December 12, 2014

12 Days of Tips #6: Framing

No, we’re not talking about picture framing here but compositional framing. Prize below but no peeking unit you’ve gained something from the article, it’s a good one straight from the lovely lady behind Owen Imaging!

Composition is one of the most important things in a photograph. Without it, the most amazing subject, light, or equipment don’t mean a thing.  The same is also true in reverse, you can have an ordinary subject, less than ideal light, and even a simple camera yet capture a stunning and moving photograph if you nail the composition.

Today we’ll talk about one of the many elements of composition, framing.  In the same way that a picture frame helps to draw focus to a photograph in the empty space of a blank wall, framing your subject within the photograph helps draw the viewers attention to the subjects or specific elements.  Many people are drawn to the obvious frames first, such as a doorway or window frame…

Owen Imaging Framing Example - Doorway

…but don’t underestimate the power of subtle framing.  Just about any element in a scene that can place be used as a frame and it doesn’t have to be square.

Owen Imaging Framing Example - Trees

Owen Imaging Framing Example - Bridge

Before incorporating a frame into the image think about where you want to draw the viewers eye.  Think about the rule of thirds or other compositional guides and position your frame according to where you want to draw focus.  The frame should aid in the composition, not distract from it.

As you may have guessed framing is more than just putting a box around your subject.  If you want to learn more about the do’s and dont’s of framing and many other aspects of overall composition check out awesome classes such as the Story Teller.

Know someone who loves photography but not sure what to get them for a gift? Give the gift of knowledge with a Photography Class Gift Certificate from Exposure at 351 Victoria St. Hurry, they’re going fast!

How better to focus entirely on composition and framing that a Twin Lens Reflex Film camera.  No zoom, aperture, or shutter speed settings to cloud your judgement, just the basics. It’s ALL about the framing with this one. Best part is, you assemble it yourself.  How photo-hipster is that?!

Check the contest guidelines and get yourself into the draw.

Twin Lens Reflect Film Camera


  1. Florian Scharlock

    This is great Kath, makes me wish I was in Kamloops so I could take a class. I feel like I have gotten lucky with framing here and there, but I was working with magical mountain landscape, a beautiful helicopter, and lots of volume. I suspect, a bit of thought and learning toward framing would serve me well.

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