The framing of an image is the essence of photography, but not just a subject. So much goes into what you include in the final image – identifying your main subject, what’s in the foreground and what’s in the background, how much to include in the frame and what to omit. Even the direction of the light is important.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts on each of them in the coming months, likely in the order listed above. This month: the topic of your topic.
It may seem obvious. My child is having a birthday party, so this is my topic. My daughter is driving a combine harvester for the first time while harvesting wheat, so that’s my topic. Wine tasting with friends. Camping at Jubilee Lake. The flowers in my garden.
These are all clear photographic situations, but each contains a multitude of image subjects, and knowing how to effectively frame each shot will greatly enhance the memories you capture.
As with all my columns, I will let the photographs and clippings (or captions) do most of the teaching.
As a young shooter, I learned by studying the images of great photographers: Jimi Lott and Alan Berner at The Spokesman Review and Seattle Times, David Alan Harvey, Franz Lanting and Jodi Cobb at National Geographic, among many others. Seeing what they did helped me see what I could do.
Each of them communicated their subject, through the framing, so clearly. Sometimes a face was framed very simply, the face and nothing more, and other times with great complexity, a single face in a crowd against a backdrop of ‘location’.
But there was always a clear idea of what was being communicated.
I made a lot of mistakes, I still do, but little by little I became much more the photographer I wanted to be.
Taking great care to control, as much as possible, everything within the camera frame played a big role.