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How to Frame a Photograph
The key to taking a great photo is the composition of the image. Composition is the process of arranging things in your shot so that you can easily convey what you want to the viewer. If done right, your composition will make it easier for your viewer to understand the purpose of your image.
One technique used in composition is framing. Framing is the technique of drawing attention to the subject of your image by blocking other parts of the image with something in the scene.
What to use to frame your image
You can "frame" your image by using many different elements of your scene. For example you may use:
- Tree branches
- People (shooting between people's shoulders or heads with the person behind them in focus)
- A traditional picture frame border
The frame of your image does not have to cover all of the edges like a traditional picture frame, it may just cover one or two edges of your shot. Frames may also be in the foreground or background of your image - though they are more commonly used in the foreground of the image.
Why would I frame my image?
Framing your image can add a number of benefits to your image, including:
- giving the photo context
- drawing the viewers eye to your subject
- adding interest to the picture
- giving the image a sense of depth
- creating layers within the image
- bringing a sense of containment or organization to an image
By using the framing technique in your photography, you can take your image from "just another photo" to a spectacular photo that really conveys what you were looking to show in your image.
Take for example, the picture on the right. If this image was a close up of the girl's face, it would be just another portrait, however, by including the door of the subway you know exactly where she is and what she's doing.
The picture from Machu Pichu at the start of the hub creates interest in the image as you can understand the surroundings of Machu Pichu and it isn't the same old touristy photograph.
- Make sure the "framing" of the photo doesn't take away from the image or add too much clutter to distract the viewer
- Always be sure that the focal point of your image is in full focus
- Decide if you want your frame to be in focus or not - by having your frame out of focus you are putting even more emphasis on your chosen subject, however some photos will look better with the frame in focus as well as it adds context to the scene