BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Posts Tagged ‘frame-within-a-frame

Composing Tip: Frame-within-a-Frame

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Photographic composition is a topic we’re going to discuss in great detail on this Website. Simply put, composition is the arrangement of items inside the photograph and the interaction of these objects with one another.

For the purpose of this discussion, let’s consider there are only 2 objects in the photograph: One, the subject and, two, the background.

Before we go further let’s examine one fundamental concept: You are making images for a viewer. That viewer may only be you but more than likely you’ll want to show off your images to others. Beginning photographers often forget the audience aspect of photography and because of this, they forget to emphasize what they think is important about the photo.

Remember, the viewer can’t read your mind. You need to give them visual clues as to what YOU, the photographer, thought was important when you made the photograph.

First Step: Visualize the Photograph
It’s important to first visualize the photograph you’re going to make. Ask yourself:

  • What’s the important feature of this photograph?
  • What do I want the viewer to focus on?
  • What, if any, emotion am I trying to convey?

If you keep your audience in mind and mentally construct how you’re going to convey your photographic message, you’re going to make better images.

Jeremy W. Schneider)

Using the Civil Air Patrol cadets' bodies to create a frame, the viewers' attention is drawn to the flag bearer. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Determining Visual Clues
Once you’ve determined what you want to focus on in the photograph, you need to decide how you’re going to get your audience to focus on that object.

Some photographs don’t need visual clues. Sometimes it’s OK to let the viewer’s eyes just wander around in the frame. Other times, it’s important to help the viewer focus.

Jeremy W. Schneider)

In this image, I'm using the sides of the elevator to help from the subjects. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

One technique is framing the subject within the photographic frame. This means using the background or the subject to help frame what you want to convey to your viewers.

Look at the images embedded into this article and decide whether or not the frame-within-a-frame technique was useful in helping you focus on the subject.

Remember, like any technique there’s no formula for absolute success. It’s a trial-and-error process. Also remember that in photography, there’s not a one-size-fits-all technique. Good luck and keep shooting!

Jeremy W. Schneider)

Using the subject's hands helps create both an interesting look and draw the viewers to the subject's face. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Written by jeremyparce

February 15, 2009 at 7:09 am