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Composition – Frames

September 16, 2008 - Dave Hecei
Framing is another composition technique used by photographers, and other artists, Just like the rule of thirds that we talked about before, the use of framing a photo lets you grab the attention of the viewer and draw them into the main subject of the photograph. Good framing gives an image that extra sense of scale and depth.

Of course I am not talking about the frame you put around your matted image, I’m talking about using foreground object(s) that help to isolate the subject. These elements can be detailed, but it’s best if the frame doesn’t over power the subject. The frame can even be shadows or dark objects.

When shooting an image, take a little bit extra time and look around the outer areas of the image. Try to see if there is a natural frame there that you can use. If not, try to kneel down or even move to a slightly different angle to get a different view.

In nature, there are plenty of things to use as a frame. Trees are a great example. You can use the branches, the leaves, or even the tree trunks. I’ve even seen a great photo of some mushrooms that were framed with the tree’s roots. Photos of people can even benefit from framing. You can use doorways or windows. If you use the depth-of-field to your advantage, you can even use other people to frame a subject.

So when you are out shooting, take a look around to see if you can frame your subject. Try some shots with and without the frame. Odds are you will like the framed shots a lot better.

Check out more of my images on the web site. For photos from The Post-Journal, choose WeCU. For images from CU members, choose YouCU. Its free to view and free to join. Check it out today.


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Framing using trees in foreground.


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