Monday, 28 July 2014

Lessons In Framing - Photography

This is a lesson in photography that everyone can benefit from regardless of what you are shooting on, be it a DSLR, a phone or a point and shoot. The way in which you frame a photograph makes the difference between a snapshot and a great photograph. Framing is part of taking a photograph that allows you to have power over the story being told. Above is an example of how the simple act of squatting on the floor can make for a more exciting image. You don't have to have an exciting camera with a zoom to alter the frame. Move your body, lie on the ground, walk 360 degrees around a subject before you decide what the best angle is.

All of the examples below are taken on a 35mm lens, 100iso, f4.5. The only thing that I changed was my physical position.
 As you can see the picture above is boring. There is a bit of a plant poking in at the bottom and a line of grey from the next building.
By simply moving around to the other side of the display I could get a far more interesting photograph of the oils with no odd bits protruding into the frame.
The same can be seen from these pictures of the market. Above a snapshot, three steps to the right and one step forward and the picture become a lot more interesting.
Below are three pictures of the same staircase in Zagreb, all I did was move closer, on the final image I moved closer and knelt down.
 Boring...
 Better...
Best...
Of course sometimes framing is just a matter of personal preference as opposed to a good or bad photo. I like all three of these photographs of the hanging shoes but they are all framed differently. Again I kept the same settings that I mentioned above and just moved my body around the subject.
Changing the framing of a photograph allows you to change the story this is something that is important when I take the craft and food photography images for the blog. I don't have to clean the whole house just the bit that is in the frame! You can also dress an area to help the feel of the piece.
 In the image of the ribbon bookmarks I wanted to tell a story about the item and their purpose so I dressed the image with a book on a desk and placed the vase in the top corner to balance the image. With the hot spiced apple drink below I dressed the image with stollen to add more Christmassy feel to the image.
Last but not least think about how busy you want your photograph to be? Where do you want the focus of the image?
The image above is far too busy you don't know what the main focus should be. The image below uses all of the same settings but the tripod is lower and over to the side cutting out most of the advert and the parked cars so the main thing to look at is the dress and the bag.
So here are a recap of the main points to consider next time you go to take a photograph;
  • Move around the subject matter trying different viewpoints
  • Change your perspective by squatting, lying down or standing in an elevated spot
  • Use framing to cut out unwanted areas
  • Use framing to tell a story with your photo

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