Do you ever feel like your images lack a little oomph? That what you see in the real world just doesn’t quite translate into a photo with the same level of visual impact?
Probably the biggest challenge with photography is that we’re trying to take this messy and wonderful, three-dimensional world and turn it into a two-dimensional artform.
It’s tricky, but today’s tip can help you add depth to your images.
One of the best tools at our disposal is a compositional technique called framing. The idea is simple—you’re going to use elements in your scene to create a frame around your subject like these examples…
In each of the images above, the photographers have included elements in the scene to frame their main subject. And in doing that, they’ve added depth by providing something for the viewer’s eye to look through.
Looking through or finding something to surround your subject is key.
Once you start looking around, you’ll find lots of options for framing. From natural rock formations, tree branches, and flowers, to manmade tunnels, doorways, bridges, windows and arches, there are many possibilities.
Using framing as a compositional technique can take a bit of practice, but here are some tips to help you add depth to your images:
Watch your exposure. Make sure you are getting proper exposure on your subject. Depending on the light, this may mean that your frame becomes more of a silhouette, like this…
Be intentional. Don’t let your framing element take up too much of your scene and distract from your main subject. It should point the viewer towards your subject rather than grabbing all the attention.
Consider bright colors. Including a pop of color can be a great way to bring the viewer through the frame and into your photograph. Here’s a great example. Notice how the pop of color within the frame really adds a sense of depth and dimension to the shot?
Keep it simple. As always, it’s important to keep your composition as simple and clutter-free as possible. Watch your edges and only include as much of the framing element as you need to compliment your subject.
And remember, people can be used as frames within your frame, too…
Wherever your photography adventures take you, take the opportunity to look around for unique ways to photograph your subject through something else!