Frames are a great tool for drawing attention to an image. Be it a frame we hang on the wall, one we create on the computer, in-camera or with the elements in the scene we are photographing, frames are a very effective tool that all photographers can use.
Frames created while taking your shots will help lead the eye through the shot, add depth to images and help give a photo context. There's also the added bonus of using frames to hide objects you don't want to appear in shot and they can make your images generally more interesting. They can also be used to give the viewer more information on the location you've taken the shot in.
Windows and archways are obvious choices for frames but tree branches and leaves can also work well. Frames don't have to cover four sides either - one or two branches curving around part of the image can work just as well. It's also worth considering if you want the frame to be in focus or not. If you're at a party, why not use people as your frame to draw attention to a particular person or group? You can also use frames which are positioned towards the back of the shot to frame foreground interest, too.
There are times when creating a frame within your image won't add anything to the shot so do think about your composition and if you really do need a frame before hitting the shutter button. You don't want the frame to pull attention away from your main subject either so do make sure it's not too distracting.
More traditional style frames can be added during Post Production and ePHOTOzine has various tutorials on adding a variety of frame styles to shots in the technique section of the site.
There's also a third option and that's to add a frame to your image in camera from one of the various creative filter options cameras offer. Apply built-in frames, use vignettes or why not combine multiple shots in one frame?
You've read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Photo Month Forum Competition