How to Use the Framing Technique to Provide A Point of Focus

There are several ways to entice the viewer's eyes to focus on your subject and one effective technique is framing. When you frame an object or a scene, you are bringing attention to it by removing all distracting clutter around it so that there is nowhere else to look but at the point of interest. When this strategic border is included in the shot, it is often creatively used to be part of the scene itself. If used correctly, it has many uses to enhance the subject. On the other hand, if the technique is used inappropriately, such as the frame being random and having no relation at all to the subject, it can then be considered 'gimmicky' and the viewer might find it distasteful.

There are several advantages of using the framing technique:

• It provides depth and perspective – when we frame a subject, we are placing something in the foreground of the shots, which gives the natural effect of perspective and dimension. The frame in the photo example extends to the wooden floor at the bottom part of the foreground. Although there is nothing there, we know the room is bigger than just the area where the subject is located. Play around with depth of field. A blurred frame can further accentuate your focal point.

• It leads our eyes to the subject -the frame lets our eyes travel and rest on the point of interest. For example, the frame in this photo would be the entrance to the hallway. The walls to the left and right are black so there is nowhere else for the eyes to rest but on the center where all the action is happening.

• It gives a sense of mystery – since the frame is also part of the scene, it makes us wonder what is behind the frame, or what has not been included in the scene that is just off camera.

• Gives context – the frame or border itself can be used to give more information as to the location of the subject. We might see a photo of a person standing on a path being framed by tree branches. Then we know that person is outdoors, probably in the garden or in a woody area.

Use objects that are already part of the scene. Doorways, branches, windows, or people, any of these can are often used to frame the subject. Be imaginative and find ways to cleverly frame your shots that make your images stand out.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 21st, 2010 at 3:18 pm and is filed under Articles, Composition, Photography Techniques. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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