Thursday, August 12, 2010

Photography Tips: Framing Your Shot

When I took my first photography class, I thought "framing" in photography referred to putting your photos in a frame.  The kind you hang on a wall.  Logical conclusion, right?  But, alas's simply a technique we can use to draw viewers in and tell them something more about the photograph than they may have learned without it.  A shot using proper framing can also add depth to a photo and create context. 

In the photo above, I used the palm trees to frame the top of the photo and the flowers and greenery to frame the bottom.  At this location, I walked around and realized I had two angles I could use to shoot this hut.  One was the angle pictured above and the other was an angle that didn't show the palm trees and greenery and just showed the hut.  I chose to use those things to frame the photo.  The other angle would've provided a decent shot, I'm sure...but I felt the angle including these things improved the composition of the photo and gave the viewer a little more information about it's location (palm trees usually means tropical). 

It's up to you to decide how to use framing in your shots, but do realize that using too many objects to frame your main subject can occasionally just make your photo appear cluttered or crammed together.  Use framing in moderation and ask yourself as you are taking your shot if the framing you have is adding...or subtracting...from your photo.

One way to draw the viewer into your photo and have them concentrate on the main subject is to use framing, but blur whatever objects you use to accomplish this.  In order to achieve the amount of blur you want, make sure to use a large aperture.  But keep in mind that with blurring you may lose context that could be found in the details of your frame.  In case you decide you need that detail, be sure to use a small aperture (see Photography Tips:  Aperture).  

So go out there and try framing, if you haven't already!  Remember:  practice, practice, practice! 

~Kara Stewart

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