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Finding frames for photos doesn’t always have to mean looking for the perfect frame to hang on your wall. If you’re looking for a way to push your compositions to the next level of visual interest, try finding frames for your subjects within your photos as well. In this post René Edde shares some tips on framing your shots.
A great technique for better photos is to frame your subject within your photo. The next time you are out exploring the world with your camera, try looking for ways to surround your subject with another element in the scene. Framing up your subject is a great technique to add depth and visual impact to your photography. Isolating your subject with framing draws the viewer’s attention directly to the subject of your photograph.
When framing within your photos pay careful attention to your foreground and your background. Remember that both elements are present in nearly every photo that you make. Try to find a way to frame the subject with an object in the foreground that relates somehow back to the object. Try to utilize elements in the foreground that may give the viewer more information about where the photo was taken, what the location was like, or even what event or activity is taking place.
Be careful when utilizing framing techniques that you don’t clutter the photo or obscure the subject. If there is too much going on around the subject of your photograph it is easy to lose the meaning of what your image is trying to convey. Remember though that busy photographs can easily be subdued by carefully choosing a shallow depth of field and blurring out things that could otherwise be distracting. It doesn’t do well to overshadow your subject with chaos or confusion. Be careful when choosing things such as tree branches or leaves as framing elements. You don’t want to jumble the viewer or have branches “growing” out of people’s heads.
To find framing take the extra time to explore your surroundings when making photographs. Walk around the scene. Find different angles. Look for elements within your surroundings that you can use to fill the frame. Imagine objects as windows and frames to help isolate your subject and highlight what you are trying to show. It’s sometimes the simplest techniques that help take your images to the next level.
Got some examples of good framing to show? Leave us a link to them in comments below or share them in the share your shots section of our forum.
About the Author: René Edde is a freelance photojournalist based in Chicago, IL. When René isn’t shooting on assignment for newspapers or working with local and international non-profits on documentary stories, you can find her teaching English to Tibetan monks in Nepal. You can see more of René’s work at her website and her adventures on her blog.