Framing in photography — Photography Podcast #10
This is an audio transcription — Spelling, punctuation and grammer may not be perfect‚
Hi there everyone and welcome to the Photography Podcast on Photography.ca.‚ My name is Marko.‚ We are coming to you from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and today is January 26, 2007.‚ For today’s show, we are going to talk a little bit about composition and we are going to talk a little bit about framing in particular.
Now, what framing is, it is a classic technique whereby you would use a frame to frame a photo.‚ You have often seen this.‚ You will see like a child looking through a window and you will see the whole exterior of the window with the child looking out of it.‚ The window itself makes for a very interesting compositional element and a lot of these shots work and add interest to your photography.‚‚ Frames can be very powerful and you can use different objects that will act as frames during the shoot.‚ You can use branches, you can use an archway, you can use a doorway.‚ You could sneak behind some bushes and from the left and from the right just kind of make the branches act as a frame then look at something different like a flower or a mountain or a dog or a person from beyond.‚ That will add quite a lot of interest to your shot.‚ The branches will act as a frame and make the subject pop.
A technique that has been tried time and time again is just actually using an old frame.‚ You take one of these old wooden frames, you pop the picture out, you have someone smile behind the frame, and you take the shot getting the frame in the shot and the person in the frame, the actual picture frame, and that makes for an interesting shot as well.‚ You can do it with babies, women, old people, young people, anyone, and it always adds interest to the shot.
Now, something else that you could try is selective focus when you are using framing as well, especially if what you are shooting is far from the frame itself, you can have some interesting effects with selective focus.‚ Let us say, you are actually shooting through a window.‚ I do not know, you are in someone else’s basement, you open up the window, and you see something interesting in the distance.‚ You back away just a little bit, you take a picture of the outside of the window for the framing effect, and then you also have what you are looking at in the distance.‚ If you are focusing on the window itself, what is going to be in the distance is probably going to be less sharp depending on what aperture you use.‚ If you are looking for a selective focus effect, I recommend obviously a larger aperture, which will make what is in the distance somewhat blurry or less sharp.‚ You can have a really interesting effect.‚ Let us say it is a flower, or a boy, or a dog, or anything actually, you will get the subtle form of what is in the distance while having the actual window itself acting as a frame in sharp focus.
On the opposite end of it, you can, of course, focus on what is in the distance and keep the frame blurry or less sharp.‚ Again, it would depend on what aperture you would use, but use a larger aperture and you can play with the distances.‚ If you use too small an aperture, f/16, f/22, f/32, then more of the foreground and the background will appear to be sharp and you will have less of a selective focus effect.
For one of my shots that I put up on the blog, you should have probably seen it by now; if not, just go to Photography.ca/blog.‚ For one of the shots I did for this experimental podcast, I basically took a purse and used the handles of the purse acting as a frame.‚ I set the purse up on a table and put a couple of books underneath the purse.‚ I backed up and then I had a model hang out maybe about three or four or five feet from behind that purse.‚ I focused both on the handle of the purse and got some interesting effects there and kept the model blurry in the background.‚ Of course, I did the opposite as well.‚ I would have shot in sharp focus the model through the handles of the purse and the effects are pretty interesting actually.‚ I hope you liked them.
You can really get some good effects by doing similar things.‚ You can use whatever you want to act as a frame.‚ You could take the doorknob off an old door and shoot through the doorknob.‚ You could open up the door just a crack and shoot through the crack.‚ Focus on the crack or focus on what is in the distance and you are going to have some very interesting compositional shots.‚ These are more artsy.‚ They are more artsy-fartsy.‚ They are more fun.‚ They are more interesting.‚ They add experience.‚ They have another dimension to the shot.‚ Of course, I highly recommend, as always, just trying out different things.‚ If it does not work, it does not work.‚ You could take a chair, shoot through the back of a chair, shoot through the back of a model.‚ The frame does not even have to be a full frame.‚ The frame can be like the letter “L.”‚ Take a model or any person and just have them look out toward the sunset, out by yonder, and then use the side of their head and shoulders to act as a frame and have something in the distance.‚ Try making what is in the distance sharp and then try making their head and shoulder sharp.‚ It is all about an interesting shot and the more you play, the more likely you are to get that interesting shot.
The theme for this learning show as well as the other ones where we give some instruction is to experiment.‚ Do not be afraid, just try it, especially if you got a digital camera.‚ Try it.‚ If it does not work, erase the shot.
I very much do hope you will provide some feedback for the shots we have up and as well on the content of the podcast.‚ You can do so through the blog directly, Photography.ca/blog, or you can do it through the bulletin board as well, Photography.ca, just make your way to the bulletin board and provide some comments.‚ This was our 10th podcast and we are please to have made it to 10 and we hope to get to a hundred in a couple of years.‚ Hopefully, we will keep on this schedule, one a week and we will get there sooner rather than later.‚ I guess it still makes it about two years, but it is a good start.‚ Ten is solid and I am happy about 10.‚ This podcast will end up being our shortest podcast since we started at about seven minutes or so, but we hope you are okay with that, feeling that good things came in the small package.‚ Our next podcast will be an interview podcast, so of course it will be a bit longer.‚ We hope you enjoy the mix that we are providing you.
Thanks very much for listening, everyone.‚ Keep on shooting, keep on taking those creative shots and we will see you all again in about one week.‚ Bye for now.