We are still discussing composition, and today I'll talk about framing. There are some simple 'tried and true' techniques for making your photos more interesting and dynamic and one of them is framing. I've talked a bit about determining what your subject is, then making sure that subject stands out over other elements in the picture. One way to do this is to create a frame out of other objects or elements that will naturally lead the eye toward the main subject. Framing the subject also adds detail that makes the photo more interesting. Remember, however, that the framing needs to support the subject and not detract from what you want the viewer to concentrate on. Study the following examples:
Notice how the bride is framed within the arch of the gazebo. (Also notice how the lighting naturally highlights her face, the most important part of a portrait picture.)
Lindsey is definitely the focal point of this photo. She stands in a frame within a frame. The dark outside frame naturally leads your eye to the beautiful bride in the center who is lighter and brighter than the frames that surround her.
Here is a beautiful Belize sunrise. I think this photo would have been boring if I'd stood at water's edge and just shot the sky. Standing behind the palms and letting their silhouettes frame the sunrise adds depth and interest to this photo. (Yes, I did have to look up the spelling of the word silhouette!)
Once again, the part of this photo I want people to focus on, (the spires and Angel Moroni), are framed by the tree branches.
I took shots of this cactus from many angles and this is the one that was the most interesting. The bloom is the main attraction, and it is perfectly framed by the backdrop of a cactus leaf(?) in soft focus. Even the highlighted needles are pointing toward the bloom.
This was taken on location of a movie set in Santa Fe during our photography workshop. Other photographers were taking photos of her posing by the bar or sitting on a stool. I saw the reflection in the oval above the bar and thought that would be a great frame to highlight her face so I asked her to pose this way. When you look at this photo try to imagine her facing the other direction. Would this picture be as interesting? Would the most important part of this portrait, (her face), stand out as nicely against the shelf with the bottles? Now go back and look at all the photos and imagine the main subject, but without any of the frames. Do you think they would be as interesting?
Assignment: Next time you pull out your camera to take pictures of something or someone you already have in mind, take a few seconds to look around for an angle that will frame your subject with other objects. (P.S. I don't know if I'm giving tooo much info (boring), or if it's tooo basic (more boring). Is any of this stuff helpful?)