Projects - 52 Assignments - No.3 - Frame Work

Another popular compositional technique is to use frames, or frames within frames. This technique uses architectural or natural elements to create a frame around your subject. For example arches, or branches. Using such elements can really emphasise your focal point. This technique keeps compositions tight, naturally directs attention toward the subject, and can help enhance depth in the image by separating the foreground from the background.

The image above uses the tree trunks and branches in the foreground to highlight the scene beyond.

Another example below uses the tunnel entranc to frame St Stephen's tower beyond.

In Ross Hoddinott & Mark Bauer's book - 52 Assignments - Landscapes it says -

"Once you start looking, you will see frames evertwhere. In cityscapes, they tend to be obvious - arches, doorways, windows. and other architectural features. In a rural landscape, there are plenty of options for framing the bottom of an image - for instance, grasses, flowers, and gaps in rocks. For frames at the top of the image, overhanging leaves and branches can be effective, as can the right arrngement of clouds.

Tip: With architectural frames, such as archways, try to keep your camera as level as possible, so that verticals stay straight.


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All photographs © 2020 Steve McCarthy