How to frame your subjects to create depth in your photos

Jul 31, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

How to frame your subjects to create depth in your photos

Jul 31, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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One powerful technique that can elevate your photographs to new heights is framing. By strategically placing your main subject within the frame and incorporating accompanying elements, you can add depth, context, and purpose to your images. In this video, Mike Smith explores the art of framing and how it can transform your photography.

Framing is the art of using elements within your photograph to create a frame around your main subject. It’s an ingenious way to guide the viewer’s attention and make them see the subject from the photographer’s perspective. When done right, framing can add layers of meaning and storytelling to your images.

One simple way to experiment with framing is to observe and mentally frame a scene before even taking out your camera. You can enhance your composition skills and discover captivating shots by training your eye to identify potential frames.

Framing with Nature’s Elements

Nature provides ample opportunities for framing in photography. Abandoned buildings with old window frames can be ideal for framing a landscape in the distance, offering a glimpse into the past and the views of the people who lived there. Alternatively, you can frame your subject through tree branches or other natural elements to add depth and context to your photographs.

Using Brightness and Light

Manipulating the brightness and exposure in your scene can be another effective way to frame your subject. Shooting through breaks in the canopy of a wooded area with the light breaking through creates a unique frame that draws attention to your subject. Similarly, using a long zoom lens to capture a setting sun surrounded by clouds can create a dramatic frame that adds depth and interest to the image.

Partial Framing for Subtlety

Partial framing involves using elements to frame only parts of your subject, creating a more subtle effect. This technique can be achieved by shooting through rocks, caves, or man-made structures, adding layers of visual interest to the photograph. Reflections can also create symmetrical framing, providing a mirror-like effect that enhances the overall composition.

Incorporating Colour Theory

Another advanced framing technique involves using colours strategically to frame the main subject. Understanding colour theory can help you create harmonious compositions that enhance the impact of your images. By choosing complementary or contrasting colours for the frame, you can guide the viewer’s eye and evoke specific emotions.

You can see that framing is a powerful artistic tool that allows you to add depth, context, and purpose to your images. I’d recommend watching the whole video for examples and more ideas of effective framing so you can keep an eye out for unique framing opportunities and take your photos to the next level the next time you’re out with your camera.

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Join the Discussion

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