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Framing Your Shots

We have all had moments we have wanted captured on film and started firing away with a camera. This doesn’t always capture the moment like you hope. To avoid disappointment with your photographs take the time to frame each shot.

Framing your shots just takes a few moments longer than “point and shoot” style of photography, and can help you capture that moment the way you would like to remember it. Framing is using objects in the foreground to contribute to the composition of the photograph. A doorway or windowsill will add an interesting mood to a shot, and give it depth. While shooting pictures of young children playing in the grass, try getting down on the ground and peering between blades of grass. This not only adds depth but shots at taken at the children’s level capture their world better than looking down on them.

It is just important to take notice of your background as well. When taking photos, we tend to focus on the subject and not what is behind them. Take a few moments and be aware of what is in the background. Be careful of poles sticking out of people’s heads, or objects sitting on people’s shoulders. Often we include too much background around our subject. Rather than a wide photo full of all of those flowers, why not get right up close to one flower? Leave just enough room around the main flower you are shooting to show pieces of others. This shows that the flower is not a lonely flower, but shows an individual beauty and keeps your subject from being less important than your background.

“Lead room” is leaving space in front of an object so that it looks like your subject has somewhere to go. There should be more space in your composition in front of an object than behind it. We naturally expect that a moving object needs somewhere to go, and cutting that space too close will make the composition feel unnatural. When taking a photograph of a person looking somewhere besides the camera, leave some lead room in front of him or her. This gives the impression that your subject is looking at someone or something just off the print.

These are just a starting suggestions for improving the composition of your photos, not rules that you must follow for every shot. Take the time to think about the composition of each shot before you press the shutter release button, and compare current photos with ones you have taken in the past. Take some time and practice each suggestion and see how each one works for your photography.


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