Photography Composition Articles


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Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition: Framing

Our fifth guideline for improving photographic composition is framing.

Picture frame around woman

No, this is not what we mean by framing, although the principle is the same.

Sailboat framed by trees

What we mean is to frame the center of interest with objects in the foreground. This can give a picture the feeling of depth it needs to make it more than just another snapshot.

Figures framed by silhouette of building

Whether or not you use a frame for a picture will depend on each new subject. What you choose as a frame for the scene will, of course, vary as well.

Washington monument comparison

The Washington Monument on the left is composed in the center without a frame. The picture on the right has a stronger feeling of depth and tells a more complete story because the photographer chose an appropriate foreground to complement the Washington Monument.

Horeses and riders

The horses and their riders add considerable foreground interest to this scene. The overhanging tree branches complete the frame and add depth to the subject. When you use people for scale and foreground, make sure they look into the picture area.

2 views of Iwo Jima monument

Both of these interpretations of the Iwo Jima Monument effectively use framing for added dimension and interest. No matter what subjects you choose to photograph, you should avoid mergers.


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