getting wallet-sized prints with white borders

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by SS, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. SS

    SS Guest

    I would like to make some wallet-sized prints of digital images and have
    them printed with white borders, remniscent of the old black and white
    wallet prints produced a few years back from (gasp!) film.

    Any suggestions on how to proceed? I will not print them myself, but rather
    hope to find a lab that prints on good quality archival photographic paper.
    My first thought was to simply add white borders myself in an image editing
    program then have the lab print the resulting file. But there were a couple
    of problems there: (1) there does not seem to be any consensus concerning
    the exact dimensions of a "standard" wallet-sized print, so I've had trouble
    confirming the appropriate ratio to crop/save the image to, and (2) the
    chance that the image will lose an uneven amount of one or more of the white
    borders when printed or cut seems high (in other words, I haven't found a
    lab that can confirm that their machines will reproduce all of the
    information in the original file without cropping a bit from one side or the

    With those concerns in mind, I've decided that I might do best to find a lab
    that had the ability to add white borders on their end. A few other
    considerations: I plan to do this image in black and white; I wouldn't mind
    uploading to and using an online service; and finally, quality will matter
    more than price.

    Can anyone suggest a good way and or place to have this done?

    Many thanks, SS
    SS, Jan 31, 2004
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  2. SS

    KBob Guest

    Most of these Frontier quickie labs (like Costco, Sams & Wal-Mart)
    will trim about 0.1 inch off the overall print image (even when the
    original image is correctly sized), so when you compose prints with
    borders, be sure to allow for this. I'd say that if you want 4X6
    bordered prints, you might try making the image about 3.5X5.5 and see
    how they come out.
    KBob, Jan 31, 2004
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  3. SS

    SS Guest

    Thank you for the replies, all.

    Most labs I talked to treated a wallet as 2x3 inches (four on a 4x6 sheet).
    But none of the local places could add borders. What's more, the wallet
    prints cost about $.50 each compared to $.27 each for a standard 4x6. So I
    prepared a layout with four images on a 2:3 aspect ratio canvas and input
    the white borders myself in advance then tried having the 4x6's machine
    printed at a nearby WalMart (cutting the resulting prints into 4 wallets on
    my own with a paper cutter). It worked OK, though there was (as I feared)
    more cropped from one edge than the other three, leading to some wallet
    prints with uneven borders. Was worth trying, though, for $.07 per wallet.
    And next time I'll know to leave more space on a couple of the borders to
    account for how their machine lines things up.

    I used to work extensively in an "old-fashioned" darkroom, by the way, so
    doing this with an easel and enlarger wouldn't baffle me at all....just that
    I haven't had a real darkroom to play around with for years!

    SS, Feb 1, 2004
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