented by the manual zoom ring, and physical dials which have become a hallmark of the X series.

I also like the large sensor, HD video quality, fast autofocus, large viewfinder (something missing from a lot of smaller cameras) and an built in interval timer for time lapse video (something my Canon 6D doesn’t even have).  The camera also has WIFI features such as remote control via a smartphone and WIFI image transfer.  Rather amazing package for less than $600.

This trend for more easy access to controls is certainly one I’d like to see continue. The market needs more cameras focused on photography and less on glitz. The low end market is disappearing as the snapshooters realize that all they need and want is their cellphone to take Facebook snaps. Time to bring out cameras for real photographers who want easy access to the things they actually want.

The Fujifilm X100S 16 MP Digital Camera with 2.8-Inch LCD (Silver) features an larger sensor.

One Camera One Lens


Photography Prints

Looking for that one special lens that will vault your photography from ho-hum into ohhs and awwws? Perhaps you have been the victim of less than professional equipment and its been holding you back from greatness?

Or maybe you’re looking at the equation upside down. Perhaps less equipment and exploring every single possibility of that camera/lens combination is the ticket to better photography.

Many great photographers of the past and present favored a single camera and signal lens combination. For example fine art photographer Brooke Shaden only uses a regular old 50mm. For street photographers a Leica M with a 35mm is all they need.

Here is what fellow Fine Art America artist Andrew Pacheco has to say about the one camera/one lens concept:

“The one camera one lens concept is probably why I gravitate toward prime lenses. When I attach a fixed focal length lens to my camera, I’m forced to think in that focal length. For me, the sense of confinement causes me to explore more creative options that the ability to zoom would stop me from seeing.

Even though I have different lenses for different situations, I still feel that primes make you adhere to one lens type of thinking.” – Andrew Pacheco –

Another FAA photographer Chuck De La Rosa ( says: “When I learned photography it was with a manual focus 35 mm SLR with a 50mm lens.”

The idea behind one camera/one lens is to pare down equipment so that one can focus on learning and improving. Here are some examples of professional and amateur photographers utilizing this aspect of pared down photography. Consider a master photographer like Cartier-Bresson:

“Cartier-Bresson himself used one camera and one lens—a Leica with a 50mm—for most of his career. But he was regarded as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century because he knew exactly how his camera would perform. A good photographer takes the time to understand their equipment so they can get the best image, irrespective of how expensive their kit is.”

Or press photographer Jerome Delay:

“Jerome Delay, a photographer with the Associated Press, has been making remarkable photos from some of the most troubled places on the planet with just one camera and a 50mm lens.”

Or even a Mom on why she only uses a 50mm:

“I was determined to pursue photography, even on a serious budget. I pledged that I would not let my modest equipment hold me back, regardless of what gear I thought a photographer was “suppose” to have…. “

Art Prints


This blog post grew out of forum threads in which people ask for equipment suggestions so they can improve their photography. Often people believe that if they only had the “right” equipment, more exotic equipment or pro level equipment, then their photography would become amazing. True or false? Do you need a bag full of lens? Is a $100 50 mm lens incapable of producing quality photography? What say you?


The concept of one camera, one lens is getting mentioned a lot on the Internet.

My cell phone takes great photos and my new stove cooks great food!


Ever hear this one?  “My new cell phone takes great photos”.  If you ask me that’s about the same as saying “My new stove cooks great food”.

Or maybe its like “my new table saw makes great furniture”.  Or that “new pencil” I bought makes great artwork.  Oh and by the way, that new computer I bought writes fantastic stories.  You should see the elegant proses and thoughtful plot development it creates.

Seriously, I have been in situations where I’ve shown my photographs to someone and the first thing out of their mouth is “I’ve got to get a new camera”.  Huh?  Did the camera hike through that snow covered field, choose a low angle and decide to use shallow depth of field all on its own?

Can you imagine walking out of a great restaurant and saying “That was a fantastic meal, I’ve got to renovate my kitchen”.

“Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah-ha’.”

Ernst Haas

No doubt the backbone of the photography industry from the equipment manufacturers to the book and magazine publishers who push products and camera reviews is based on the notion that a large majority of “photographers” are just waiting for the right camera, lens, accessory etc to come along which will magically transform their photography to the next level.  Some how its the equipment rather than a developed eye that is holding them back from greatness.

“Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own.”

Brooks Jensen

A better approach to learning better technique and artistry is to stick to what you have and work to produce the best images you can.  Start with a basic camera and a standard lens.  Work that equipment until you know all of its qualities, limitations, strengths and weaknesses.  Then forget about the equipment and concentrate on the art and what you are trying to say with your work.

“The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.”

Edward Weston

Plenty of famous photographers build their entire lives work around a single camera or focal length.  A new camera or new lens brings excitement to the amateur photographer who pulls their camera out of the closet a couple times a year when its vacation time.  A true photographer is constantly looking, seeing and capturing life all around themselves.  They are not looking for the “convenient” solution, they use the equipment that will result in capturing the story they are trying to tell.

– Edward M. Fielding

Edward M. Fielding is a professional fine art photographer working with Arc Angel Images.  His work can be seen on Fine Art America –