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Framing Elements in Photography: How-To

Framing Elements in Photography: How-To

Using framing elements is a quick and easy way to add depth and interest to your photographs. Here are 3 (and 1/2) ways to utilize framing elements.

Foreground Only

Find, or create, a frame between your subject and the camera. You can utilize architecture, objects, other people, fabrics or even deep shadows. Anything that creates an opening that frames the amount of subject you want to display in your photograph is useful as a framing element.

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Subset of Foreground only- Shoot through Something:

While shooting through something doesn’t always technically frame your subject, it is a related way to create depth in an image. You can choose to shoot over/across opaque objects, or through something that allows part of the subject to show through, but think about how the foreground item adds to, or detracts from, the mood of the image.

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Background Only:

Place your subject in front of an opening or element that forms a frame behind them. Be careful to avoid mergers between the subject and framing device, and to place human subjects so that strong background lines don’t run through their neck or head.

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Foreground and Background:

Put them together! For the ultimate in depth creation, frame your subject with both foreground and background elements. Once you train your eye to see framing opportunities, this will become easier than you might think and is a very simple way to create images that give the viewer a sense that they could step write into the frame.

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Do you regularly use framing elements? Let me know in the comments.

-M

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