Frame Your Images

Frame Your Images

FramedOne way of adding interest to an image and to draw attention to the main point of interest that you’re attempting to highlight is to incorporate an internal frame into your composition.

A frame serves numerous purposes:

1. It gives the image depth and helps to give the perception to viewers of it that they’re looking at something that is more than 2 dimensions.

2. Use correctly, framing can draw the eye of the viewer of an interest to a particular part of the scene.

3. Framing can bring a sense of organization or containment to an image. This won’t work with every shot – but if you’re after a more ordered or formal feel it can be useful.

4. Framing can add context to a shot. A photo of the woman in the first shot (left) without the window frame would tell you less than the shot you see with the rustic looking window frame around her.

Frames can take many forms – from an overhanging tree, a window, a bridge, arch or even part of another person etc. When using this technique – look for a frame that has a similar shape to the main subject that you’re framing.

Frames can also be in the foreground or background of images (although more often than not they’re in the foreground).

Lets look at a few examples of framing at work in the composition of digital photographs. Some are more ‘classic’ or ‘traditional in composition – others more experimental (click images to be taken to the photographer).

Classic Framing












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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • F.Zaman July 31, 2012 02:04 am

    the photographs are practical examples,I liked those

  • Ced's Graphics February 19, 2012 01:41 am

    Nice tips and pictures I am new photographer and will be soaking up all this knowledge thank you so much

  • Annie June 23, 2011 03:51 pm

    Here's a few i took while holidaying in Japan

  • Tom June 17, 2011 11:05 am

    I file all the weekly postings for one purpose; to re-read them. And as I learn more, I find that each reading offers different insights.
    As a New Zealander living in the South Pacific, I just love the way an unknown person in a different part of the planet takes all this effort for other unknown folks like me.
    So thanks Darren. I love the variety, the format and the discussion that follows.

  • satish m vakharkar June 5, 2011 08:02 pm

    Dear Sir
    I am avid reader of your website and waiting anxiosly for the Friday on which i receive your mail
    in framing tutorial u have not explain from where to take the exposure which seems to be important
    kindly explain
    satish vakharkar

  • satish m vakharkar June 5, 2011 08:02 pm

    Dear Sir
    I am avid reader of your website and waiting anxiosly for the Friday on which i receive your mail
    in framing tutorial u have not explain from where to take the exposure which seems to be important
    kindly explain
    satish vakharkar

  • satish m vakharkar June 5, 2011 08:01 pm

    Dear Sir
    I am avid reader of your website and waiting anxiosly for the Friday on which i receive your mail
    in framing tutorial u have not explain from where to take the exposure which seems to be important
    kindly explain

  • danielle Pittman January 22, 2011 02:07 pm

    Great source of info. Love this website.

  • JAG November 23, 2010 06:37 pm

    I personally love this website and it has been a great source of information and assistance to me on many assignments. I visit regularly but cannot be guaranteed to catch everything so articles being reposted are a great idea. Keep 'em coming Darren!

  • Natasja Brattinga October 6, 2010 10:13 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Very helpful and useful :)

  • Shirley October 1, 2010 02:02 pm

    I don't mind the repetition at all. Photographers were not born at the same time, so people pick up things at different times.

    I personally enjoy DPS. This site does not have the "high-nose-I-know-it-all-attitude" that often intimidating and discouraging newbies like me.

    Hopefully many are inspired by this topic, especially for the weekly challenge October 2010.

  • Shaikh Imran September 25, 2010 11:30 pm

    I am regular reader of DPS, I must admit I took all my initial lesson of photography here only
    best thing for me on this website is it provides knowledge in the area which starting photographer face a lot like rule of third , white balance,ISO, shutter, aperture and many more.

    now this is first time I am putting my image in this forum

    [eimg url='' title='DSC_0817-2800x600.jpg']
    [eimg url='' title='DSC_0087-1%20%5B800x600%5D.jpg']

  • Little Sidz August 24, 2010 07:09 pm

    Hi All

    I have just started visiting the website and I'm glad i did. The tips and discussions on this website are amazing and extremely helpful. On the subject of frames and borders, I was wondering, is there a post on this website with a guide on how to create a professional looking border? I have seen a lot of photos all over the web with some great, simple yet very professional looking borders and like mentioned in this post, the pictures look amazing. I would like to do the same and want to know how one can create a border. This might have already been discussed somewhere else on this website, but i would really appreciate some guidance.

  • Albert March 9, 2010 12:30 am

    Well.. Framing does add some beauty to certain photographs... But i feel that some photos look more natural without it..

  • Joe D Silva January 7, 2010 08:37 am

    Speaking of Framing, here's one from my recent snaps of YMCA Camp Greenville at Cedar mountains, SC

    [eimg url='' title='IMG_0142.JPG']

  • Suitchaself September 30, 2009 12:26 am

    The greatness of the photography is in it's simplicity :) in 99.99% the simplest photograph is the most stunning and with the most WOW effect :) But that's only my opinion... there are so many things that we can use to make stunning images .. we just need a little imagination.
    Darren, you're doing AWESOME job with this site, no matter how many times you post a tutorial or a sample, there will always be new audience who will want to learn all the great things you have in mind.
    Thanx, man :)

  • Rick September 4, 2009 12:41 am

    My daughter is doing pictures in her art class that show the rule of thirds. Some of the pictures she's taking are being rejected and shes not sure about the rule. Can you explain in more detail what this rule consists of and how it should be applied better?

