Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

Camera Frame - Framing the subject


Look critically at how you frame the subject within the viewfinder - Learn to identify what is the subject and move in to fill the frame with the SUBJECT. As a rule, plain areas of grass, sand or even water don't make interesting images - and then if you add large areas of sky the energy of the scene just drops out with the result of a very uninteresting image.


A good strategy is to place some related object in the foreground to add a focus point or point of interest.

In this rather bland image the grass absorbs all the visual energy from the building


However in this image the stones and grill add a visual point of interest that through proximity relates to the building behind.



San your eye around the edge of the frame for any distracting extraneous details and move the camera position to exclude them - 


Explore viewpoint, where to place the camera

Move a round the subject - these are the same boat framed using 2 different visual strategies and also from a different viewpoints.

The image on the left relates the line of boats to the larger boast and city in the background.

The image on the right isolates the boats in a classic figure ground relationship, there is no evidence of the city or the larger area of boats.

Explore the orientation of the camera - portrait or landscape

But for the man with the paper, these 2 shots of the bridge fixing are nearly the same -


Wait for what Cartier-Bresson called the "decisive moment" - also people add a sense of scale to elements like this.


Use the mirror surfaces of modern buildings to create a new perspective of historical buildings

In this image the landscape is frames in a classic manner with reference to the lake, the mountains and the sky - the sky fills more than two thirds of the image area.


In this image the landscape is framed through the widows and door porthole giving a different perspective of the scene. Framing a subject in this manner is called an internal frame or a frame within a frame.

Sometimes when we frame a scene like this there is a temptation to include too many elements that visually react against each other. It can be useful to experiment with framing the scene tightly to create a more abstract image.

Here we have the sand on the left the water reflection , the rock and the bush, each element adds more complexity to the image

This image presents a more abstract interpretation of the scene - the colour palette is reduced and there are less visual elements in the frame

This image is framed event tighter and creates and even greater abstraction.


Want to learn more? - do a workshop or one on one with Lloyd Godman

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