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Ten Top Ways To Use Frames In Your Images

Here are ten reasons/ways you should try using frames within your images.

| General Photography
Adding a frame actually into the image when you're composing the shot has various advantages. So here's our top ten reasons for why you should create and use frames within your photos.

Ten Top Ways To Use Frames In Your Images: Taj Mahal
Photo by David Clapp -

1. Draw Attention To Your Subject

By adding a frame you guide the eye to one main focus point in the scene that you want highlighting. You can also hide other objects you don't want to be in shot behind your frame and it does have the added effect of just making your image more interesting generally.

2. Add Depth

By adding a frame to the foreground of the shot it gives your image depth and perspective, stopping it appearing so two dimensional.

3. Give An Image Context

Adding a frame can give more information to the viewer about where the images was take, for example a frame of leaves or tree trunks suggests you're outdoors, in the landscape while an archway or window frame suggests you're somewhere more built-up.

4. Look For Natural Frames

Obvious frame choices are archways, fences, windows, door frames and bridges but there are other objects you can use to create frames that you may overlook. For example, branches from trees, a blurred line of leaves and tree trunks are all items you can use to create a frame.


5. Don't Think Full Frame

When you think of frames you'll probably see something that goes around each edge of the image but you can use a frame that's incomplete. Two tree trunks going up either side of the shot or greenery blurred to the top/bottom and left or right will still guide the eye to where you want it to go without having frame detail on all sides.

6. Create A Human Frame

Frames can be made from people or parts of people – think Madonna and the Vogue video. A great place to use people is at parties where there's a group of people talking but you only want the viewer to focus on one or two of them. All you have to do is set an aperture that will blur the people who are closer to your lens to turn them into an out of focus frame that guides your viewer's eyes to the person you want them to look at.

7. Use Carefully

Not every object can be turned into a frame and not every subject looks right framed so take a good look around the viewfinder to make sure your shot looks right before you hit the shutter button. You should also ask the question of: 'am I adding clutter to my shot that doesn't need to be there?'

If you're using the frame to exclude parts of the scene it won't look right and it will really annoy the viewer if you don't do it right. So again, stop and think if the bits you're excluding should be included in the shot before you take the photo.

8. NotToo Distracting

If you're adding a frame make sure it does actually do its job of directing the eye rather than distracting it. If you're blurring the frame make sure there's still a little shape to it so people can see it's actually an object that's meant to be there. It also helps people separate each layer of the shot too, stopping it just blurring into the background it's trying to frame.

9. Out Of Focus Or In?

If you want a blurry frame use a larger aperture to throw it out of focus. If you're using it to give the image more context you'll want the frame to be sharp so change to a smaller aperture for front to back sharpness.

10. Frame In Background

Generally frames will be at the front of your shot but elements in the background such as arches on bridges, doorways etc. can frame your subject that's positioned in the foreground of your shot.

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Ten Top Ways To Use Frames In Your Images: Ten Top Ways To Use Frames In Your Images:

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NDODS Avatar
13 6.4k 131 United Kingdom
12 Jul 2013 7:17PM
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