Sequence viewing > Aesthetics Index - Resource - © Lloyd Godman

The Camera Frame - internal frames or frame within a frame

Although it can be over used, a predictably successful design strategy is an internal frame or frame within a ( camera) frame.


  This is most often done as a complete silhouette where there is little information in the frame - as in this image looking through the window.
Or with some visual detail in the frame that points to the distant world through the portal.

When we use visual framing devices within the camera frame like this it is called a frame within a frame. While the appeal of this is related to composition it is also to do with perception. It enhances the illusion of a third dimension, where you are looking through one space to another.

Frames like this have the potential of pulling the viewer through from the outside and acting like a window to another internal world.


Although taken in four 6x6cm frames and joined as a single image - I used this strategy for the image of the Cave on Big Rock from the Homage to Baxter series - Looking out from the cave onto the beach beyond the opening.


Another appeal is that by placing an irregular frame around the subject there is a sense of control and the internal subject is held from flowing out an over the boundaries of the camera frame.


As with this image looking out from within a cave, you can also use them to create spatial abstractions.


As with this image where we have very strong diagonals, the frame within a frame does not have to be orientated with a level horizontal.

Image shot with Motorola RAZR model V3x mobile phone camera.


Here the lines of the rails lead the eye to the internal frame of the outside world -


In this image - rather than looking through the frame to a view it frames a weathered bitumen board - so rather tan looking through the internal shape is framed by an external frame and all of this sits within the camera frame


We can use geometric shape of culture - buildings etc. as the internal frame

In this unusual viewpoint of the Sydney Opera House, the umbrellas frames the cloud and Opera House structure.


We can use organic shapes of plants etc.


This image is a little unusual in that the plants through the window are darker and the wall with the window which frames it is lighter -
The visual strategy of the internal frame can also be use effectively in other ways - like in this image where the Centre of the frame is divided by the silhouette of the tree - which creates two portals to slightly different but related worlds.



Here we see an image of city buildings framed in a fairly standard way

In this image we see the same scene photographed through a strong internal frame for a much more dramatic effect - look how the grid of windows on the right opens up the large area of black - also the silhouetted shape in the lower foreground is a coffee cup -

This image of the mountains taken from a steamer on the lake presents a very standard view

Here the same mountains taken from the inside of the steamer presents a more dynamic image of the same location. In effect we have several views looking through the window and port hole.



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