Framing a Picture: 6 Tips

There are many things to learn about digital photography, and framing the picture as you take it is one of them. You can certainly print and frame any picture you want to after it is taken and edited. The challenge, or fun part, is learning to frame the picture within the picture. There are tons of ways to frame your digital photo shots; some will work well, some won't. Trial and error is often part of the process.  

Tip 1: Use Other People to Frame Your Subject

If you happen to be in a crowded room or situation and want to focus only on one or two subjects, it can be difficult to do without making the picture appear overwhelming. You can achieve a minimalist look and focus only on the desired subjects by using other people as a frame. For instance, frame your subject between two people who are faced away from the camera or put a soft focus on the surrounding subjects. Using these methods allows you to focus only on the intended subject while still using the available environment.

Tip 2: Use Dark to Frame Light

Another way to frame a subject is to capture the image when it is framed by something much darker than the subject of focus itself. For instance, you can capture a dark doorway framing a subject in the light outside. Another example is to try using the darkness of foliage opening to the daylight on the river. There are many instances when this will work if you watch for it.

Tip 3: Don't Always Try for Front and Center

When you focus too much on trying to get the perfect center shot in a frame, you miss out on some spectacular opportunities. For instance, using a partial frame can work well if it doesn't distract from the subject.

Tip 4: Go Ahead and Make It Blurry

Sometimes it's appropriate to purposefully blur the edges of your photo to give the focal point a virtual frame that's unclear. Be sure it's the right shot or it could just give a look that seems confusing.

Tip 5: Go for Depth with an Added Forefront

If you want to give the impression of depth in your frame, add an item to the forefront. It can be tricky to find the right balance, but when it works, the result is a multi-dimensional shot. Sometimes the natural frame is all that's needed to give your photo the depth you desire.

Tip 6: Know When Not to Frame

Lastly, you should know that sometimes attempting to put a frame around your photo is just going to make it look too busy. Experience will tell you when trying to frame around your shot is going to give it the wow factor and when it's best without one.

Listen to your instinct about your photos and use the natural elements to frame the intended focus. The best types of natural frames are the ones that are telling and invite the viewer toward the subject.


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