Relationship between subject and print size
How does the subject influence your choice of print size?
Many of the old masters of photography made relatively small prints. Part of that was the technology of the day, and the expense of making a large print. But part is the size that works best for the subject.
How do you think about the optimum size of a print? Of course, viewing distance is part of that thought process. And so does the size of the intended display space. But what else is involved?
I find that landscapes - particularly big landscapes - need a larger print. Small birds tend to work better as small to medium sized prints, while large birds tend to need larger prints. But wildlife tends to overwhelm the viewer if it is presented in too large a print. Do you really want a very large print of a buck with antlers on your wall? And macro (especially semi abstract) seems to work well with large prints but close ups of flowers work better as medium prints.
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#1. "RE: Relationship between subject and print size" | In response to Reply # 0esantos Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Sat 27-Jul-13 07:15 PM
Everything you say makes total sense. I would add that viewing distance is VERY important. I tend to think that if the image is simple in detail it works when printed large and can be viewed at close distance if it is sharp. The viewer can become immersed in the print up close and this works very well to stir emotions. Think of a close up of a flower, with say, a butterfly, or some other insect, or even a hummingbird. On the other hand, I find that landscapes with a lot of detail don't work if there isn't enough space to step back and take it all in. The viewer obviously needs to see the whole image to make sense of it, at least initially. Occasionally I've seen some landscape prints that contain enough interesting detail that you can still enjoy it viewing up close, but those are rare.
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