  • Eli June 11, 2009 12:01 am

    Good tutorial and Great pictures! Thanks!

    By the way, I'm using ImageFramer application for creating frames for my photos on my Mac.
    It's much faster than using a Photoshop - Mac users can give it a try!

    Anyone knows additional framing applications?

  • claude June 5, 2009 04:04 am

    Don't think of them as a repeat. Think of it as a refresher bringing a great tip back to the front of your mind to use in your current work. Keep the brain cells stirred up. I found the examples inspiring. I'm going out to find some framing opportunities. Thanks!

  • marina May 13, 2009 01:56 pm

    hi susan!
    i had the same problem too, when i started using the DSLR months ago. my personal experience, i started with aperture priority/ shutter speed priority setting first, took photos and took note of the different exposures. then when i'm more comfortable with the camera, i began using manual mode. :) hope this helps :D

  • Susan May 1, 2009 03:36 am

    Ive just got onto this sight and love it. I have only had my slr for weeks and want to experiment and find all the tips helpful, just need to get off automatic now, anymore tips on that?? Just dont get shutterspeed or aperture is there an easy way to figure it out? Love this website thanks very much. Sue

  • Embassy Pro Books September 24, 2008 11:59 pm

    Thanks for the information. I love using framing but sometimes it ends up focusing on the opposite. Still figuring it all out.

  • Dion July 12, 2008 11:55 am

    Hi everybody! I've only been on this web for a week and I already find it very useful and alot of interesting things to learn, I wish I can be on this site more often but because I am a long haul driver I can only be here once in a while... appreciate all the good tips!! Thx

  • Bob Dale December 15, 2007 08:09 am

    This is also a nice example of repeating patterns and a great use of a frame.

    Bob Dale
    Master Photographer

  • nefesco December 14, 2007 04:45 pm

    @ Ehsan:
    Nice shots! Thx for MORE examples ^_^

    @ Darren:
    Glad u considered the idea! And yeah, i think it's fair enough to put a small charge on it! If it's affordable, i'll definitely buy it! Thx again ^_^

  • Aamir Lari December 14, 2007 03:33 pm

    I think DPS is a doing an excellant job. As far as reposting old topics... there is always something new in old ones..

    Keep up the good work

  • Rob December 14, 2007 01:53 pm

    I agree with Carol. I quite enjoy the re-runs as they reinforce the idea. There is so much to think about with digital, it's not possible to take it all in and remember it the first time. I think I've read my camera's owners manual 3-4 times and pick up another valuable tip each time. Nice work Darren and I the images above. I've used this and it certainly nails the subject..cheers..Rob

  • Ehsan December 14, 2007 01:48 pm

    Can I add some of my framing shots here ???

  • Darren December 14, 2007 06:54 am

    the pdf is a good idea and one we've considered. It's just a matter of finding the time (scarce). To do it properly we'd probably put a small charge on it too as it's a labor intensive task.

    Hopefully in 2008 we can put it together.

  • Ty December 14, 2007 02:45 am

    Thanks for the tip's Darren!

  • Carol Browne December 14, 2007 01:20 am

    I like the repeats/refresher posts. It's a good reminder for me. I just can't possibly remember all these things. Those pictures are beautiful!

  • the_wolf_brigade December 13, 2007 11:43 pm

    That pdf idea is brilliant.

    I love it when you repost articles. I seem to remember going through the archives when I joined a while back. However, I learn new things daily, so often a post of an article will not only get me reminiscing about the time I tried the technique, but also has the added benefit of inspiring me to give it another go to perfect it further.

  • Everett December 13, 2007 05:56 pm

    Very great idea. I'm pretty sure I take internal framing into consideration; however, I know I'll think more about it now! Great article.

  • nefesco December 13, 2007 04:48 pm

    I concur with Darren. I've NEVER seen this post before since i'm only here for a couple of weeks. And it sure is a helpful post. Thx again for the SIMPLE but BRILLIANT idea.

    Btw Darren, ever thought of compiling all these tips into an achieve? ie in PDF or html tutorials, like a book, and separated by different chapters and levels - beginners, intermediate and advanced etc. I think the step-by-step approach would be helpful for those who really wanna MASTER it since as i believe this site already has enough resources (posts) now to do so. Just my 2 cent ;)

    Thx again!

  • Darren December 13, 2007 09:22 am

    Klaidas - two things.

    1. we do repeat some of our more useful tutorials. The reason for this is threefold. Firstly - we wrote a lot of posts in our early days that the vast majority of our readers have not read because we didn't grow that fast for 6-12 months. Secondly it takes a lot of work to keep coming up with fresh topics after a few years of writing on this topic and we don't have the resources to pay a full team of writers. Thirdly - we update a lot of our old posts before reposting them.

    2. you're always welcome to submit a fresh post. We welcome our community members writing guest posts for us.

    3. speaking of repetition - some of your comments are a little repetitive. This is the 4th or 5th time in the last month or two that you've complained about repetition :-)

  • Klaidas December 13, 2007 01:09 am

    I was expecting to see some trivial repetition from the past articles (again!)... but this actually seems like an interesting idea I haven't heard of :]