While it has been said countless times that photography is all about the light, many have often overlooked the weight of what framing and visual design contribute to the beauty of our photographs. While the technicalities of photography often dwell on exposure and the settings we use to achieve them, it is undoubtable that masterful framing and composition are what makes an image artistic and worthy of making visual impact.
Framing in Photography is similarly important as exposure and the two concepts intersect in many ways. Exposure governs the amount of detail as well as the visual balance of the entire frame while framing creates the visual experience for anyone who looks at a photograph. By being able to achieve good exposures with visually impactful framing, any photographer would be able to create remarkable and eye-catching photographs no matter what the subjects are. To help you achieve better visual impact, here are some framing photography examples that you can try.
Frame Within a Frame
One of the most popular and most effective framing photography ideas is the use of an actual and physical frame within the frame of a photo. By doing this, the photographer easily adds depth into the image by using multiple layers in the photo giving the perception that the flow of the image moves forward and into the frame. This technique is commonly done when taking portraits of people indoors because it allows the photographer to isolate the subject and even conceal parts of the environment that do not contribute to the aesthetic of the image, and at the same time it illustrates the location giving viewer the impression that the space expands further than what they can actually see in the image.
Doing this outdoors can be a bit more tricky especially during the day. Whether your frame opens up to show a person, an object, or another aspect of the place, there will be quite a few challenges when it comes to the luminosity. Typically, the frame within the frame will be less bright than the outside environment and this is a challenge that has to be solved to achieve better balance in the image. A quick solution is to shoot in HDR. By simply taking multiple exposures with the same framing and angle but varied levels of brightness, you can combine the image to bring out the best detail and luminosity for various parts of the photo. While you can do this manually, this multi-step process can be made much simpler by a capable camera trigger.
The MIOPS Smart+ is a mobile app controlled camera remote trigger that is equipped with a range of functions that help photographers simplify their workflow. By simply setting your base exposure, brightness intervals, and the number of frames you want to take, the Smart+ can take care of changing the settings and trigger the exposures thereby making the process as simple as possible.
Precise Framing for Moving Subjects
Sometimes the game of framing goes beyond simply point and shooting. This is especially true in shooting scenarios wherein we don’t have full control of all the factors in the photograph and and we have to avoid having our presence affect the behavior of the scene. This is especially true for street photography, and in some instances, photographing action and sports.
To achieve this, the only option is what is called “working the scene” where the photographer would watch and wait for the motion and the scene to unfold hoping that the subject of interest would take a particular spot in the frame that would give the resulting photograph the balance and visual flow that the photographer intends. This can be as simple as waiting for someone to walk on a particular point of the frame following composition principles such as rule of thirds, the golden ratio, symmetry, etc. This often entails minutes or even hours of waiting while the rest of the scene is set and the only factor missing is the moving subject.
For sports and action photographers, these framing photography ideas can also be significantly helpful particularly in races. In the same way, movement of athletes and competitors can not be influenced by the photographer just to perfect their framing. However because they all follow a particular course, it is possible to predict and anticipate where they will be and create a masterful framing around that point.
Another unpredictable and even harder to control subject is wildlife. Animals in the wild are often elusive and actively avoid any contact with humans and that makes the endeavor already challenging. The difference is that their movement can be impossible to predict but there are various ways of attracting them towards the camera.
One advantage of smart accessories for executing these framing photography ideas is being able to automate and make the process more assured of better results. The MIOPS Smart+ and MIOPS Flex smart camera triggers both feature various sensors that help the photographer work the scene. In particular, both camera remote triggers are equipped with laser sensors that detect when potential subjects cross the path of the camera. Obviously, this has a lot of implications in being able to catch the perfect moment where your subject fits your intended framing. For photographing action, sports photographers can leave multiple cameras on selected parts of the course to be able to capture more action without having to chase after the competitors. Once these cameras are equipped with camera remote triggers such as the Smart+ or the MIOPS Flex, any competitor crossing the path will trigger an exposure that will capture the split-second action that the photographer aims to catch.
For wildlife photographers, camera traps can be safely set up using baits that would interest the animals and safely positioning the camera from a certain distance and with a clear line of sight. Once the animals cross the path of the sensor on the camera trigger, the photo can be taken possibly with the animal not even noticing the camera making sure that the photographer gets the shot without making the animals feel threatened in their habitat.
Another great framing technique is the use of forced perspectives. This method relies on the juxtaposition of two or more subjects in two or more separate layers. By achieving a specific alignment of the subjects or the background, one can create a unique relationship between the visual elements in the photograph that will definitely make the photo impactful and even create a surreal scene. This is often done by playing around with perspectives and scale wherein an object in the foreground closer to the camera will appear much larger than another, more distant object in frame. By doing this, creative photographers are able to create images with giant versions of everyday objects that are usually juxtaposed to people, other large objects, or buildings to manipulate scale.
Some popular examples of this approach are photos wherein giant objects seem to be falling onto people. Objects such as shoes, toys, or any other everyday object look much larger when put in the foreground against a person in the back. For people who travel, forced perspectives are popular in taking photos at particularly tall landmarks such as the Eiffel tower, the leaning tower of Pisa, Big Ben, and other large structures. By placing your human subject closer to the camera, it creates a perspective that enlarges the person allowing them to reach for the top of the structure. This is also commonly done to create photos as if people are reaching for objects in the sky such as clouds or the moon. While these ideas create fun surreal images, they can often be harder to execute than they seem. Perfect placement and alignment has to be achieved otherwise the juxtaposition will not work. An irreplaceable value that smart camera triggers have in such tasks is allowing you to control your camera and monitor your framing from a distance. This is even more valuable in instances where you are taking photos with yourself in frame. The MIOPS Flex offers a unique feature that will help you make precise composition and framing from wherever you stand. This bluetooth and wifi connected camera trigger is able to send a live video feed to your smartphone with the MIOPS mobile app so that you can monitor and adjust your composition without having to walk back and forth to the camera. In addition, if it is necessary to do bracketed exposures and create HDR images, the same process can be done. This intelligent camera remote not only helps you achieve the perfect framing but also allows you to control your camera and monitor the frame which is especially important in instances where the camera angle is too high or too low.
There infinite ways to create artistic and impactful framed images to boost the viewer experience in your photography. No matter what genre of photography you are into, composition and framing will always be the key ingredient to making your photos stand out. Meticulous and creative framing contributes a lot to the visual design of an image and with the right idea, the technical skills to execute the shot, and the right tools that make shooting easier and more efficient, your photos are sure to connect with your audience in a way that wont be easy to forget.
Blog Credit: Nicco Valenzuela
Nicco started his photographic journey in 2007 practicing the craft as a hobby. Currently, he shoots for various local and international architectural firms and construction companies. Out of his love for sharing his knowledge, Nicco began writing about photography and various pieces of gear.