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Photographing Open Doors

Updated on September 18, 2014

Just like photographs can use windows to show images of the outside world, so can doors. Images of outside elements that include doors used as frames for the photograph make for interesting images. Photographs can be taken from inside a structure to show glimpses of the outside as well as taking a shot from the outside that shows a glimpse of the interior.

Doors that have sustained the effects of weather and time make for excellent photos by themselves. Often these doors are on facades that are colorfully painted. Often the paint on the doors has begun to fade or chip making them even better for photography as the effects of time and weather create a nostalgic mood.

Most of the best examples are found in the country. Europe has an abundance of these in old country estates and farms. Some doors that are good photo subjects can also be found in the city. These are often elaborate and in some cases ornate as well. Businesses,especially hotels and banks, have the better samples and obtaining permission to photograph them is often as simple as asking.

Doors can be photograph from the exterior as previously mentioned, and adding props such as ornate planters can accentuate the look. The shot should include part of the exterior of the structure as well. However, try not to include too much of the exterior that the viewer will easily loose interest in the main subject itself, in this case the doors.

Images of the exterior using an open door gives the viewer a reason to play with the imagination and wonder about what else lies on the outside, where is the structure located and what the door, the structure and its occupants have gone through, especially if the door shows weathering.

Remember to adjust the settings on your camera to take into account the differences in lighting from inside to the outside and vice verse. There are many doors, which depending on what part of the world and the culture of the site, are painted in vibrant reds, yellows, blues and greens are on which colorful local designs are painted. Often with an equally vibrant exterior color palette.

Closed doors that are ornate and intricate in detail are good subjects. Here the emphasis should be on the door's texture, details, including the door knobs. There are many uses for these types of photographs to include fine art galleries, inspirational posters, greeting cards and poetry publications.

If using film, then use positive film, otherwise know as slides. This type of film offers a much vibrant rendition of textures and colors. If using a digital format, then set it for the maximum allowable quality also known as DPI's, raw format is often the best choice.

If you find doors that have very elaborate knockers, then shoot them in close ups as well. Be mindful that doors by their simple nature should be photographed in vertical formats. Horizontal formats tend to stop the viewer's glaze and are not practical in the majority of situations. Don't overlook using a black & white format.

This format is very well suited to capturing texture and detail in wood and other surfaces. Don't assume that all doors worth photographing are found on homes, stores or fancy establishments. Barns, sheds and other structures sometimes have doors worth taking a look at too.

Before taking the image, stop for a moment and think of a particular feeling, message, sense or emotion that can be invoked by such a picture.

This will give you a better perspective to use when snapping away. If the possibility presents itself to include a person, do so. This helps put the door into perspective. If the locals are traditionally garbed, even the better.

Use your imagination and take shots during sunny conditions as well as during inclimate weather. Portray the "life" of the door as it occurs naturally, yet do so aesthetically.

An image that tells a story, even if it is of an inanimate object tends to be well received by most viewers.

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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • Obscure_Treasures profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Good work!

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful doors. I have presented a lesson to young writers with "door" prompts. They write: On the other side of the door . . . A poem by another hubber friend gave me the idea. Very successful.

    • Golfgal profile image


      7 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Very interesting, I would love to see a wall of doorways. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Katharella profile image


      7 years ago from Lost in America

      Not only beautiful photography, but many many memories. :) Thanks for your time, and the beautiful things that so many take for granted. Doors lead to many places, they're actually a metaphor in themselves! Thanks.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      A nice art to display.


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